Sports Medicine
A Crucial Period
Good Pain, Bad Pain
On Your Knees
Secondary Injuries
Imaging Technology
What's Sciatica?
The Female Athlete
Putting Your Feet First
Itis Schmitis
Too Much, Too Soon
Under the Influence
What's Goin' On?
Think Inches, Not Pounds
Preventing Vaginitis
That Painful Pull
Athlete's Heart
Exercise & Arthritis
Chilled to the Bone
Measuring Body Fat
Exercise and Your Breasts
Choosing a Sports Doctor
Lean on Me (Shoulder)
Exercise & Anemia
Exercise Abuse
Pelvis Sighting
Hand Aid
It's All in the Wrist
Back in Action
Altitude Adjustment
Tennis Elbow, Anyone?
Exercising in the Heat
Agony of the Feet
Restless Legs
Night Time Cramps
Birth Control Concerns
No Periods, No Babies?
Post Partum Prescription
Weight Loss Mystery
Undesirable Cooldown
To Brew Or Not To Brew
Fitness After Baby
Biking and Back Pain
Swimmer's Shoulder
A Hidden Athlete
Avoiding Osteoporosis
Drug Testing
Maximum Heart Rate
Headway Against Headaches
Torn Rotator Cuff
Fat Figures
Bloody Urine
Sag Story
Lackluster Leg
Bothersome Bulge
Gaining in Years
Taking It On the Shin
Aching Ankles
Hoop Help
Tender Toes
Meals For Muscle
Growing Pains
Hot Tips
High Altitude PMS
Personal Bests
Air Pollution
Ankle Blues
Heartbreak Heel
Yeast Relief

Ankle Blues

Night Time Cramps

Q: I am a very active mother of two. I usually jog 2 to 4 miles a day or take an aerobics class. About once or twice a week I've been getting very painful cramps in my calf that wake me up in the middle of the night. I have to got to get up and stand or have my husband stretch my leg. It ruins a whole night of sleep. Should I stop exercising?

Dallas, Texas

A: Exercise may contribute to the cause of nighttime leg cramps, sometimes called charley horses. You can probably stop them with a few simple techniques. These are more closely related to exercise and dehydration than restless legs.

Be sure that you stay well hydrated, get adequate calcium (1000 to 1500 mg. per day) and replace any salt and other electrolytes's (such as potassium) lost during the day with juice and salted food or a sports drink. Stretch your calf muscle and contract the anterior tibial muscle (by heel walking, toe tapping or lifting weights by ankle flexion) three or four times during the day and before going to bed.

If cramps persist after a month, see your physician to make sure you have no other medical problems such as thyroid disease, low calcium or magnesium or lack of blood flow.

About the authors: Carol L. Otis, M.D., is Chief Medical Advisor to the Sanex WTA and a UCLA student health physician. Roger Goldingay is a former professional soccer player. They are married and the co-authors of The Athletic Woman's Survival Guide.

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Billie Jean King

Comments by Barb Harris
Editor in Chief,
Shape Magazine

General Health
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Eating Disorders
Alcohol & Other Drugs
Environmental Health

The information in this web site is for educational purposes only and is not providing medical or professional advice. It should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. If you have or suspect you might have any health problems, you should consult a physician.

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