Foot cramps disrupt active man’s sleep

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September 30, 2019 - 10:19 AM

Dear Dr. Roach: I am a very healthy 74-year-old male. I am not on any medications and enjoy normal blood pressure and great stats from my regular bloodwork. I weigh 140 pounds and have been exercising every day faithfully for decades. 

A couple of years ago, I started getting cramps in both legs throughout the night. My toes would curl down and my entire leg would get stiff; the pain was horrible. I had a terrible time “walking it off,” and very often when I finally got it to pass, as soon as I got back in bed the whole thing would start all over again. Sometimes I would go a few nights without having a problem, but there was always the fear that I would have another episode. 

I read online advice to get the weight of the sheet and covers off the feet. I took a strong cardboard box and sleep with my feet in the open end of the box. The first time I got in bed with this rigged up, it felt very strange not having anything on my bare feet, but eventually I got used to it. The remarkable news is that I have not had a single episode since fabricating the box over six months ago. — G.K.

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