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One of the things that I seemed to have inherited from my mom was a tendency to have bad foot and leg cramps in the middle of the night. For several years, I found myself regularly waking up with my foot and leg muscles clenched, making it impossible to find any comfort. If I was lucky, I would wake up soon enough to feel the beginning of the cramp start in my toes, thus enabling me to work on it before it became a full-fledged rock-solid, muscle-burning cramp that took over the whole extremity. However, in the past few years, my night leg cramps have seemed to come around less often and they’re less severe. So what are these muscle cramps? How can you limit them? And what do you do if you have a leg cramp? “A muscle cramp is a sudden, uncontrolled contraction of a muscle,” wrote Dr. Jonathan Cluett on About.com. “Leg cramps occur when the muscle suddenly and forcefully contra...
Alternative Names Swelling of the ankles - feet - legs; Ankle swelling; Foot swelling; Leg swelling; Edema - peripheral; Peripheral edema Prevention Avoid sitting or standing without moving for prolonged periods of time. When flying, stretch your legs often and get up to walk when possible. When driving, stop to stretch and walk every hour or so. Avoid wearing restrictive clothing or garters around your thighs. Exercise regularly. Lose weight if you need to. References Goldman L. Approach to the patient with possible cardiovascular disease. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine . 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 48.
Alternative Names Coxsackievirus infection Treatment There is no specific treatment for the infection other than relief of symptoms. Treatment with antibiotics is not effective, and is not indicated. Over-the-counter medicines, such as Tylenol (acetaminophen) can be used to treat fever. Aspirin should not be used in viral illnesses in children under age 12 years. Salt water mouth rinses (1/2 teaspoon of salt to 1 glass of warm water) may be soothing if the child is able to rinse without swallowing. Make sure your child gets plenty of fluids. Extra fluid is needed when a fever is present. The best fluids are cold milk products. Many children refuse juices and sodas because their acid content causes burning pain in the ulcers. Support Groups Expectations (prognosis) Generally, complete recovery occurs in 5 to 7 days. Complications Dehydration Febrile seizures Calling your health care provider Call your doctor if there are signs of complications, such as pain in neck or arms and legs. Emergency symp...
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