What Does It Mean When You Get Leg Pain Only at Night?


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Leg pain that happens only at night is often a sign of restless leg syndrome, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Not everyone with RLS experiences pain; sometimes the condition is simply uncomfortable or annoying.

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What Does It Mean When You Get Leg Pain Only at Night?
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Restless leg syndrome typically shows up when individuals relax or lie down, NINDS states. People experience sensations of throbbing, pulling or creeping in the legs. As the night advances, symptoms sometimes increase. Leg movement helps alleviate discomfort.

About 10 percent of Americans have RLS to some extent, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe, NINDS reports. The condition affects twice as many females as males, and strikes people of all ages. In certain cases, RLS disrupts sleep enough that concentration and memory are affected during waking hours. Though RLS often has no explanation, in some people there seems to be a genetic link. Low iron levels in the brain are also associated with RLS.

Nocturnal leg cramps typically occur in the calf, but they also affect the thighs and feet, explains the Cleveland Clinic. Muscles become tight or knotted for seconds or minutes. Pain sometimes lingers after the cramp recedes. Night-time cramps are often caused by excessive sitting, poor sitting posture, muscle overuse or standing for extended periods on concrete.

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