Legs cramping - not able to walk - when to seek medical attention?

Posted , 7 users are following.

So for the last 4-5 months I’ve suffered from really bad cramps in both my legs & feet! I tend to have cramps anywhere between 3-8 a week, ranging from mild to severe, lasting between 1-8mins. 

The worst one I ever had was nearly 10mins long and I was practically in tears and felt sick the pain was excruciating. 

Today however is a little different, since last night while watching tv I kept feeling the beginning onset of a cramp in my leg, such as tightening in places, when I got up I could feel tighteness in my calf but no sudden cramp. It hurt to walk, but I went to bed thinking some rest would help. 

This morning I have woken up and I can’t even stand or walk on the leg as the tightness and cramping has gotten so much worse! Every time I bring my foot towards me it causes tightness and cramping which really hurt. The pain seems to be centred in the back part of my leg right behind my knee. 

I have taken co-codemol and have put on some deep heat but nothing seems to be working, if anything it’s getting worse! Being the weekend I don’t feel like going to the emergency room for it, can anybody tell me any solutions to fix this? Or if heat or cold is better? What it possibly might be? And when/if should I seek medical attention? The only thing I’m worried about is my family has a history of blood clots, but I’m trying not to worry myself too much about that as I don’t want to be overreacting!

0 likes, 7 replies

7 Replies

  • Posted

    If I were you I would make an appointment to see your GP as soon as possible and tell them what you`ve told us. You`ve suffered long enough don`t you think and if nothing else the GP could put your mind at rest about your worry of blood clots. Best Wishes
  • Posted

    Hi Annalise. I mention that I also have this leg cramping problem, not because I want to pretend mine is worse, as one previous person thought, but to make a suggestion. I saw my GP about it. she had me tested( blood test,) to see if I was low on magnesium. The test came back fine I was not lacking magnesium, but she told me to take it anyway and see if it helped. It didn't help. Then I thought I wasn't drinking enough water. I tried drinking a gallon a day, but nothing helped. Now, I tend to think it might be my meds causing it. I take Hydroxyurea for PV. I don't go for my daily walks anymore. I think you shd see your GP just in case it is serious. 

    ?Best wishes, harrishill

    • Posted

      harrishill what`s PV? Your response reminded me of someone that was told to take magnesium + calcium on alternate weeks i.e one week calcium and one week magnesium for cramp and apparently it worked!
    • Posted

      Hi Lil thanks for the response. PV is Polycythemia Vera. It's a very slow growing cancer of the bone marrow. It is treated with Hydroxyurea. The leg cramping I have could be caused by a side effect of this medication. However, I talk to other patients online and nobody else has mentioned having leg cramps when they take Hydroxyurea. I usually get a cramp if I bend down to clean a spot on the floor, or to pick up something outside. I used to walk three miles a day, and two yrs ago, had to stop because we have many hills in my neighborhood. I hated going uphill cause my legs cramped. I still feel pretty good most of the time though. Best wishes,


  • Posted

    Dear Annalise,  My situation was similar.  And I was having severe back problems at the same time, could hardly walk 50' without having to stop and lean against a building, wall, etc.  So after 2 1/2 years of being "treated" for back problems (physical therapy, pool therapy, medications, etc) a young therapist at the swimming pool told me it wasn't my back, it was my hip. Sure enough, an X-ray and ultrasound of my "hip" showed bone-on-bone, nothing in between.  The week before I had my complete hip replacement I was having leg cramps 4-5 times each night, mostly inner upper thigh, both legs, for 10-15 minutes each.  Excruciating pain - Capsaicin (pepper cream) helped some but it still took time to settle down and by the time it did, I was exhausted from the pain.  I've learned the cramps actually come from the back, trying to compensate for the hip.  Not sure, but I will tell you during this entire 2 year ordeal I never once had hip pain.  It was always back and leg cramps.  

    I hope this information is helpful to you.  It's been 1 1/2 years since my hip replacement and after some complications (bacterial infections) I'm doing so much better.  No leg cramps for the past 6 months (I discovered eating a tablespoon of mustard (for the vinegar) stopped the pesky little cramps I would still have on occasion.  My doctors said I may have to have the other hip replaced at some point, but for now, I'm doing very well.

    Best of luck and good wishes to you.  Please see a doctor asap and ask for a hip x-ray also because at no time in the 2 years did anyone even consider it might be my hip.  

  • Posted

    Have gotten them for years. No doc knows what it is..i have ms but it is not the ms. Therapy for 12 weeks gets it calm . the cold sets it off. I live in sofla. ice pack helps fore. But the short time we have 60 degrees or less just destroys me.. Blogs onling. Thousands do not know why and no doc knows why. So make tour best guess and try cole packs and stay very still. Do not put leg on knee. Will set it off. Night is usually when thet start and increase until u are in tears for sometimes 30-60 mins. Cannot walk while in the spasm. Sorry

  • Posted

    I am sorry you went through this and I know because I experienced the same thing as you.

    This is not not a circulatory issue but blood clots may occur but not at multiple sites at once.

    I have felt these to be 911 pains but by the time you get treatment most likely they will be gone.

    You are deficient in minerals as I am. Piping Rock has these in capsule form product no.651. Take 4 a day .

    No more leg cramps!!!!! No doubt any brand will work. As insurance I take a separate magnesium complex #9991...one per day.

    Good Luck,


    BTW all those other remedies...too little too late...tried them all.


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