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What do leg cramps feel like and how long do they last?

ANSWER

The tight, knotted sensation you feel lasts several seconds to several minutes. Sometimes the pain lingers. If the cramp is severe, your muscle may be sore for days afterward.

From: Leg Cramps WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

NYU Langone Medical Center: "Nocturnal Leg Cramps."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Nocturnal Leg Cramps."

Cleveland Clinic: "Nocturnal Leg Cramps."

Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine: "Leg Cramps at Night."

UC San Diego Health System: "Medicines Used to Treat COPD."

Lancaster General Health: "Leg Cramps, Nocturnal."

Mount Sinai Hospital: "Nocturnal Leg Cramps."

Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide: "Leg Cramps."

Allen, R. , August 2012. American Family Physician

Kolata, G. “A Long-Running Mystery, the Common Cramp.” , Feb. 14, 2008. The New York Times

Maugh II, T. “The FDA warns against using quinine for leg cramps.” , July 8, 2010. Los Angeles Times

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on February 4, 2018

SOURCES:

NYU Langone Medical Center: "Nocturnal Leg Cramps."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Nocturnal Leg Cramps."

Cleveland Clinic: "Nocturnal Leg Cramps."

Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine: "Leg Cramps at Night."

UC San Diego Health System: "Medicines Used to Treat COPD."

Lancaster General Health: "Leg Cramps, Nocturnal."

Mount Sinai Hospital: "Nocturnal Leg Cramps."

Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide: "Leg Cramps."

Allen, R. , August 2012. American Family Physician

Kolata, G. “A Long-Running Mystery, the Common Cramp.” , Feb. 14, 2008. The New York Times

Maugh II, T. “The FDA warns against using quinine for leg cramps.” , July 8, 2010. Los Angeles Times

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on February 4, 2018

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What are the sex- and age- related prevalence of leg cramps?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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