Night Time Leg Pain

Night time leg pain can wake you up at night, leaving your exhausted and agitated during your days. It can be aching, burning or cramping pain in the lower leg, around the knee, or down the back of the leg. There are several reasons someone may have chronic leg pain, including the nocturnal leg pain that will interrupt sleep. These causes can also contribute to restless leg syndrome.

Nerves send pain messages to the brain when muscles are squeezing them too tight. The muscles in the legs get continually tight, and many of us aren't taking the time we need to care for our bodies to unravel the patterns of tension. We also may be staying in positions too long during the day or at night that are making the muscles more restricted, causing the pain to perpetuate its pattern. Many of us are chronically dehydrated, missing some nutrients in our diet, or don't get enough physical activity or stretching to reset our muscle's sensors that relax the muscle tension in our bodies.

If any of these are constant, night time leg pain will become more common...so, what will help with these nocturnal leg pains?


1) Drinking water, so that your body is hydrated sufficiently. This helps a large percentage of joint and muscle pain. BUT if the muscles are restricted from long term patterns like sitting all day, or leaning over all day, hydration will not unravel the pattern or help the body to reset those muscle sensors.

2) Move and stretch! There are specific stretches for the legs that you can download instantly at no cost, if you register for our monthly newsletter. The muscle groups we focus on for pain in the upper leg (front or back) are: Hamstrings, Quads, Glutes/IT Band. The stretches we do are focused on unraveling long time patterns, and we hold the stretches for 2 full minutes. General daily exercise can also help overly tight muscles, by increasing circulation and resetting the muscle sensors. The explanation is on this stretching page.

The stretches for the lower leg that we share are two specific calf stretches.

3) The third thing that is helpful for night time leg pain is massage. If you aren't near our clinic, and don't have a great therapist, you can use a foam roller or ball to massage it out at home. When it's been tight for a long time, it can be really uncomfortable...ok, painful, the first several times you use it, but it does get better. The foam rollers and roller balls are also available in different levels of firmness, so you can start out with a softer one, so you won't bruise yourself up.

4) Last, but not least, we often will suggest epsom salt baths, or magnesium chloride baths to our clients who are suffering from night time leg pain. We use them regularly, to help with muscle and joint soreness and stiffness. Magnesium sulfate is what epsom salt is made of, and these forms of transdermal magnesium therapy can help dramatically from just a couple of treatments. Magnesium is the most basic of basic anti-inflammatory components...so, it can help with tissue healing and increasing circulation to an area. We use it not just as a bath, but as a more concentrated solution in purified water, Magnesium offers the muscle tissue the mineral it needs to relax. Often transdermal magnesium with the magnesium oil has helped family, friends and clients with arthritis, sore muscles and restless leg syndrome. It's helped with night time leg pain, aching in extremities and carpal tunnel/repetitive strain issues in the hand and forearm. It's something we use every day for aches and pains, and it helped us significantly with some sleep issues with ourselves AND our children.

We use either magnesium sulphate (plain epsom salt), or magnesium chloride flakes. Our bodies use sulphate for a number of important functions, including a liver pathway. So, it helps with detoxifying our tissues, as well as support for soft tissue development, digestion and more. So, when we can't take an epsom salt bath, we at least do foot baths every couple of days for everyone in our family.

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