While leg cramps on their own shouldn't worry you, they may indicate a larger problem at play, such as peripheral artery disease. If you frequently experience leg cramps, it’s worth paying a visit to a vascular specialist, such as Dr. James Antezana at South Charlotte General and Vascular Surgery. If you’re in the Charlotte, North Carolina, area, call or book an appointment online.
A cramp is a sudden contraction or spasm of your muscles that can cause a great deal of temporary pain. Usually, a cramp only lasts from a few seconds to a few minutes.
There are many reasons why your muscles may cramp, but when it frequently occurs in your legs, it can be a sign of peripheral artery disease, or PAD, a condition brought on by arteries that are clogged or narrowed due to plaque buildup from fatty deposits. While PAD can occur in other parts of your body, it strikes your legs most frequently.
Other causes of leg cramps are:
Leg cramps can often occur while you sleep, which is why paying a visit to Dr. Antezana for diagnosis and treatment helps you find relief
During the cramp, there are several things you can do immediately to relieve the spasm and pain, including:
After you’ve treated the immediate problem, seek professional help, especially if your leg cramps are recurring due to a vascular issue. As a vascular surgeon, Dr. Antezana performs a thorough examination to determine the cause of the cramping and then addresses the underlying issue with treatments such as:
If Dr. Antezana diagnoses you with PAD, he discusses your treatment options, which largely depend upon how advanced your condition is.
Caught early, PAD is easily treated, often without resorting to invasive procedures. If your PAD is advanced, Dr. Antezana may use aggressive techniques to get the blood circulating in your legs properly. Left untreated, your PAD can lead to major complications, such as stroke and loss of the limb, so it’s best to act as quickly as possible.
To find out whether your leg cramps are signaling a larger problem, call South Charlotte General and Vascular Surgery or book an appointment online.