I was having cramps and tightness in my shins and lower legs on a frequent basis. They were starting to interrupt my sleep and were even becoming a problem when I was sitting in the evening, trying to watch Wimbledon!
So I went to my Doctor. The tightness and crampy feelings moved up and down my legs, so I found it hard to describe them to her. The Doctor took various blood tests which did not indicate any cause, so she suggested I try physiotherapy.
I made an appointment to see Amy at McNaughton Physiogrange, who asked me about my symptoms and when I was getting them. She then asked me to bend forward, to the side and backwards to see how I moved. She then examined my lower back (not my legs!), but explained that it sounded like the feelings in my legs were nerve pain, and that often came from the lower back. The nerves could also cause the muscles to cramp. She advised that the muscles in my back and the joints at the base of my spine felt very stiff, although I had not noticed any pain or problems in my back itself.
Amy manipulated and massaged my back, and I could certainly feel less tension in my back and legs when she had finished. She then gave me exercises to do at home, which would help tightness in my back. She explained that my back might be a bit stiff after the session, but to use a heat pad or hot water bottle to help. I did this and found it helped the tightness in my legs too. I did the exercises, which only took 5 to 10 minutes twice a day, and found they helped with the stiffness in my back and the leg tightness. I could sleep better at night and was not bothered by the cramp so much. I kept doing the exercises, and had a few more sessions where Amy manipulated my back. The cramp is now gone and my legs feel much better. If I do too much bending or lifting, I can still get some tingling, but I keep doing the exercises and know I can go back to Amy to loosen my back if I need to.