Heat cramps

Revision as of 01:10, 26 August 2015 by Kghaffarian (talk | contribs)


  • Painful, involuntary, spasmodic contractions of skeletal muscles
    • Usually affects calves, may involve thighs and shoulders
  • Occurs to those who sweat profusely and replace fluid losses with water
    • May occur during exercise, but more common during rest several hours later
  • Typically does not involve enough muscle mass to cause rhabdomyolysis

Differential Diagnosis

Environmental heat diagnoses


  • Self-limited
  • Pain is difficult to treat
    • Often does not respond to opiates alone
  • Mild symptoms: sports drinks
  • Severe symptoms: IV normal saline

See Also


Waters T. Heat Emergencies In: Tintinalli's Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide. 7th ed. McGraw Hill Medical. 2011: 1339-1344