Pain that affects the legs during the night is called nocturnal leg cramps or night cramping in legs. This pain happens usually because of the lack of the activity during the day, and can even wake you up in the middle of the night since it can be so strong. Although night cramping is more common in the calf area, it can also occur in the feet and thights. Pain duration can varie from a couple of seconds to several minutes.
It is annoying that once the pain disappears, the soreness remains in the muscles for the rest of the night and sometimes during the next day. It is more common in individuals over fifty, and both men and women can experience this kind of pain.
Nocturnal leg cramps and Restless Leg Syndrome
Both nocturnal cramping and restless leg syndrome happen during the night. In all other aspects they are different and we give you some of their main differences:
The resting leg syndrome is described as a feeling of soreness/ crawling in the lower limbs.
As opposed to nocturnal cramping, this syndrome does not trigger pain or cramps.
When you expirience the resting leg syndrome, moving your legs will bring you some relief, in contrary to nocturnal leg cramps where you will not feel relief, and you should stretch your leg instead of moving it.
The syndrome forces you to move the limbs, but when dealing with cramps, the last thing you want to do is move.