Mary Eileen


Why am I getting cramps (charlie horses) in my foot and calf in the middle of the night?

Dr. William Sullivan


There are a number of known causes of leg/foot cramps at night. Some of these causes include foot problems (such as flat feet), low potassium or low calcium levels, dehydration, hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) or are associated with underlying neuropathy. However, most people who develop leg cramps at night have no obvious reason. You should discuss the issue with your healthcare provider to ascertain whether you might have any underlying reason for developing leg cramps at night. There are a number of treatments available, including preventive measures such as adequate stretching, use of proper foot wear, and adequate hydration. Medications are used in some circumstances, but you should discuss the issue of medications with your healthcare provider.

April 21, 2012 at 8:05 am

2 replies

CJ55 2012-07-07 22:12:57 -0500 Report

I have the same problem. I have been getting major feet cramps especially in the toes for months. It is very very painful. I usually end up sitting on the side of the tub with my feet in hot water with a minty soothing bath salt.

JSJB 2012-05-05 04:46:56 -0500 Report

I also had calf and foot cramps at night but since being pre diagnosed with diabetes and on medication, they have stopped.