Some of the other causes include: Dehydration or low amounts of potassium, sodium, calcium, or magnesium. Certain medications you’re taking. Muscle fatigue or strain from overuse, too much exercise, or holding a muscle in the same position for a long time.
If you have a cramp, these actions may provide relief:
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.
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.
A DVT blood clot can cause a calf cramp that feels a lot like a charley horse. Like leg pain, the cramping sensation with DVT will persist and even worsen with time. It won’t clear up with stretching or walking it off like an ordinary charley horse.
These spasms are marked by uncomfortable muscle contractions. 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.
Drink plenty of fluids. Sports drinks, such as Gatorade, will often help leg cramps.
Magnesium is a widely used remedy for leg cramps.
Nighttime leg cramps may be related to foot position. We often sleep with our feet and toes extending away from the rest of our bodies, a position called plantar flexion. This shortens the calf muscles, making them more susceptible to cramping.
A charley horse can be caused by a direct blow or sudden stretch of the muscle, but most of the time they’re caused by strain or fatigue during exercise.
Back then, baseball players called various muscle injuries, including cramps, bruising, and other pains and sores, charley horses. One story says the term comes from a lame horse, named Charley, that pulled equipment at the Chicago White Sox’s in the late 19th century.
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.