Most of the time, the feeling of intense pain in your legs is from muscle cramps or spasms. People often refer to these cramps as charley horses. The muscle contracts and often may not release for several seconds. During the contraction, the pain may escalate or intensify.
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. But if you get them often and for no clear reason, tell your doctor.
What is the difference between a leg cramp and a charley horse?
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 happens to your calf during 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.
When should I be concerned about a charley horse?
However, it’s important to get a medical check up if your cramps: Cause severe pain or discomfort. Are associated with swelling, redness, or skin changes. Cause muscle weakness or make it difficult to put weight on a limb.
Can a charley horse hurt for days?
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. Charley horses are generally treatable at home, especially if they’re infrequent.
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.”Apr 1, 2008.
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.
Why do they call a leg cramp a charlie horse?
“In the 1890s, an old horse named Charley was used in the old Chicago White Sox ballpark to pull a roller across the infield. He was old and his muscles would get so stiff he could hardly walk. Players and spectators who caught a cramp thought of the old horse and started calling the condition a charley horse.”Mar 29, 2012.
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.
When is calf pain serious?
Calf pain varies from person to person, but it typically feels like a dull, aching, or sharp pain, sometimes with tightness, in the back of the lower leg. Symptoms that might indicate a more severe condition include: swelling. unusual coolness or pale color in the calf.
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.
How does pickle juice stop leg cramps?
The science behind why it works. While it hasn’t been proven yet, researchers posit that pickle juice may help cramps by triggering muscular reflexes when the liquid contacts the back of the throat. This reflex shuts down the misfiring of neurons in muscle all over the body, and “turns off” the cramping feeling.
Can a charley horse damage your muscle?
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.
Does a blood clot feel like a Charlie horse?
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.
Why do I have Charlie horses all over my body?
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 stop a Charlie horse while sleeping?
Nocturnal Leg Cramp Prevention Stretch during the day and before bed. Focus on your calf and foot muscles. Drink plenty of water. Move around during the day to exercise your feet and legs. Wear comfortable, supportive shoes. Sleep under loose covers, especially if you sleep on your back.
Why does my calf cramp and still hurt?
Try forcefully stretching the affected muscle (for example, stretch your calf muscle by flexing your foot upward). Jiggle your leg, massage it, or force yourself to walk. It might also help to apply ice or heat – use a heating pad or take a warm bath. (Read the “Management and Treatment” section for more tips.)Aug 3, 2020.
Can a charlie horse leave a bruise?
If you’ve ever had muscle spasms or muscle cramps, you know they can be extremely painful. In some cases, a muscle may spasm so forcefully that it results in a bruise on the skin.
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.
What causes a charley horse in your inner thigh?
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. Bad shoes.