FAQ: What Is A Charley Horse In The Leg?

What causes charley horses in legs?

Overuse of a muscle, dehydration, muscle strain or simply holding a position for a prolonged period can cause a muscle cramp. In many cases, however, the cause isn’t known. Although most muscle cramps are harmless, some may be related to an underlying medical condition, such as: Inadequate blood supply.

What causes Charlie horses in your legs at night?

Leg cramps at night, or nocturnal leg cramps, are common and can occur due to inactivity during the day, tired muscles, or certain medical conditions. Leg cramps, also called charley horses, are uncontrolled spasms in the muscles of the leg that may be painful.

What are you lacking when you get charley horses?

A mineral deficiency or an imbalance of electrolytes such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, and sodium is also likely to increase one’s odds of getting a charley horse.

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What happens to your leg when you get a charley horse?

A charley horse happens when muscles suddenly cramp or tighten, resulting in pain. The condition most typically happens in the calf muscle at the back of the lower leg. The sudden and uncontrollable spasm can often be brief, but it can last for several minutes or up to 10 minutes.

Can a charley horse hurt for days?

If the contracting muscles don’t relax for several seconds or more, the pain can be severe. Severe charley horses can result in muscle soreness that lasts anywhere from a few hours to a day. This is normal, so long as the pain isn’t prolonged or recurring.

Should you rub a charley horse?

Poor diet, dehydration, and use of medications such as diuretics can all be associated with mineral depletion. A charley horse will usually go away after a few hours or days. However, gentle massage or holding the muscle in a stretched position will help resolve the cramp more quickly.

What is your body lacking when you have leg cramps?

If you have frequent leg cramps, one reason could be that your body needs more of the mineral magnesium. A 2017 study reported that up to two-thirds of the American population is magnesium deficient. Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and is essential for regulating your body’s functioning.

When should I worry about leg pain?

Call for immediate medical help or go to an emergency room if you: Have a leg injury with a deep cut or exposed bone or tendon. Are unable to walk or put weight on your leg. Have pain, swelling, redness or warmth in your calf.

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What is the best home remedy for leg cramps?

Apply heat or cold. Use a warm towel or heating pad on tense or tight muscles. Taking a warm bath or directing the stream of a hot shower onto the cramped muscle also can help. Alternatively, massaging the cramped muscle with ice may relieve pain.

What can I eat to stop Charlie horses?

Here are 12 foods that may help with muscle cramps.

  1. Avocado. Avocados are creamy, delicious fruits that are packed with nutrients that may help prevent muscle cramps.
  2. Watermelon. One possible cause of muscle cramps is dehydration.
  3. Coconut water.
  4. Sweet potato.
  5. Greek yogurt.
  6. Bone broth.
  7. Papaya.
  8. Beet greens.

What Vitamin Are you lacking if you get Charlie horses?

Step 1: Get plenty of vitamin D-3, magnesium, potassium, and calcium (get tested for your blood levels of these and iron, too). Deficiencies are linked to cramping. From food and supplements aim for: –1,000 IU of D-3 daily.

How do you stop Charlie horses at night?

Some simple things you might keep you from getting cramps:

  1. Stretch during the day and before bed. Focus on your calf and foot muscles.
  2. Drink plenty of water.
  3. Move around during the day to exercise your feet and legs.
  4. Wear comfortable, supportive shoes.
  5. Sleep under loose covers, especially if you sleep on your back.

Why is a charley horse so painful?

The extreme pain comes from the continued contraction. “The contraction goes beyond what you want to do,” said Porter. “The muscle fatigues, it starts hurting, you say, ‘all right stop,’ but it’s doing it on its own — it’s not your idea, it’s an involuntary action.”

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Can a charley horse cause damage?

Most people know the pain of a muscle cramp or “charley horse.” Muscle cramps are involuntary muscle contractions. They are common. But even though they can be quite painful, they don’t usually cause damage.

Can a charley horse cause a blood clot?

Several of the above situations that trigger a Charlie Horse may also increase risk of blood clot development, especially dehydration and inadequate blood flow, such as remaining sedentary for long periods of time.

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