Common causes of leg cramps include exercise; pregnancy; dehydration; certain medicines, such as birth control; and certain medical conditions, such as kidney disease, according to WebMD. Many different conditions cause muscle cramps in the calf.
Other common causes of muscle cramps in the calves include mineral deficiencies with calcium, magnesium and potassium; exposure to cold temperatures; injury; and overuse of the muscles, explains WebMD. Medicines that cause muscle cramps in the calves include diuretics, antipsychotics, statins and steroids. Certain medical conditions also cause muscle cramps in the legs, including peripheral arterial disease or other blood flow problems, kidney disease, thyroid disease and multiple sclerosis. Muscle cramps result from placing the leg in an awkward position, standing on a hard surface or sitting for an extended period of time.
Muscle cramps in the calves may also be the result of overuse during exercising or not stretching before exercising, states Healthline. Infrequent muscle cramps are generally not a cause for concern, but frequent, recurring muscle cramps should be investigated by a doctor to check if there are any underlying causes. Stretching, massaging the muscles, drinking fluids or using an ice pack help stop and prevent muscle cramps in the calf, notes WebMD.