Muscle leg cramps: Hi everyone. Are muscle cramps in... - NRAS


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Muscle leg cramps

LyndaKenny profile image

Hi everyone. Are muscle cramps in your legs a symptom of RA or the methotrexate? I've been taking it three weeks now and these past few days woke up in extreme pain with cramp in my legs. There I was thinking I was getting away with any side effects.

Is this just me? Would magnesium help?

32 Replies

I get servere cramp in my legs & feet & im not on methotrexate. Best to get it checked out.

LyndaKenny profile image
LyndaKenny in reply to Caza

Thanks for replying Caza

The cramps in my legs (mainly) have been much worse in the hot weather. I've been tested for everything and no imbalance or deficiency shows up in the blood. Strangely, I find eating Marmite helps (or is that psychological?). And making sure that my toes are not pointed by supporting them with a pillow at the bottom of the bed. (Pointing my toes seems to trigger the leg cramps)

LyndaKenny profile image
LyndaKenny in reply to oldtimer

Thank you , yes pointing my toes does it to

Me too. Been advised to take magnesium

in reply to oldtimer

'Pointing my toes seems to trigger the leg cramps' ...... me too! Also needing to pee I think. And red wine (doesn't take much).

Yes definitely pointing my toes has a negative effect. They don't to kindly to traveling either 😤 Which it really annoying as I go back & forth to Tenerife. Last time I went I was up all night with the pain. I've also various tests & alls as it should be, so reckon it must be the RD 😞

LyndaKenny profile image
LyndaKenny in reply to Caza

What's RD?

Rheumatoid Disease just an alternative name for RA.

LyndaKenny profile image
LyndaKenny in reply to Caza

Ah ok - jargon does my head in sometimes ha ha

Hi Lyndak

Make sure you drink plenty of water, and I mean plenty. Magnesium may help, as might potassium.

Also doing some stretches helps me when I get cramps, but make sure you're warmed up a bit first. Lots of YouTube videos of suitable stretches depending which muscles are cramping.

All of these things have helped me.

All the best.


LyndaKenny profile image
LyndaKenny in reply to PFKAAde

Thank you xx

PFKAAde profile image
PFKAAde in reply to LyndaKenny

No worries, just thought another thing is 'trigger point release'. Again lots of YouTube / google hits.

You can use a foam roller or a tennis ball depending where it is.

In fact this has probably helped me most with all muscle related problems.


LyndaKenny profile image
LyndaKenny in reply to PFKAAde

Thanks again xx

Hi Lyndak. I get cramp in the toes, feet and legs and have done for years before RD raised its unlovely head. I heard that Indian tonic water (the one with quinine) helped a lot and since then when cramp strikes I take a glass of it, ice cold but no gin, and it works for me. I like it as a soft drink anyway so no hardship there. I hope that helps. Hugs


LyndaKenny profile image
LyndaKenny in reply to Gnarli

Thanks Jan

I have been plagued with leg cramps from moving my toes no matter what direction. I was told by a 90 year old friend to use KELP supplements cause when we were on trips sharing a room I kept her up hours with muscle cramps and I would get the wierdest cramping from my middle toe up the shin bone and then the muscles were relentless in cramping and until I used KELP I had no relief. Relief in a minute. I carry tablets or capsules of them in every purse etc. No medical doctor will tell you this but they will give you a prescription for a chemical which will just load your immune system. So get some natural kelp and end the misery. Can purchase in bulk. Good relief. Just my feeling and experience.

LyndaKenny profile image
LyndaKenny in reply to billiec

My doctor told me to take magnesium which I have and so far its worked. Thank goodness. The pain is excruciating isn’t it. Thanks for telling me what you do too

My rheumatologist prescribes me quinine sulphate for cramps. It does work .

Leg and feet cramps are driving me insane atm, 8th week on methotrexate, not sure if that's the cause, I have suffered for years though but these past few weeks they have gone through the roof, I've been hopping and stretching round my bedroom every night like a mad woman!! I drink loads of water, eat bananas every day, drink tonic water everyday (sadly no gin) all to no avail !!!! They are so bad at times I can have muscle pain for days after. Fibromyalgia and Rheumatoid arthritis, not the best of pals of mine !!! You have my every sympathy x

LyndaKenny profile image
LyndaKenny in reply to Lizzy-m

Lizzy maybe we should both have gin and to hell with it ha ha ha. I've only been on my methotrexate three weeks and as yet nothing's changed, no improvement etc. Maybe getting plastered would make me feel good if only for a night lol

Lizzy-m profile image
Lizzy-m in reply to LyndaKenny

DONT TEMPT ME !!!! 😂😂😂😂😂😂

Hobbledehoy profile image
Hobbledehoy in reply to Lizzy-m

Ask your rheumatologist nurse or doctor if you might have Quinine Sulphate for this. I already take magnesium etc and my dr. is giving me the Q.S,. SO FAR, I hope he continues! Good luck.

I used to get bad cramps too in both shins when it all started before I was diagnosed with RA, been on methotrexate for 5 years now and thankfully in remission and no more bad cramps

LyndaKenny profile image
LyndaKenny in reply to pool0009

That's great to hear , I hope you stay that way too.

pool0009 profile image
pool0009 in reply to LyndaKenny

Thanks, I hope so too

I read on The Peoples Pharmacy that a tablespoon of mustard, any kind of mustard works. I am on methotrexate and have been have foot and shin cramps in the middle of the night. I take the mustard and it goes away in about a minute. I also take magnesium. I started taking the magnesium and mustard before bed and I sleep through the night. Athletes take mustard for cramps so there must be something to it. Good luck!

Thank you. I didnt know about the mustard. Its not a favourite though ha ha. I will give it a go though

Thanks for that - but, Cor! it sounds awful! How do you take it, just a gurt spoonful from the jar..?

You're welcome! I use the Dijon mustard. You might try honey mustard. If you can, get organic. Good luck!

Not sure whether cramps are a consequence of RA ( diagnosed with RA 20 years ago ) - experienced cramps about 2 years ago,mainly at night .Tried tonic water ( useless) , neurologist prescribed gabapentin which I take at a low dose . Too many meds so did not want to increase . However can recommend magnesium spray from well known chemist ( not Boots) - To lower leg 5 sprays - foot 5 sprays . 10 each leg . Magic - no more cramps ! It can dry the skin a little so moisturise .

My tip for the day 😊

LyndaKenny profile image
LyndaKenny in reply to MAHGS

Thank you - taking magnesium seems to have worked for me

This may or may not help. I recently have been suffering very severe calf cramps when waking up or walking, the GP changed the statin brand I was taking, they have almost gone, just the occasional walk too far now causes cramp, I can live with that. It is a known side effect but one I never checked up in the BNF as statins are so commonly used.

I can't find cramp as a listed contra indication (side effect) in the BNF for Methotrexate.

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