ZocdocAnswersWhat is the shooting pain in my calf?

Question

What is the shooting pain in my calf?

I get a shooting pain my calf when I?m sleeping. It wakes me up and hurts really bad. I try to stretch it out but it gets worse. I?m 24/male by the way.

Answer

Have you ever had anything like this before? Sometimes calf pain can signify a deep vein thrombosis or blood clot in the veins of the legs. This can become life-threatening if it detaches and enters the blood vessels into your lungs. Does anything make it better or worse? Do you drink sufficiently and keep yourself adequately hydrated or do you feel you are dehydrated most of the time? Electrolyte imbalances and dehydration can cause calf cramping. Do you take a multivitamin daily? Again, electrolyte imbalances can cause muscle cramping, especially in the calf. These are important questions to consider and discuss with your primary care doctor who will be able to take your medical history, presenting symptoms and clinical exam and decide upon the appropriate work up and treatment options available. This may include lab tests, imaging studies and perhaps a referral to a specialist depending on what is found. In general, there are a variety of causes for shooting or cramping pain in your calves and these could be due to dehydration, lack of adequate nutrition or vitamins, deconditioning. Some of these can be relatively benign and easily fixed, while others require further treatment. For this reason, it is important that you are evaluated by a medical professional.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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