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Treatment for a charley horse. The treatment for charley horses depends on the underlying cause. If a charley horse is exercise-induced, simple stretches and massages can help relax the muscle and stop it from contracting. Heating pads can accelerate the relaxation process, while an ice pack can help numb the pain.
Sometimes called “charley horses” -- particularly when they’re in the calf muscles – cramps are caused by muscle spasms – involuntary contractions of one or more muscles.
Facts on muscle cramps. Muscle cramps or spasms occur when muscles involuntarily contract and cannot relax. The term charley horse has been used to refer to painful muscle cramps, particularly when they occur in the leg. The skeletal muscles (those over which we have voluntary control) are most prone to cramping.
Charley horse is a colloquial term for a sudden, intense muscle contraction that often occurs in the calf, thigh or foot during sleep. More than half of adults report they have experienced these spasms at night, which can last anywhere from a few seconds to several excruciating minutes.
What Causes A Charley Horse? The most common causes of a charley horse are: Muscle injuries; Exercising in an extremely hot or cold environment; Overuse of specific muscles; Stress, especially in the neck muscles; A compressed nerve in the spine; Consumption of diuretics, which may lead to poor potassium levels
Story at-a-glance A muscle cramp in your calf muscle is known as a charley horse in North America. A charley horse may be caused by low levels of magnesium, potassium or calcium. Dehydration, poor circulation in your legs, strenuous exercise and certain medications may also trigger a charley ...