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Night Cramp is something from which a great many people occasionally
- and they donít easily
Even the healthiest people may
a short, sharp pain in the legs after a strenuous day.
Many older people can bring it on by making powerful stretching movements while
down in bed. If this sort of night cramp becomes a real nuisance,
over-stretching and tablets containing quinine sulphate at bed-time may
all that is
A very small number of patients, however, cannot take quinine without
dizzy or getting buzzing in the ears. They may have to
whether they would rather have cramp and no dizziness, or the reverse.
But cramp in the lower limbs in the daytime and in younger, active patients
very distressing and is more serious. It is not uncommon and has the rather clumsy name of intermittent claudications.
The patient first
of aching legs after exercise. It may
slight, but gradually becomes more pronounced. Then the pain is not merely an ache, but a definite, crippling cramp, which can become so severe that the patient
he or she cannot
Intermittent claudication is caused by the narrowing of the arteries and often
in the 30s. It generally means that the arteries everywhere in the body have become
and blood cannot reach the muscles fast enough when they are in use. The heart muscles may
This condition may
a good enough excuse for not doing jobs you donít like doing, but that is poor consolation. It is a disease which affects men far more than women and
are more common in cold weather, or even after sitting in a chair at the office in a draught. It is also a slightly hereditary complaint.
This is by no means the same as the night-time cramp already mentioned, and there is no absolute cure. The patient learns to
the amount of exercise he or she can comfortably take.
No drugs offer a complete relief but there is one habit which the sufferer must give up ó smoking. Whatever may or may not
oneís views about the habit, it undoubtedly
intermittent claudication far more troublesome.
A number of patients will secretly
that so long as they keep off tobacco they do not
this fearsome cramp.