Stretching before sleep reduces the frequency and severity of nocturnal leg cramps in older adults: a randomised trial

Joannes Hallegraeff, Cees van der Schans, Renee de Ruiter, Mathieu de Greef

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

QUESTION:

In adults who experience nocturnal leg cramps, does stretching of the calf and hamstring muscles each day just before sleep reduce the frequency and severity of the cramps?

DESIGN:

A randomised trial with concealed allocation and intention-to-treat analysis.

PARTICIPANTS:

Eighty adults aged over 55 years with nocturnal leg cramps who were not being treated with quinine.

INTERVENTION:

The experimental group performed stretches of the calf and hamstring muscles nightly, immediately before going to sleep, for six weeks. The control group performed no specific stretching exercises. Both groups continued other usual activities.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

Participants recorded the frequency of nocturnal leg cramps in a daily diary. Participants also recorded the severity of the pain associated with nocturnal leg cramps on a 10-cm visual analogue scale. Adverse events were also recorded.

RESULTS:

All participants completed the study. At six weeks, the frequency of nocturnal leg cramps decreased significantly more in the experimental group, mean difference 1.2 cramps per night (95% CI 0.6 to 1.8). The severity of the nocturnal leg cramps had also decreased significantly more in the experimental group than in the control group, mean difference 1.3 cm (95% CI 0.9 to 1.7) on the 10-cm visual analogue scale.

CONCLUSION:

Nightly stretching before going to sleep reduces the frequency and severity of nocturnal leg cramps in older adults.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-22
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of physiotherapy
Volume58
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Keywords

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Stretching Exercises
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sleep-Wake Transition Disorders
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Journal Article
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

Cite this

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title = "Stretching before sleep reduces the frequency and severity of nocturnal leg cramps in older adults: a randomised trial",
abstract = "QUESTION: In adults who experience nocturnal leg cramps, does stretching of the calf and hamstring muscles each day just before sleep reduce the frequency and severity of the cramps?DESIGN: A randomised trial with concealed allocation and intention-to-treat analysis.PARTICIPANTS: Eighty adults aged over 55 years with nocturnal leg cramps who were not being treated with quinine.INTERVENTION: The experimental group performed stretches of the calf and hamstring muscles nightly, immediately before going to sleep, for six weeks. The control group performed no specific stretching exercises. Both groups continued other usual activities.OUTCOME MEASURES: Participants recorded the frequency of nocturnal leg cramps in a daily diary. Participants also recorded the severity of the pain associated with nocturnal leg cramps on a 10-cm visual analogue scale. Adverse events were also recorded.RESULTS: All participants completed the study. At six weeks, the frequency of nocturnal leg cramps decreased significantly more in the experimental group, mean difference 1.2 cramps per night (95{\%} CI 0.6 to 1.8). The severity of the nocturnal leg cramps had also decreased significantly more in the experimental group than in the control group, mean difference 1.3 cm (95{\%} CI 0.9 to 1.7) on the 10-cm visual analogue scale.CONCLUSION: Nightly stretching before going to sleep reduces the frequency and severity of nocturnal leg cramps in older adults.",
keywords = "Aged, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Muscle Stretching Exercises, Physical Therapy Modalities, Severity of Illness Index, Sleep-Wake Transition Disorders, Treatment Outcome, Journal Article, Randomized Controlled Trial",
author = "Joannes Hallegraeff and {van der Schans}, Cees and {de Ruiter}, Renee and {de Greef}, Mathieu",
note = "Copyright {\^A}{\circledC} 2012 Australian Physiotherapy Association. Published by .. All rights reserved.",
year = "2012",
doi = "10.1016/S1836-9553(12)70068-1",
language = "English",
volume = "58",
pages = "17--22",
journal = "Journal of physiotherapy",
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Stretching before sleep reduces the frequency and severity of nocturnal leg cramps in older adults : a randomised trial. / Hallegraeff, Joannes; van der Schans, Cees; de Ruiter, Renee; de Greef, Mathieu.

In: Journal of physiotherapy, Vol. 58, No. 1, 2012, p. 17-22.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Stretching before sleep reduces the frequency and severity of nocturnal leg cramps in older adults

T2 - a randomised trial

AU - Hallegraeff, Joannes

AU - van der Schans, Cees

AU - de Ruiter, Renee

AU - de Greef, Mathieu

N1 - Copyright © 2012 Australian Physiotherapy Association. Published by .. All rights reserved.

PY - 2012

Y1 - 2012

N2 - QUESTION: In adults who experience nocturnal leg cramps, does stretching of the calf and hamstring muscles each day just before sleep reduce the frequency and severity of the cramps?DESIGN: A randomised trial with concealed allocation and intention-to-treat analysis.PARTICIPANTS: Eighty adults aged over 55 years with nocturnal leg cramps who were not being treated with quinine.INTERVENTION: The experimental group performed stretches of the calf and hamstring muscles nightly, immediately before going to sleep, for six weeks. The control group performed no specific stretching exercises. Both groups continued other usual activities.OUTCOME MEASURES: Participants recorded the frequency of nocturnal leg cramps in a daily diary. Participants also recorded the severity of the pain associated with nocturnal leg cramps on a 10-cm visual analogue scale. Adverse events were also recorded.RESULTS: All participants completed the study. At six weeks, the frequency of nocturnal leg cramps decreased significantly more in the experimental group, mean difference 1.2 cramps per night (95% CI 0.6 to 1.8). The severity of the nocturnal leg cramps had also decreased significantly more in the experimental group than in the control group, mean difference 1.3 cm (95% CI 0.9 to 1.7) on the 10-cm visual analogue scale.CONCLUSION: Nightly stretching before going to sleep reduces the frequency and severity of nocturnal leg cramps in older adults.

AB - QUESTION: In adults who experience nocturnal leg cramps, does stretching of the calf and hamstring muscles each day just before sleep reduce the frequency and severity of the cramps?DESIGN: A randomised trial with concealed allocation and intention-to-treat analysis.PARTICIPANTS: Eighty adults aged over 55 years with nocturnal leg cramps who were not being treated with quinine.INTERVENTION: The experimental group performed stretches of the calf and hamstring muscles nightly, immediately before going to sleep, for six weeks. The control group performed no specific stretching exercises. Both groups continued other usual activities.OUTCOME MEASURES: Participants recorded the frequency of nocturnal leg cramps in a daily diary. Participants also recorded the severity of the pain associated with nocturnal leg cramps on a 10-cm visual analogue scale. Adverse events were also recorded.RESULTS: All participants completed the study. At six weeks, the frequency of nocturnal leg cramps decreased significantly more in the experimental group, mean difference 1.2 cramps per night (95% CI 0.6 to 1.8). The severity of the nocturnal leg cramps had also decreased significantly more in the experimental group than in the control group, mean difference 1.3 cm (95% CI 0.9 to 1.7) on the 10-cm visual analogue scale.CONCLUSION: Nightly stretching before going to sleep reduces the frequency and severity of nocturnal leg cramps in older adults.

KW - Aged

KW - Female

KW - Humans

KW - Male

KW - Middle Aged

KW - Muscle Stretching Exercises

KW - Physical Therapy Modalities

KW - Severity of Illness Index

KW - Sleep-Wake Transition Disorders

KW - Treatment Outcome

KW - Journal Article

KW - Randomized Controlled Trial

U2 - 10.1016/S1836-9553(12)70068-1

DO - 10.1016/S1836-9553(12)70068-1

M3 - Article

VL - 58

SP - 17

EP - 22

JO - Journal of physiotherapy

JF - Journal of physiotherapy

SN - 1836-9553

IS - 1

ER -