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I have been having inner thigh cramps at night for years. Now they are so bad that I become diaphoretic, nauseated and almost pass out. Last time I had an episode, my husband took my blood pressure and it was 79/42, pulse was 52. I must have had a vagal episode from pain. I have tried Ice, heat, walking it off, streching, having my husband rub it, but nothing works. I just have to let it run it's course. The next morning I visited my Dr. She did a chemistry panel but all were normal. I don't know what else to do. This is driving me crazy and affecting everything I do. My poor husband can't get anysleep either. Has anyone had success stopping this beast?

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I have had the same problem for about a year and a half now. I have found no cause and no solution. Mine began after I had kidney stones and a small surgical procedure for them. I thought it was dehydration (although I don't know why they would occur in the thigh). But now I keep hydrated, I'm careful with my exercise and don't know what else to do. I dont know what I'd do without my husband who bring me water, pills and can really only stand helplessly by, but it helps to know he is there. We are both waiting for the day the police come because a neighbor has called about my screaming. I hope if someone finds a real answer the new will get out becuase there are a lot of us suffering from this mysterious ailment.

Linda
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I HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM WITH INNER THIGH CRAMPS. WHEN YOU GET THE CRAMPS DRINK PICKLE JUICE IT WILL STOP THE CRAMPS IN SECOND. THEY USE TO LAST 45 MINUTES WITH ME TRYING TO WORK THEM OUT UNTIL I FOUND OUT ABOUT THE PICKLE JUICE. I DON'T KNOW WHY IT WORKS BUT IT DOES. I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW HOW TO PREVENT THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE. I USUALLY GET THEM WHILE I AM TURNING OR STRETCHING IN MY SLEEP. I DON'T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING PHYSICALLY TO CAUSE THEM.
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I too have inner thigh cramps so bad it feels like my thigh bone is going to break. They get so bad sometimes that I started sleeping with a heating pad on to the highest temp I can tolerate and sleep with it in between my legs. I have also had to get my husband to fill the bath with extremely hot water and found relief after I get in.
They are so scary and there is simply no information out there about their cause. I am so grateful to finally find someone else who is experiencing what I am.
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I have had inner thigh cramps for many years. I have found them to be diet related mostly. Caffiene is a big offender along with sulfites, alchohol and msg. There are also times when I cannotfigure it out but chewing an aspirin usually helps. The aspirin opens the blood vessels and alloiws more oxygen to the muscles. I can completely understand your agony as these are extremely painful. I too will usually hop into a really hot tub of water which helps. Also get some tonic water or quinine from your doctor if you can get it.
lolly
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I too have been so disabled by these thigh cramps that I've almost passed out from the pain. I have found that if I take a potassium pill as soon as the pain starts and drink a lot of water the pain slowly stops. I even have potassium supplements by my bed with a bottle of water so I can grab some as the pain starts. Over time, I've learned to take my fist and dig into the thigh as hard as I can just as the pain starts to mount. This at least allows me some time to get the potassium and water. I have found that eating too much sugar, and becoming dehydrated seems to bring the cramp on. Hope this helps.
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I get these too from time to time, always a few hours after running a challenging distance. Like one of the other posters I'm worried about someone calling the police because of my screaming. I don't know why they are so scary, but it truly does feel as though your muscles are about tear away from the bone. I have simply slowly tottered about the room in order to get them to subside but would be willing to drink pickle juice or just about anything else to get it to stop. Sometimes, if my inner thigh feels a little tweaky after a run, I'll take a strong anti-inflammatory that was prescribed for another ailment and usually puts me to sleep, get into bed with flannel pajama bottoms and socks on and try to sleep with my legs tightly together. I'm wondering if muscle relaxers, whether herbal or synthetic, would make a better choice. Does anybody know of a naturally occurring muscle relaxer?
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I have had the same problem off and on. The 1st time it happened during the night, I woke up in immense pain and feel out of bed. I wasn't able to walk--only scream. My husband thought I was having a heart attack. The cramping in my thighs went on for hours. My legs hurt for days. Since then, I have discovered that sugar sets me off. I had a feeling it was that, as the few times it happened, I had eaten some gummie bears before going to bed. Sounds strange, I know. But the other day, I went to the show and had some gummie snakes. Sure enough, during the night I awake with thigh cramps! Not all nite, but enough to hurt for quite awhile. I won't be eating any more gummie bears for a long, long time.
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I enjoyed reading all of the contributors comments; I too have severe inner thigh leg cramps at night. Terrible thing, I have had them for years.
I have learned of a quick fix for those that have yet to try it: TONIC WATER. That's it.
It is the quinine in the tonic water that will cause the cramp to eventually subside. It does not prevent the onset of the cramp, just helps it go away quicker once it begins.
In addition, I recently began taking 2000IU daily of vita. D, along with a Tums tablet in the morning and at night. This combination seems to have determinist the onset of the night cramps. I still get them, but not a frequent and not as severe (usually).
Good Luck.
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It is ~good~ to hear that others are having the same inter thigh muscle cramps that I have. It is interesting to hear the different suggestions to get them to stop! I'm desperate enough to drink pickle juice too! I have suffered from this for the past 10 years and as I get older they get worse. I can be asleep on my couch, wake up, switch to a sitting to push down on my feet to stand up and instantly the cramp will begin. I have tried to stretch the muscle out but can never find a position that stops the cramp. I'm scared because the last 2 times I have had these cramps I feel that my pressure is bottoming out and I want to pass out. However if I lay down the cramping is so bad I can't stand it! Usually heat will stop the cramp, the hotter the better, so I jump in the shower and keep the hot water running on my leg. But this time I went to this feeling of passing out that it was very scary. I am 30 mins. post the cramping and I still feel weak, shaky, and light headed. I'm on my 2nd 32 oz. of water to see if that helps. Today I didn't do any different activity but last weekend I did a lot of physical activity clearing off the snow we got. I'm on Zocor and was wondering if anyone else is on cholesterol lowering medication. It's hard enough to deal with the pain but this feeling of wanting to pass out is very alarming, especially when I live alone! %-)
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I have the same cramps...in reality there is no possible way that pickle juice or pills taken at the time or water or anything are penetrating your gastric system and arriving in the blood to your cramp in time to do anything about it...that's the facts.

The placebo effect of the drink and other remedies is that you wanting it to work and hence relaxing (maybe even subconciously) as you achieve your defined "fix".

I find that a strong (but not damaging) open hand slap to the inner thigh enough that it hurts will cause the pain to immediately release in the cramp. My theory on thsi is that the cramps are caused by nerve signal anamolies. The muscle misreads the signals and begins a cramp condition. The abrubt and undeniable pain from the slap "reorganizes" the nerves.

I tell my friends, it's like slapping a person is flipping out in order to get them to engage again.

Sounds crazy, try it...make it hurt but don't get ridiculous.
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I too suffer from inner leg cramps. It was good to find this blog and read all the posts! I have been experiencing these cramps for 15 or more years. I had my most recent expisode last night, 2/6/2010. I used to think they were attributed to excessive exercise, however, I am learning that is not the case. I can do nothing and they still come. Thank you to all of you for posting your comments and possible suggestions that may help. As for me, when I get them I usually put some salt on my tongue and let it dissolve and then follow that with a glass of water. Strange as it may sound, it does seem to help. Anyway thank you for your comments.
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I am so happy to have found this site. I am a 54 year old female and I have had SEVERE ( I mean this is a 10+) inner thigh pain that strikes, on the average, once every three or four months for the past five years. The scenario is that I am napping on the couch, the phone rings, I quickly twist to become seated so I can stand up to go to the phone. The pain hits just before I stand up. It is so severe and debilitating that I can barely drag myself to the microwave. I have found that the only thing that I can do is to apply heat so I nuke a rice pack in the microwave and apply it to my thigh. It takes several applications and in about 10 minutes the pain is totally gone. It only seems to affect my right thigh but several times while my right thigh is in pain, it has traveled to the left thigh for a couple of minutes only and that pain is not quite as severe as in the right thigh and the left goes away by itself. The whole time from when the pain starts I feel nauseous, clammy, hot, cold, and feel as if I will faint. In August, 2009 after applying heat once, I put the rice bag back into the microwave to reheat and then I did pass out on my kitchen floor. I don't know how long I was out but woke up with a big bump on my head and very disoriented. It was very scary especially since I live by myself. The pain was still there when I came to so I had to drag myself to standing to heat the rice pack again. In December 2009 it hit again while I was talking to a friend on the phone...she'd called while I was napping and the phone was within reach this time. We spoke for about 5 minutes while I was lying on the couch but when I decided to get up, the pain hit. I told my friend and she came to my house to help me. This time I didn't try to get to the microwave because I was upstairs and after passing out in August I was afraid to try to go down the steps. The pain lasted the 20 minutes til she got to my house and heated the rice pack for me. This time I (painfully because every little movement is excruciating) slowly moved so my back was on the seat cushion and my leg was straight up in the air supported by the back of the couch. I found that if I pulled my leg slightly toward my face the pain was a tiny bit less. But, it was 20 minutes of torture waiting for her to arrive. Apparently this severe pain does not go away on its own. I have been to doctors several times who cannot figure it out. They thought maybe it is due to a pinched nerve. The MRIs that I have had of my spinal column look good...just a tiny bit of degeneration in the L5 region...nerves are fine, disks are fine. This week I went to a neurologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN. The Resident and the Dr. seemed stumped. The thing about it is that it happens randomly and rather infrequently. They did order a pelvic MRI and an EMG test which is torturous. Electrodes are placed on various parts of the foot and leg and electricity is run through at varying levels of intensity. It feels like touching an electric fence. The next part of the test involves needles being placed into the foot, various parts of the leg, gluts and back. The test is monitored on a screen and measures how well the nerves and muscles communicate and can tell if there has been nerve damage. I had this test done two days ago and do not have the results yet. Something has to be done because this pain is unbearable. What if it continues to happen when I am in my 80's? I can barely stand the pain now---how could an old woman handle it? I will post more once I get the results from the tests and hear what the Mayo doctors think.
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Hi,
sympathy to fellow sufferers, and thanks to jbourke for a wonderful detailed description. Firstly I can repeat what I said a couple of years ago on one posting, as a family doctor I can reassure you that very few FPs will know what you are talking about. These truly severe cramps (in the Vastus Medialis muscle as far as I can tell in between screaming with pain !) are NOT Restless Leg Syndrome or any other milder form of "cramps". They are a totally locked up muscle in one of the strongest muscles in the body. They occur on the inner side of the thigh, sometimes bilaterally (and mega pain then-- I have had that a couple of times) Saying they are "neurological" and throwing some expensive Gabapentin like drug at it, is not science at all.
There are no simple remedies, if you take product X and get no cramps for several weeks, it might make you happy but does not offer proof for the rest of us. If someone posted having cramps every week for two or three years and then took substance X and had no more at all, I would be impressed. It may well be that drinking water alone helps, i.e. general rehydration and drinking it as soon as you can move around after the cramp

I know I have asked my wife to get me water during the cramps as I have felt intense thirst, and there does seem to be a pattern of heat as a cause, I am careful not to have too many bedclothes over my legs, but there is really not a pattern to them. After several years of getting them I do now sometimes wake with warning signs (they are always at night as others have mentioned), and get up immediately and get a hot pack and do some stretching.

I now always sleep with straight legs and if I do bend them can feel a tendency to cramping starting. There may be a pattern of inheritance but not in my case. Hypertension treatment drugs may be a factor, and might be interesting for sufferes to list actual medication. For hypertension, I am on Ramipril, Norvasc and HCTZ (Canadian names).

Putting a large magnet under the legs sounds unique, I don't think I will try that one as I have a pacemaker installed.

In summary, largely unknown condition (therefore nice to see this forum), no consistent prevention method (tho' sleeping with legs stright out may help prevent), and not much in the way of helping in the acute phase (yes, breaking the spasm if you can get off the floor--Ok with one leg in spasm and almost impossible with two) but hydration and possibly hypertensive drugs may be causative factors (not in every case however).
That's my little and generally useless update. Don't take snake oil for this one but maybe we'll narrow down causes yet! JD
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Thank you to all who have posted. We really are part of a family (unwanted). I was so happy to find you. No one understands unless they have suffered through this type of pain. Four natural childbirths may come a little close :-) I wish we could come up with a name to use as a diagnosis to help when we discuss this with our doctors. To say leg cramps trivializes it.

I am writing now because I just had another attack. The first in several months. I was lying on the sofa and had just attempted to get up after watching a two hour movie. My husband is my saving grace. I am frozen with pain and crying. He rubs it so hard that I am not sure which pain is worse. It may work the way someone mentioned the "slapping" works. I am so scared this would happen when I would be alone. I think I would die from this pain, but more than likely I would hyperventilate and then pass out.

I did quit my kickboxing classes a few years ago and the episodes did decrease, but I cannot pinpoint any cause. I do take Zocor and a small dose of Tenormin daily.

Please continue to post. I know now I am not alone and not crazy:)
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