How to tell nocturnal leg cramps from restless leg syndrome

The first evidence-based criteria for diagnosing nocturnal leg cramps has been put together by Dutch researchers.

Leg cramps occur in up to a third of adults older than 50, the team says, but there’s no consensus on how to differentiate them from other conditions such as restless leg syndrome (RLS) and idiopathic periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD).

The researchers conducted a systematic review, including eight randomised trials and 10 observational studies covering 36,000 patients.

They identified characteristics of nocturnal leg cramps among patients older