In many PKD forums and discussions, leg cramps have been always a common topic, a common problem among those with PKD. Sadly, many PKD patients are also clueless regarding leg cramps occuring especially at night waking them up to sleep.
I remember during my mom's lifetime, she had several bouts of leg cramps at night and she would shout in pain.
Having leg cramps is no joke as many PKD patients will attest. It is one of the most painful experiences for me. Most of the time, it is calf muscle cramps. I myself experienced in the past frequent leg cramps. I just had one this dawn. However, it has successfully decreased in frequency.
This info may help...
Muscle cramps especially in PKD may be caused by electrolyte imbalances like sodium depletion especially due to dehydration, low blood calcium and low potassium. Acidosis is also said to be associated with leg cramps although it is also believed that these cases caused by lactic acid accumulation in the muscle is more of claudication pain which is almost similar to leg cramps, not actual muscle cramping.
Vitamin B deficiencies are associated also with leg cramps although the exact mechanism is unknown.
It is important to monitor serum electrolytes regularly and to correct any imbalance with your nephrologist's help and guidance. In my case, I have calcium carbonate, vitamin B and E supplements, potassium citrate and sodium bicarbonate which may help correct the problem supplying the needed electrolytes and at the same time prevent renal stones from forming by keeping my urine alkaline. Monitoring will tell me if I have too much of the said medications also. Of course, medications should not be taken without your doctor's advice.
"For a calf muscle cramp, the person can stand about 2 to 2.5 feet from a wall (possibly farther for a tall person) and lean into the wall to place the forearms against the wall with the knees and back straight and the heels in contact with the floor...Another technique involves flexing the ankle by pulling the toes up toward the head while still lying in bed with the leg as straight as possible."
To prevent muscle cramps, it is recommended to do stretching before exercise and have proper hydration.
Also regular stretching exercises are recommended to prevent rest or night cramps common in PKD. The same stretching maneuver described above held for 10 to 15 seconds and repeated two or three times just before going to bed, can be done even when without a cramp and will serve as stretching exercise. This maneuver can also be repeated everytime one goes to the bathroom at night.
Hope this will help you as it helped me.