What are the causes of thigh cramps?

Written by jessica lietz
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Muscle cramps can occur in any part of the body, especially the back, arms and legs, and may occur without warning and cause intense pain and discomfort. Cramps in the thighs can happen to anyone, although pregnant women, people who are overweight and people who are elderly or have certain medical conditions may be at a higher risk of experiencing this type of pain. Consider this information from the Mayo Clinic and National Library of Medicine about the causes of thigh cramps.

Circulatory Problems

According to the Mayo Clinic, circulatory problems may be a cause of thigh cramps. A lack of blood supply to the leg muscles can result from blocked arteries and cause leg cramps. Peripheral arterial disease is another circulatory disorder that can cause cramps and pain in the muscles during physical activity.


Dehydration of the body can result in cramps in the thigh muscles, according to the Mayo Clinic. Very young people, the elderly and pregnant women may be prone to muscle cramps caused by dehydration, especially during intense or prolonged activity.

Medical Conditions

Certain chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, an underactive thyroid and kidney failure may be a cause of thigh cramps, according to the National Library of Medicine. Other medical conditions, including pregnancy, alcoholism and spinal cord problems, can also cause thigh cramps.


Certain types of medications, such as diuretics used to treat high blood pressure, may cause leg cramps at night, and birth control pills and other hormonal contraceptives may be a cause of thigh cramps in women.


Overuse of the muscles in the thighs may also cause thigh cramps, according to the National Library of Medicine. Heavy exercise such as leg presses or squats, or staying in the same position for a long period of time, can also cause this discomfort.


Muscle strains, failing to stretch or warm up before exercise, and poor technique or posture when lifting, walking or standing can also strain muscles in the thighs and cause cramps.

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