What Are Some Causes of Leg Cramps?

A leg cramp is a pain caused by the shortening or contraction of a muscle. The contraction is involuntarily and usually only affects the muscles associated with the specific motor neuron being affected. In a cramp the muscle forcibly contracts, but unlike a normal muscle contraction does not relax. Leg cramps can be quite painful, but are usually only temporary.

Low Levels of Essential Nutritional Elements
Low levels of vital nutritional elements in your body can be a cause of leg cramps. The first of these is a low blood salt level. This is especially prominent with athletes. As a person sweats his internal salt levels diminish. The loss of salt causes an inbalance within the muscle, causing it to swell and a malfunction causing it to stay contracted. Low levels of potassium (hypokalaemia) and of calcium (hypocalcaemia) can also cause this malfunction

Another cause of a muscle cramp is a tightness of the muscle or muscle group. This is especially prominent when taking part in physical activity without properly stretching the muscle first. Properly stretching your muscle fibers allows the muscle to expand and contract more efficiently. Not stretching before using your legs can cause muscle fatigue, which the causes your leg to cramp.
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