What Cause Charlie Horse In Calf? (Solution found)

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.

How do you get rid of a charley horse in your calf?

Massage, a bath with Epsom salts, or a heating pad can relax the muscle. To fight pain, use an ice pack or take an over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen or naproxen. In most cases, the charley horse will stop within a few minutes.

What deficiency causes Charlie 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. Electrolytes are certain minerals that play an important role in muscle function.

Can a charlie horse be serious?

A charley horse or leg cramp is a common problem and does not usually indicate a serious health problem. Nevertheless, a charley horse can sometimes result from a medication or health condition.

Can dehydration cause charley horse in calf?

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 foods trigger leg cramps?

WHAT FOODS CAN CAUSE MUSCLE CRAMPS?

  • Refined carbs like white bread are devoid of nutrients.
  • Excessive red meat consumption is bad due to nitrates.
  • Fast food is full of trans fats.
  • Foods with refined sugar such as packaged muffins are full of artificial ingredients.
  • Salty foods can wreak havoc on the body.

Do bananas help charley horses?

You probably know that bananas are a good source of potassium. But they’ll also give you magnesium and calcium. That’s three out of four nutrients you need to ease muscle cramps tucked under that yellow peel. No wonder bananas are a popular, quick choice for cramp relief.

What’s the difference between a Charlie horse and a cramp?

A sustained muscle spasm is called a muscle cramp. Leg muscles, especially the quadriceps (thigh), hamstrings (back of thigh), and gastrocnemius (calves), are most likely to cramp, but any skeletal muscle in the body can cramp. A “charley horse” is another name for a muscle cramp.

What is the best vitamin for leg cramps?

A significant body of research has found that increasing your magnesium intake can help with the frequency of night time leg cramps, especially for pregnant women. Health experts recommend getting at least 300 milligrams of magnesium each day.

What can I drink for leg cramps?

Drink Water Dehydration often plays a part in muscle cramps, so drinking enough water throughout the day can help keep them at bay. Drinking fluids while you have a cramp helps the muscles contract and relax. When you keep hydrated, your muscle cells also stay hydrated and are less irritable or uncomfortable.

Why do I get cramps in my calves?

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.

Can nerve damage cause charley horses?

In some cases, repeated charley horses can be the result of nerve issues, which can be diagnosed with an MRI scan. If you experience muscle spasms frequently, they may be a symptom of an underlying health condition such as: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease)

What deficiency causes muscle cramps?

Common signs of magnesium deficiency include muscle twitches, tremors, and cramps.

How do you stop Charlie horses while sleeping?

Nocturnal Leg Cramp Prevention

  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.

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.

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.”

Charley Horse

Charley horse (also known as Acharley) is a muscle spasm, which occurs when a muscle contracts up on its own without any external stimulus. Muscle cramps can occur anywhere on your body at any time. They’re rather frequent in the legs.

Charley Horse Causes

Among the things that might set off a charley horse are:

  • Excessive muscular contractions due to poor blood supply Notstretchingenough
  • Involvement in physical activities in hot heat
  • Dehydration
  • A deficiency in magnesium and/or potassium in your diet A spinal cord injury or a pinched nerve in your neck or back are examples of such problems. Diabetic nephropathy

Muscle cramps are also a side effect of various medications, such as those listed below:

  • Diuretics (often known as “water pills”) are medications that remove fluid from your body, such as furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide), and others. It is used to treat Alzheimer’s disease. Donepezil (Aricept) is a medication. Neostigmine (Prostigmine), which is used to treat myasthenia gravis
  • Nifedipine (Procardia), which is used to treat angina and excessive blood pressure
  • And other medications. Raloxifene (Evista), a drug used to treat osteoporosis. Medications for asthma, include terbutaline (Brethine) and albuterol (Proventil, Ventolin)
  • Tolcapone (Tasmar), which is used to treat Parkinson’s disease. cholesterol-lowering statins such as atorvastatin (Lipitor), fluvastatin (Lescol), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), rosuvastatin (Crestor), or simvastatin (Zocor)
  • Statins for diabetes
  • Statins for high blood pressure

Charley Horse Risk Factors

Certain persons are more prone to getting charley horses than others:

  • Overweight or obese people over the age of 50
  • Athletes, pregnant women, and pregnant women Those who suffer from illnesses such as diabetes, thyroid, liver, or nervous system problems

Charley Horse Diagnosis

There is no need to visit your doctor unless you have a charley horse in addition to one of the following conditions:

  • A feeling of weakness or numbness
  • Vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive perspiration (which might result in dehydration)
  • Overindulging in alcoholic beverages

Your symptoms and medical history will be discussed with you by your doctor. They’ll also do a physical examination. They may conduct blood tests, muscle testing, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies to rule out a medical issue that is causing the cramping.

Charley Horse Treatment

If you get a charley horse in your calf or in the back of your thigh (hamstring), place your weight on the afflicted leg and gently bend your knees to relieve the discomfort. Alternatively, you can sit or lie down with your leg out straight and lift the top of your foot towards your head. Holding on to a chair while bending the knee of the afflicted leg will relieve a cramp in the front of your thigh (quadriceps). Pulling your foot up near your buttock will help you feel more comfortable. Massage, an Epsom salt bath, or the use of a heating pad can all help to relax the muscle.

Most of the time, the charley horse will come to a halt within a few minutes.

Charley Horse Prevention

Preventing cramps from occurring in the first place:

  • Eat more meals that are high in vitamin C and magnesium
  • Drink plenty of water
  • And stretch before and after exercise. Stretching before exercise can assist to prevent tense muscles throughout the workout session. Cramping caused by other factors can be alleviated by daily stretching.
  • Put on a pair of comfy shoes. Limit the amount of alcoholic beverages you consume
  • Increase your physical activity gradually rather than all at once. Don’t exercise straight after eating
  • Don’t smoke
  • Don’t drink alcohol right after eating.

Charley Horse: Causes, Risks, and Treatments

We feature goods that we believe will be of interest to our readers. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of the links on this page, we may receive a small commission. Here’s how we went about it. What is a charley horse and how does it work? Amuscle spasm is referred to as “charley horse” in some circles. Charlie horses may affect any muscle, although they are most commonly found in the legs and thighs. These spasms are characterized by uncomfortably tight muscular contractions in the affected area.

When charley horses are severe, they can cause muscular discomfort that can last anywhere from a few hours to a day.

Charley horses are often curable at home, especially if they occur on a regular basis and are mild.

Your doctor can assist you in determining the source of your recurring charley horses.

Additionally, you can put treatments and preventative measures in place to improve your comfort. Cramping or spasming of a muscle can be caused by a variety of circumstances. The following are the most typical causes:

  • Exercising in extreme heat or cold, overusing a specific muscle during exercise, and tension (which is most commonly felt in the neck muscles) are all possible causes of muscle injuries. not warming up before a workout session
  • Dehydration
  • Using diuretics, which can cause low potassium levels
  • Mineral depletion, or having too little calcium, potassium, and sodium in the blood
  • Nerve compression in the spine

Numerous people report having charley horses during their sleeping hours and being roused as a result of them. Muscle spasms that create charley horses as you sleep are a typical occurrence in the population. However, the exact reason for the occurrence of these evening spams is still a mystery. It is considered that laying in an uncomfortable position in bed for an extended period of time contributes to this condition. Muscle spasms can occur at any age and in any situation. As well as occurring at any time of day or night, a charley horse can occur at any location.

  • Athletes, newborns, elderly persons, those who are obese, people who are taking certain medications such as diuretics, raloxifene (Evista), orstatin treatments, and people who smoke are just a few examples of who should avoid smoking.

Because of poor circulation in their legs, people who are fat are more prone to develop charley horses than other people. Athletesoften suffers from charley horses as a result of muscular exhaustion or excessive usage. The occurrence of the odd charley horse does not necessitate a formal medical diagnosis. Your doctor, on the other hand, should look into the frequency and recurrence of muscular spasms. This would apply if a charley horse appeared more than once a week without a satisfactory explanation for the occurrences.

  • In order to determine whether nerve compression is the source of repeated charley horses, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans may be performed.
  • It may also be necessary to do laboratory tests to rule out the presence of low potassium, calcium, or magnesium levels.
  • The therapy for charley horses is determined on the underlying cause of the problem.
  • Heating pads can assist to speed up the process of relaxing, while an ice pack can aid to dull the discomfort.
  • A more forceful approach is required for recurrent charley horses.
  • In extreme circumstances, your doctor may prescribe an antispasmodic medicine to alleviate the symptoms.
  • In extreme circumstances, your doctor may recommend that you have surgery performed.
  • If your spasms are caused by nerve compression, this may be of assistance.
  • In order to ease the discomfort associated with a charley horse, you can apply pressure to the region of the cramp with your hands during the procedure.

You may also try applying pressure to the spot of the cramp with both of your thumbs, gradually increasing the pressure until the pain subsides. If you have a charley horse in your leg, you can try the following stretches to see if they help to alleviate the discomfort:

  • Standing up and lunging forward on the front leg of the leg that is not experiencing muscular cramping
  • Straightening the back of the leg that is experiencing the cramp and lunging forward on the rear leg of the leg that is experiencing the cramp

For a few seconds, you can also stand on the tips of your toes in order to stretch out your calf muscles. The symptoms of the occasional charley horse are often straightforward to avoid after the underlying cause has been identified and addressed. Take the following actions to reduce your risk of future muscle spasms:

  • You may also stretch your calf muscles by standing on the tips of your toes for a few seconds. The symptoms of the occasional charley horse are often straightforward to prevent after the underlying cause has been identified and addressed. Consider taking the following strategies to reduce your risk of future muscle spasms:

A frequent occurrence, Charley horses can arise in any muscle and at any moment. They’re typically curable, and in certain cases, they can even be prevented. Pain induced by a spasm is usually temporary, lasting no more than a day or two. However, if you are experiencing charley horses on a regular basis, you should consult your doctor about possible remedies.

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Charley horse : MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

A charley horse is a term used to describe a muscular spasm or cramp in general. Muscle spasms can occur in any muscle in the body, although they are most frequently experienced in the leg muscles. When a muscle is in spasm, it contracts and does not relax, despite your efforts to regulate it. Muscle spasms are common when a muscle is overworked or damaged, and they are painful. A muscular spasm can be triggered by a variety of factors, including:

  • Taking part in physical activity while you haven’t had enough fluids (you’re dehydrated)
  • Having low mineral concentrations, such as potassium or calcium

Some spasms arise as a result of irritation to the nerve that links a muscle to another muscle. As an illustration, consider the case of a herniated disk that produces irritation of the spinal nerves, as well as discomfort and spasm in the back muscles. Spasms in the calf are common during swimming or running and occur when the leg is kicked. They can also occur during the night while you are sleeping. Upper leg spasms are more likely when participating in sports such as running or leaping. Stress can cause spasms in the neck (cervical spine), which can be painful.

  • It is referred to as a knot in some circles.
  • Muscle spasms are diagnosed by looking for tight or firm muscles that are painful to the touch, as indicated by your health care practitioner.
  • A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan may be useful in determining whether or not the spasm is caused by nerve irritation, such as that in the back.
  • At first, heat will help to relax the muscle.
  • If the muscle is still uncomfortable after applying heat and ice, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) can be used to alleviate the discomfort.
  • After you’ve been treated, your healthcare professional should investigate the origin of the spasm to ensure that it doesn’t recur.
  • If you exercise and consume water or sports drinks, it might assist to alleviate cramps caused by dehydration.
  • Muscle spasms will subside over time as a result of rest and relaxation.
  • Spasms can be prevented from happening on a regular basis by learning how to exercise effectively with the necessary training and adequate hydration intake.

If the spasm was triggered by an inflamed nerve, you may require further therapy. The outcomes of these therapies might be unpredictable. If any of the following apply, contact your service provider:

  • You’re suffering from a severe muscular spasm and terrible agony. You are experiencing weakness as a result of your muscular spasm. You are experiencing a muscular spasm that will not quit and is spreading to other places of your body

Your physician can assist you in changing your exercise regimen to lessen the likelihood of future spasms, even if they are not severe at the time. Among the things you may take to reduce your chances of getting muscular cramps are the following:

  • Flexibility exercises can help you become more flexible
  • Changing up your routines can help you stay within your capabilities
  • Increase your potassium intake and drink lots of water when you’re working out. Fruits such as orange juice and bananas are excellent sources of potassium.

Geiderman JM, Katz D. General concepts of orthopedic injuries. New York: Springer-Verlag, 1989. Walls RM, Hockberger RS, and Gausche-Hill M (eds.). In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, and Gausche-Hill M (eds.). Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice (Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice). Elsevier, 9th edition, Philadelphia, PA, 2018:chap 42. D. Wang, C. Eliasberg, and S. A. Rodeo. The physiology and pathology of the musculoskeletal tissues are covered in detail.

Elsevier, Philadelphia, PA, 2020:chap 1 of the 5th edition.

Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, University of Washington Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, provided the most recent update.

Editorial staff examined the manuscript for accuracy.

Muscle Cramps

Charley horse is another name for this animal. On this page, you will find

See, Play and Learn

When you get a muscle cramp, it means that one or more of your muscles clench or spasm suddenly and without warning. They are quite prevalent and frequently arise as a result of physical activity. Muscle cramps, particularly leg cramps, can be a problem for certain people at night. They can be uncomfortable and can last anywhere from a few seconds to many minutes. Cramping can occur in any muscle, although it occurs most frequently in the following:

What causes muscle cramps?

Muscle cramps can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Overexerting or overstretching a muscle. This is the most prevalent reason for the problem. If you suffer from a spinal cord injury or a pinched nerve in your neck or back, you may experience compression of your nerves. Dehydration
  • Elevated amounts of electrolytes (e.g., magnesium, potassium, and calcium)
  • There is insufficient blood flow to your muscles
  • Pregnancy, certain medications, and other factors Gettingdialysis

Muscle cramps can have a variety of causes, some of which are unknown.

Who is at risk for muscle cramps?

Muscle cramps can occur in everyone, however they are more prevalent in certain individuals:

  • Athletes
  • People over the age of 50
  • Those who are overweight Women who are pregnant
  • Those who have specific medical issues, such as thyroid and nervous system abnormalities

When do I need to see a health care provider for muscle cramps?

Muscle cramps are normally mild and disappear after a few minutes of occurrence. However, you should consult your health-care practitioner if you have the following symptoms:

  • Are really harsh
  • This occurs on a regular basis
  • Stretching and consuming plenty of water will not help you feel better
  • Last for a lengthy period of time
  • These symptoms are accompanied by swelling, redness, or a warm sensation
  • These symptoms are accompanied by muscular weakness.

What are the treatments for muscle cramps?

Muscle cramps are typically not serious and do not require medical attention. You may be able to get some relief from cramps if you do the following:

  • Using gentle stretching or massage motions to relax the muscle Applying heat when a muscle is tight and ice when a muscle is painful will help to relieve the pain. If you are dehydrated, you should drink extra water.

If the cramps are caused by another medical condition, addressing that condition will most likely alleviate them. When it comes to cramp prevention, there are medications available that are occasionally prescribed by doctors, but they are not always helpful and may have negative effects. Consult with your healthcare practitioner about the risks and advantages of taking medications.

Can muscle cramps be prevented?

You may avoid muscular cramps by doing the following:

  • Stretch your muscles, especially before you engage in strenuous activity. If you get leg cramps at night on a regular basis, stretch your leg muscles before bed and drink lots of water. Using sports drinks can help you replenish electrolytes if you engage in strenuous exercise or exercise in hot weather

Charley horse: Causes, symptoms, remedies, and more

A charley horse is a muscular spasm that occurs suddenly and is extremely painful. It is more common after physical activity and at night. A calf muscle strain is most usually associated with lower leg pain, although it can also manifest itself in the foot and, on rare occasions, the thigh. These muscular spasms may also be experienced by pregnant women and persons suffering from certain medical disorders. Leg cramps afflict around a third of the population over the age of 50.

According to a paper published in 2021, experts are unsure about the actual cause of muscular cramping. This is due in part to the fact that muscular cramps can occur for a variety of causes. Muscle cramps can be caused by a variety of factors, including the following:

  • Nocturnal leg cramps may be caused by vigorous daily exercise, electrolyte imbalances, or the use of certain drugs
  • Nevertheless, there is no definitive cause for them. Muscle cramps during pregnancy can be caused by a variety of factors, including weight growth, blood flow disturbance, and peripheral nerve compression. Cramping can occur during or after exercise due to a variety of factors including neurological changes, dehydration, and electrolyte imbalances, particularly in the arms and legs.

Crampings, particularly those that afflict the leg, are referred to as “charley horses.” Despite the fact that some individuals use the term “charley horse” to describe muscular spasms or twitches, these are two very distinct events. In general, clinicians understand the need of distinguishing between cramps and other disorders that appear to be the same as cramps, such as the following:

  • Dystonia is a movement condition characterized by involuntary movements
  • Myotonia is the process of muscles tensing, which includes both voluntarily flexing and involuntarily contracting
  • And dystonia is a movement disorder characterized by involuntary movements. Tetany, which is an electrolyte imbalance caused by low calcium levels
  • Myalgia, which is muscular soreness

Scientists have determined that a charley horse arises when muscles abruptly spasm or constrict, resulting in pain and discomfort. The ailment most commonly affects the calf muscle, which is located towards the rear of the lower leg. The abrupt and uncontrolled spasm is usually short, but it can linger for up to ten minutes in certain cases. The majority of people have unpleasant muscular contractions that do not result in long-term difficulties. Others, on the other hand, may have excruciating agony and suffering that lasts for several days.

Painful leg cramps, for example, might make it more difficult to move about and get around.

Additionally, the timing of a cramp might have an impact on its significance.

According to an analysis published in 2021, there are various risk factors for leg cramps:

  • Being above the age of 60: A total of 37 percent of Americans over the age of 60 suffer from nocturnal leg cramps
  • Being pregnant entails a number of changes. Cramping of the muscles occurs in around 50% of pregnant women, especially at night. If you have chronic renal failure, you may have the following symptoms: People suffering from chronic renal failure account for around 50% of the population. Muscle cramps, particularly in the legs, are experienced
  • Having amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) means you have the following symptoms: Muscle cramps are common in people with ALS, with a 95 percent risk of having them. Having diabetes is a medical condition. Muscle cramps are experienced by around 60% of persons with type 1 diabetes. The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is around 80% in the general population.

Acute calf discomfort can occur for a variety of reasons that are unrelated to cramping. These are some examples:

  • Trauma, deep vein thrombosis, a burst Baker’s cyst, to name a few conditions.

Following a review of publications published in 2017, researchers discovered that the following categories of sickness are frequently associated with leg cramps:

  • A number of diseases and treatments are available for cardiovascular diseases, including coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, and uremia
  • Neurological conditions such as motor neuron disease and polio
  • And musculoskeletal problems such as arthritis. Metabolic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, liver disease, and thyroid dysfunction are also available.

Drugs and muscle cramps

Leg cramps are a common side effect of several medications. Staminoids, which assist decrease cholesterol levels, and diuretics, which help lower blood pressure levels, are examples of such medications. Some stimulants, such as amphetamines and caffeine, may also cause a charley horse or a leg cramp if taken in large quantities. Anyone who experiences leg cramps after taking prescription medications should consult with a doctor or pharmacist, who can provide advice on whether or not the medicine should be changed.

When the frequency or severity of muscular cramping increases, it is important to see a doctor since it might indicate an underlying condition that needs to be addressed.

  • It is important to know what the cramping feels like and where it occurs
  • When and how often the cramps occur
  • How severe the cramps are
  • Whether they have started recently
  • The person’s exercise habits
  • Whether the person has any other symptoms, medical problems, or is taking any medications
  • And whether the person is pregnant.

According to the 2021 study, a doctor may also instruct the patient to conduct stretches around the area afflicted by cramps or to move muscles in the surrounding area. This information can assist the doctor in determining the likely reason. In accordance with current research, quinine appears to be the only medicine that can help lower the intensity and frequency of leg cramps.

Doctors, on the other hand, are reluctant to suggest this medication since its usefulness is questionable, despite the possibility of major adverse effects. When a person is suffering from a charley horse, the following actions may be of assistance in alleviating their symptoms:

  1. Standing or moving the leg or foot will help to gently stretch out the muscle. Pulling the toes and the foot up and to the front of the leg should be firm but not harsh. Continue to perform these exercises until the cramping subsides and disappears.
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A massage of the tight muscle has been shown to be effective by some persons. Depending on whether there are evidence of an underlying disease that may be causing the cramping, a doctor may recommend more tests. If a person is taking a medication that increases the likelihood of cramping, a doctor may decide to modify the medication or the dosage. A person may want to attempt the following methods to avoid getting a charley horse or a muscular cramp:

  • Leaving enough time between eating and exercising
  • Warming up before and after exercise by gently stretching muscles
  • Drinking fluids and eating a small amount of food after exercise to replace fluid and minerals lost during exercise
  • Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water at all times
  • Avoiding caffeine and other stimulants Keeping an eye out for any potential adverse effects of prescription medicines

A number of individuals take magnesium supplements to try to ease muscle cramps. However, evidence shows that magnesium supplements are ineffective in alleviating either pregnancy-related leg cramps or nocturnal leg cramps in women. Changes that may be beneficial, despite the lack of scientific evidence to support them, include the following:

  • The use of relaxation techniques such as massage and heat treatment, as well as the use of alternative footwear, are all recommended. for people who lead a physically inactive existence, physical activity

Although the exact origin of the phrase is unknown, sources claim that the term charley horse, which is used to describe a muscular cramp, dates back to casual American athletic discourse that began in the 1880s and continues today. One explanation holds that the name originated from a baseball player who was referring to a lame horse. Horses were formerly employed to assist with groundskeeping duties in baseball. The name was allegedly derived from a baseball player named Charley, who had muscular cramps while pitching during a game in 1880, according to a tale that published in the Washington Post in 1907.

A charley horse, often known as a leg cramp, is a frequent ailment that does not generally signal the presence of a major medical condition.

Charley horse can be difficult to cure or avoid, with the exception of warming up before physical activity and staying hydrated throughout the process.

Leg cramps at night: Causes, risk factors, and how to stop them

Leg cramps at night, also known as nocturnal leg cramps, are a typical occurrence that can be caused by inactivity during the day, fatigued muscles, or a variety of medical issues. Leg cramps, often known as charley horses, are uncontrollable spasms in the muscles of the leg that may be extremely painful if not treated immediately. Muscle cramps are most commonly found in the calf muscles, however they can also be found in the thighs or foot. Simple stretches can often alleviate the pain of constricted muscles in the short term.

  • Anyone who suffers from leg cramps on a frequent basis should contact a doctor for a proper diagnosis.
  • According to a survey published in the American Family Physician, leg cramps can affect as many as 60% of adults and 7% of children during night time.
  • Because of the tensing of the muscle, it causes discomfort or moderate to severe pain and stiffness in the affected region.
  • They have the potential to interrupt sleep and alter a person’s sleep cycle, causing them to feel weary or sluggish the following day.
  • A common misconception is that nocturnal leg cramps are the same as restless leg syndrome.
  • According to research, taking mineral supplements, such as calcium, magnesium, or vitamin B-12, may not be effective in relieving leg cramps at night in the majority of people.

Leg cramps throughout the night can be caused by a variety of conditions, and the following sections describe some of the most common causes and risk factors for experiencing them.

Tired muscles

According to a review of the studies on nocturnal leg cramps, the existing evidence reveals that muscular exhaustion is the most likely cause. Athletes are more prone than the general public to have leg cramps after engaging in intense physical exercise. Some people may have greater cramping later in the day if they overexert themselves, such as by exercising their muscles very vigorously for an extended period of time. Standing for lengthy amounts of time during the day, as is typical in many occupations, can cause muscular tiredness.

Inactivity during the day

Pin it to your Pinterest board. Leg cramps may be more likely to occur at night if a person has been idle for an extended amount of time during the day. According to another widely accepted idea, sitting for a lengthy amount of time, such as while working at a desk, may cause the muscles to shorten over time. This physical inactivity, especially when a person has not stretched their muscles for a long period of time, may raise the chance of cramps, which can occur most frequently at night when a person is sleeping.

People who are less physically active may have shorter muscles, which might increase the likelihood of cramping or spasms.

Body position

Cramping can occur when you sit or lie in a certain posture that restricts mobility or blood flow to the legs, such as resting one leg on the other or crossing your legs in front of you. People who suffer from midnight leg cramps may want to try with sleeping in more stretched-out postures to see whether this alleviates their symptoms.

Older age

It is possible that as people grow older, they will have more leg cramps at night. According to an analysis published in the journalBMC Family Practicenotes, up to 33 percent of persons over the age of 50 suffer with severe nocturnal leg cramps on a regular basis.

Pregnancy

There may also be a relationship between pregnancy and leg cramps throughout the nighttime hours. It is possible that this is related to the higher dietary needs or hormonal changes that occur in the body while pregnant.

A side effect of medication

Muscle cramping is a common adverse effect of several prescription drugs. There are just a few of them that are directly linked to leg cramps, however there are others, including:

  • Intermittent intravenous iron sucrose administration
  • Naproxen
  • Teriparatide (Forteo) administration
  • Raloxifene administration
  • Levalbuterol administration (Xopenex)
  • Albuterol/ipratropium administration (Combivent)
  • Conjugated estrogens administration
  • Pregabalin administration (Lyrica) administration

Medical conditions

Some chronic medical disorders, such as the following, may increase a person’s chance of developing persistent leg cramps:

  • Cardiovascular illness, diabetes, alcohol use disorder, renal failure, liver failure, lumbar canal stenosis, flat feet, hypothyroidism, osteoarthritis, nerve injury, and nerve diseases are all possibilities.

Anyone who believes that one of these disorders may be the source of their leg cramps should consult with a doctor for further information or help on how to treat them. Leg cramps that occur in the middle of the night should be treated as soon as they arise to allow a person to obtain more sleep. Some viable home cures to try if you need relief right now are as follows:

  • Gently stretching out the muscle
  • Rubbing the region with your hands
  • Massaging the leg with a foam roller
  • Flexing and unflexing the foot to assist in stretching the leg muscles
  • Providing heat to a particular region

The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or aspirin to relieve cramps will not be effective since cramps are not associated with inflammation.

It may assist to alleviate the discomfort associated with a cramp, but it will not treat the cramps themselves. A variety of drugs, including the following, may be prescribed by doctors to treat persistent leg cramps.

  • Carisoprodol (Soma)
  • Gabipentin
  • Diltiazem
  • Verapamil
  • Orphenadrine
  • Carisoprodol (Soma)

A person should consult with a doctor in order to learn more about these medications and any potential adverse effects. Some people may find that preventing leg cramps on a long-term basis is the best solution, however this is not always achievable. Mild physical activity Some individuals believe that if they do some little workouts at the end of the day, they will not encounter as many cramps. Walking or riding a stationary bike for a few minutes before night are examples of activities that may be done to help you relax.

  • The consumption of fluids, particularly water, throughout the day can assist to prevent cramps by ensuring that the muscles are kept functioning properly.
  • When wearing more supportive shoes, some people may report that they experience less cramping as a result.
  • Pin it to your Pinterest board.
  • Leg cramps during the night may be quite unpleasant and might interfere with sleep.
  • In the same way, if the cramps extend to other muscles or become severe, individuals should consult a doctor for a more thorough evaluation.
  • Leg cramps that occur from time to time throughout the night are natural and typically do not warrant further investigation.
  • Anyone who has been having recurrent leg cramps at night for an extended length of time should consult with a doctor for a proper diagnosis.

Causes of Charley Horses: Symptoms and Treatment

15th of January, 2020 (updated) Charley horses, a painful muscle spasm in the leg or foot, can occur in people of all ages and walks of life, and they can be quite severe. Even worse, they can occur at any time of day or night, but it is usual to have muscular cramps when sleeping. There are specific habits and situations that have been associated with charley horses, and there are actions you may take to avoid them, despite the fact that they appear to develop randomly.

What Is a Charley Horse?

A charley horse is another name for a muscular spasm, which is a condition in which a muscle contracts and refuses to release. The muscles of the leg and foot are the most commonly affected by muscle spasms, which can occur in any muscle in the body.

During a muscle spasm, the muscle becomes rigid and tight to the touch, and it may be sensitive to the touch after it has occurred. After the spasm has subsided, the muscle may be painful for several hours or even several days thereafter.

Charley Horse Causes

While there is no definitive reason for charley horses, there are various conditions that increase the likelihood of their occurrence, including:

  • Overuse of the muscle: This is the most typical reason for muscular pain. Cramping or spasming can occur when a muscle is overworked, putting an additional demand on it. The loss of more water than your body is taking in, such as during exercise, might lead your body to become ill-equipped to perform its functions. It’s important to avoid exercising in extreme heat or cold conditions. Exercising in heat might make you more susceptible to dehydration, while exercising in cold weather may impair your body’s ability to warm up properly. Stress: When you are stressed, your muscles might get stiff, which can result in spasms. Cramping can be caused by poor blood flow or circulation. If not enough blood is getting to your muscles, this can result in cramping. Getting insufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals: Muscle spasms can be caused by a shortage of electrolytes (sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium). Standing or sitting for an extended period of time without moving can cause blood flow to the muscles to be reduced or stopped entirely. This can also happen when you’re sleeping
  • Nerves that are not working properly: Issues such as a spinal cord injury or a pinched nerve in the neck or back can cause signal interruption to the muscles. Among the drugs are: Diuretics (used to treat high blood pressure, heart failure, and kidney disease), nicotinic acid and statins (used to treat high cholesterol), raloxifene (used to prevent osteoporosis), and nifedipine (used to treat angina and Raynaud’s phenomenon) are all examples of medications that can cause cramps. In pregnancy, the added weight of the mother-to-be can place an additional pressure on the leg muscles. As a result of liver illness, toxic substances might build up in your system, causing muscular spasms. Muscle cramps can be caused by bacterial illnesses such as tetanus.

Who Is at Risk?

The following groups are at risk for muscular cramps and spasms:

  • Participants in athletic competitions
  • Those who are overweight or obese
  • Senior citizens
  • Expectant mothers
  • Individuals who have thyroid or nerve issues

How to Treat Charley Horses

Muscle spasms are usually self-resolving and do not require medical intervention. When they occur, you can attempt one of the following methods to assist alleviate the discomfort:

  • Heat should be applied throughout the cramping period and ice should be applied when it has passed. Lie down with your leg straight, elevate your foot, and bend your ankle so that your toes point toward your shin if you have a calf cramp. As a result, the damaged muscles move in the opposite direction of the constricted muscles, therefore relieving the tension
  • The muscle should be massaged
  • Drink plenty of fluids. If the discomfort persists after applying heat and ice, anti-inflammatory medications should be used.

Prevention is the most effective therapy for charley horses. You may take efforts to avoid them by doing the following:

  • Making sure you drink lots of water
  • Stretching before and after exercise, as well as before bed if you get cramps at night Consuming meals that are high in magnesium, potassium, and calcium Putting on shoes that are comfy and supportive
  • Changing the way you do your workouts
See also:  How To Stop A Charley Horse? (TOP 5 Tips)

Stretches to avoid charley horses are recommended by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).

  • Stretch your calf muscles by leaning forward with one leg in front of the other while holding both hands on a wall. Straighten your rear leg and press your heel firmly into the ground. Repeat on the other side. Your front knee will be bent at this point. Continue to hold for 15 to 30 seconds before switching to the other leg. Stretch your hamstrings by sitting tall and extending both legs straight in front of you while on the ground. Make a flat surface for your palms on the ground and glide them toward your ankles. Come to a complete stop when you feel the strain
  • In order to maintain balance and support, hang onto the wall or the back of a chair for support and stability. Grab the bottom of your foot and bend your leg backward, bringing your heel toward your buttocks. Maintain this position for 30 seconds by pulling your heel closer to your mid-section. Repeat the process with the opposite leg.

When to See a Doctor

Charley horses can be the consequence of nerve abnormalities in some people, which can be detected with an MRI scan in others. In the event that you have regular muscle spasms, they might be a sign of an underlying health issue such as:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, often known as Lou Gehrig’s illness)
  • Nerve loss
  • Hardening of the arteries
  • And other symptoms. Stenosis of the spine
  • Thyroiditis is a disorder of the thyroid gland. Infections
  • Hepatitis
  • Liver disease

Consult your doctor if your cramps include any of the following symptoms:

  • They occur often
  • Are really harsh
  • Don’t expect home therapy to solve your problem. Last for a lengthy period of time
  • Increase the likelihood that you may suffer edema, redness, or warmth in the affected region Muscle weakness is caused by this medication. The disease has spread to another portion of the body.

Shaun Eikenberry, MD, a primary care physician at Greater Pittsburgh Medical Associates-UPMC, advises patients who are suffering charley horses after taking a new drug to consult their doctor. “Charley horses can occasionally occur as a side effect of certain drugs that cause your electrolyte balance to shift. The most often prescribed drugs are diuretics (“water pills”), blood pressure meds, and heart medications.”

Sources

The National Library of Medicine of the United States Muscle cramps are a painful condition. Kevin C. Miller, PhD, ATC, CSCS, Marcus S. Stone, PhD, ATC, and Jeffrey E. Edwards, PhD, are the authors of this paper. Kevin C. Miller, PhD, ATC, CSCS Muscle cramps that occur as a result of exercise. Sports Medicine and Fitness. Muscle spasms, you’ve been defeated! The Harvard Health Publishing Company An acronym for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Muscle cramps are a painful condition.

Leg cramps are a painful condition.

Muscle spasms are a common problem.

AARP.

7 Ways to Prevent Night Leg Cramps (Charley Horses)

Have you ever gone to bed and woken up with a terrible leg cramp? If so, you are not alone. If you suffer from night leg cramps, also known as nocturnal leg cramps, it can be a living nightmare. Cavernous calf spasms and thigh cramps are characterized by rapid, unpleasant (and often severe) spasms in the calf muscles and thighs, but they can also affect your feet. They can happen when you are awake, although they happen the most frequently at night.

Causes for Nocturnal Leg Cramps

Despite the fact that night leg cramps are sometimes referred to as “charley horses,” there is no Charley and certainly no horse responsible for their occurrence. You might be wondering what might be prompting these unpleasant admonitions to get out of bed in the morning. According to Dr. Joyce Lee-Iannotti of Banner Health in Phoenix, Arizona, “No one really knows the exact cause of leg cramps at night, but there are some known factors that can increase your risk,” she said.

“No one really knows the exact cause of leg cramps at night, but there are some known factors that can increase your risk.” These considerations are as follows:

  • Your chronological age is: The prevalence of nocturnal leg cramps in those over the age of 50 is thought to be close to 60 percent. Pregnancy: This may arise as a result of increased weight and changes in circulation. Individuals suffering from renal and thyroid disorders, as well as those suffering from peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage in the legs), may have leg cramps. Medications that may be used include: Leg cramps may be exacerbated by some drugs, such as diuretics, blood pressure meds, or statins.

In addition, Dr. Lee-Iannotti stated that overexerting your muscles, sitting for extended periods of time without moving, dehydration, and standing and walking on hard surfaces all day are all risk factors for osteoporosis.

Could it be Restless Leg Syndrome?

Nighttime leg cramps are sometimes confused with another illness known as restless leg syndrome, or RLS, which causes tingling in the legs. Leg cramps, like restless leg syndrome, are most common while the person is at rest. Leg cramps, on the other hand, cause muscular tension, cramping, and discomfort, whereas muscle cramps do not. A odd and uncomfortable impulse to move your legs will occur while you are suffering from RLS in attempt to relieve discomfort, although there is typically no pain connected with it.

7 Ways to Relieve and Prevent Leg Cramps at Night

The good news is that, despite the fact that they can be quite painful, nocturnal leg cramps are seldom life-threatening. There are seven home treatments you may attempt to assist ease discomfort and perhaps avoid uncomfortable wake-up calls, but some of them may require a little of trial and error.

  • You should stretch your hamstring and calf muscles many times during the day and before night
  • Throughout the day, drink lots of water and keep an eye on your alcohol and caffeine intake
  • Mild workouts, like as walking or riding a stationary bike for a few minutes, can be done before bed to help you relax. Maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating properly, exercising regularly, and getting adequate sleep
  • Take a warm bath or shower to relieve tension in your muscles
  • Wearing supportive shoes with enough arch and ankle support is recommended. Keep your sheets and blankets free around your feet so that you are not constrained in your movements during the night.

“If none of these therapies work for you, and you are still experiencing severe continuous cramping that is interfering with your sleep and everyday activities, see your doctor,” Dr. Lee-Iannotti said. “Nocturnal leg cramps should not have a negative impact on your overall health.” Nocturnal leg cramps, often known as charley horses, can be a genuine nuisance, but don’t let them get the better of you. By visiting bannerhealth.com, you may speak with a Banner Health professional about your symptoms.

Why You Should Never Ignore Leg Cramps: Clement Banda, MD: Dermatologist

It happens to the best of us: we’re working out hard at the gym, finishing a walk around the block, or even sleeping like a baby when all of a sudden we’re bent over in excruciating leg agony that seems to come out of nowhere. Say hello to the discomfort of a leg cramp. A cramp, often known as a “charley horse,” happens when a muscle contracts without the person’s consent and is unable to release. Muscle cramps are most commonly experienced in the calves and thighs, although they can also occur in the hands and arms as well as the belly and feet.

Leg cramps can affect anybody, although they are most frequent in the very young and elderly, as well as in persons who are overweight or who are active in sports like running.

Dr.

Continue reading to find more about some of the causes of leg cramps.

Overuse and Dehydration

Overusing or straining the muscle is the most prevalent cause of muscular pain, with inadequate stretching before to usage also being a significant factor in many cases. Being dehydrated, whether as a result of working out in the heat or for other causes, can irritate muscle cells and result in cramping and other symptoms.

In most cases, self-treatment is sufficient, such as increased stretching (even before bed with or without mild exercise if leg cramps wake you) and making sure to drink enough fluids each day. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Medical Conditions and Medications

Leg cramps are more common during pregnancy, and certain medical diseases such as diabetes and nerve, thyroid, or liver problems can make them more often. Low electrolyte levels, such as potassium, magnesium, or calcium, can also make them more frequent. Aside from dialysis and certain drugs such as diuretics, painful muscular spasms can also be a side effect of dialysis. A compressed or pinched nerve in the back or neck can cause discomfort similar to that of a leg cramp, with the intensity of the agony rising as the distance walked increases.

Insufficient Blood Supply

Cramping in the legs can sometimes indicate the presence of something more serious, such as a lack of blood supply to the muscles. There are a variety of reasons why the free flow of blood may be obstructed, including: If you have arteriosclerosis, you may potentially experience complications. When you’re young and healthy, your arteries are elastic and flexible; but, as you become older, your arteries might become rigid, thick, and restricted. It is possible to suffer pain in your legs and feet when exercising due to the reduced ability of the blood to move through your arteries.

  1. There are, fortunately, remedies available for this condition.
  2. Banda often does a color duplex ultrasound to check the quality of your veins when he feels that your blood flow is impaired.
  3. Following a thorough examination of the data, Dr.
  4. As a last resort, he can conduct one of many minimally invasive treatments to correct the issue if the previous efforts are insufficient.
  5. To schedule an appointment with Dr.

Muscle Cramps (Charley Horse) Causes, Treatment & Symptoms

  • Anyone who has ever suffered from a muscular cramp (charley horse) can relate to the fact that it may be quite uncomfortable. Involuntary contraction of muscles that are unable to relax causes muscular cramping or spasming. Charlie horse is a word used to describe severe muscular cramps that occur in the leg, particularly when they occur in the lower leg
  • A cramp occurs most frequently in the skeletal muscles (the muscles over which we have voluntary control). The skeletal muscles of the calf, thigh, and arch of the foot are the most common sites of cramping
  • However, there are other locations as well. Cramps can be regarded as little twitches or as painfully painful squeezing sensations. Cramping is often characterized by an instantaneous, acute discomfort in the implicated muscle. When a muscle cramps, it feels harder to the touch than it should, and it may even exhibit obvious indications of twitching. The majority of cramps go on their own within a few seconds to minutes.

What causes a muscle cramp?

It is not understood what causes muscular cramps to develop in the first place. Inadequate stretching before exercise, exercising in high temperatures, and muscular exhaustion may all play a role in the development of these conditions. Muscle cramps can also be caused by an imbalance in the amounts of electrolytes (sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, and phosphate) in the blood. The onset of cramps might occur when you are resting, sleeping, or indulging in sports or other everyday activities.

Athletes are more likely to have muscular cramps at the start of a season, when their bodies are not yet completely conditioned to compete.

How do I stop or prevent muscle cramps?

One method to use if you get a muscle cramp while exercising is to cease your activity and keep the cramped muscle in a gently stretched posture until the cramp subsides completely. A cramp that arises when lying down may need you to perform the polar opposite: put weight on the cramping leg and walk it. Light massage may (or may not) be beneficial in relieving the discomfort. Additionally, when exercising, you may reduce the likelihood of future muscle cramps by constantly warming up and stretching thoroughly (particularly the muscular regions that are prone to cramping) before exercises and by being properly hydrated while exercising.

In the event that you get frequent or exceptionally severe muscular cramps that do not appear to be connected with activity or that do not improve after stretching and massage, consult your doctor.

References John A.

Certified by the American Board of Surgery in surgical critical care with a subspecialty certification D.L. Longo and colleagues (Longo, et al., Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, 18th edition) Originally published in New York by McGraw-Hill Professional in 2011.

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