Managing nocturnal leg cramps — calf-stretching exercises and cessation of quinine treatment: a factorial randomised controlled trial


Coppin, Richard J., Wicke, Dorothy M. and Little, Paul S. (2005) Managing nocturnal leg cramps — calf-stretching exercises and cessation of quinine treatment: a factorial randomised controlled trial. British Journal of General Practice, 55, (512), 186-191.

Download

Full text not available from this repository.

Description/Abstract

Background: quinine is a common treatment for nocturnal leg cramps but has potential side effects. An uncontrolled study suggested that calf-stretching exercises could prevent nocturnal leg cramps (night cramps) but these findings have never been confirmed.

Aim: to assess the effect of calf-stretching exercises and cessation of quinine treatment for patients with night cramps taking quinine.

Design of study: randomised controlled trial.

Setting: twenty-eight general practices in southern England.

Method: one hundred and ninety-one patients prescribed quinine for night cramps were randomised to one of four groups defined by two 'advice' factors: undertake exercises and stop quinine. After 6 weeks they were advised that they could take quinine and undertake the exercises freely. Documentation of cramp at 12 weeks was achieved in 181 (95%) patients. Main outcome measures were: symptom burden score, and frequency of night cramps and quinine usage.

Results: at 12 weeks there was no significant difference in number of cramps in the previous 4 weeks (exercise = 1.95, 95% confidence interval [CI] = -3.01 to 6.90; quinine cessation = 3.45, 95% CI = -1.52 to 8.41) nor symptom burden or severity of cramps. However, after 12 weeks 26.5% (95% CI = 13.3% to 39.7%) more patients who had been advised to stop quinine treatment reported taking no quinine tablets in the previous week (odds ratio [OR] = 3.32, 95% CI = 1.37 to 8.06), whereas advice to do stretching exercises had no effect (OR = 0.73, 95% CI = 0.27 to 1.98).

Conclusions: calf-stretching exercises are not effective in reducing the frequency or severity of night cramps. Advising those on long-term repeat prescriptions to try stopping quinine temporarily will result in no major problems for patients, and allow a significant number to stop medication.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 0960-1643 (print)
1478-5242 (electronic)
Related URLs:
Keywords: exercise therapy, muscle cramp, nocturnal leg cramps, primary health care, quinine, ransomised controlled, trials
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Medicine > Community Clinical Sciences
ePrint ID: 24311
Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2006
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 18:13
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/24311

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item