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A Word with the Doctor by Dr John Winsor
March 18, 2001 (The Sunday Times of Malta)


Night Cramp is something from which a great many people occasionally suffer - and they donít easily forget it.

Even the healthiest people may get a short, sharp pain in the legs after a strenuous day.

Many older people can bring it on by making powerful stretching movements while lying down in bed. If this sort of night cramp becomes a real nuisance, avoiding over-stretching and tablets containing quinine sulphate at bed-time may be all that is needed.

A very small number of patients, however, cannot take quinine without becoming dizzy or getting buzzing in the ears. They may have to decide 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 can be very distressing and is more serious. It is not uncommon and has the rather clumsy name of intermittent claudications.