Charlie Horse in Calf
Have you ever experienced a charlie horse in calf? These are leg cramps or painful spasms that affect the muscles of the lower leg (calf muscles). They can occur anytime, but often in the middle of the night, jolting you awake with pain. They can also happen during physical fitness activities like cycling or running, but some people who have a sedentary lifestyle also experience them. Learn more about what people sometimes call a charley horse.
Part 1: What Causes Charley Horse in Calf?
Calf muscle cramps may be caused by:
1. Dehydration. Not drinking enough water especially during intense physical activities or throughout the day is an important factor that can lead to a charlie horse in calf.
2. Nutritional factors.…show more content… However, if they become frequent or recurrent, your doctor may examine you further to determine if you have poor circulation or nerve compression problems. Your doctor may also refer you to a physical therapist or another specialist for further evaluation and treatment.
Part 3: How to Stop Charlie Horse in Calf
1. There are simple ways to stop leg cramps:
• If they occur when you are lying down, try to stand up and put weight on the affected leg. This is sometimes enough to stop the cramps.
• Use heating pads to promote blood circulation to your muscle and relax it. You can also soak in a warm tub with Epsom salt to help ease muscle tension.
• For stubborn pain, try taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, like ibuprofen.
2. Try to do some easy stretches to avoid charlie horse in calf. After exercise, get a massage to relax your muscles. If needed, you can also try physical therapy to prevent further complications such as nerve compression.
3. Apply cold and heat alternately. Ice application helps relax muscle tension. A hot shower can help reduce pain.
4. Massage your muscle with firm pressure for several seconds using your fist or thumb and then knead the affected area gently.
5. Use aromatherapy such as a scented candle, chamomile cream, or herbal tea as a natural muscle