When are severe leg cramps serious?

I have severe leg cramps in my lower legs (side of the leg, above the ankle, radiating to the mid calf) when I walk for any distance beyond two blocks. Stretching before walking hasn’t helped, nor has a new pair of shoes. The cramps dissipate after several minutes at rest. I love being outdoors and would love to have walking as part of my exercise regimen. Can you help?

Please see your doctor! While your leg cramps may be muscular, what you are describing sounds like intermittent claudication.

Intermittent claudication is caused by insufficient blood flow in your lower extremities. It is often a sign of cardiovascular disease. The fact that stretching does not help, but rest does, is typical of this problem. I would encourage you to see your doctor and find out. Take care.

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