How would you feel waking up in the middle of the night in a sudden? Severe cramps in the calf that just won’t let you go. It is also known as “charley horse”. In this article, we will discuss how to get rid of a charley horse. The pain is so severe that it can make you even cry out that awakens your partners sleep too. Sometimes, the pain lasts for 1 min but it might last for 2-3 mins depend on person to person.
It happens with everyone. Studies say that 1/3 to ½ of people over 60 get these unconscious muscle contractions on a regular basis. The frequency of charley horse may increase with age. It happens when irritated nerves send a message to muscles a signal. There are no particular causes of these cramps. But yes due to some problems like nutrition and lack of body content it causes charley horse. There are some cause and symptoms mentioned below. You can also read this related article How to Get Rid of Thigh Cramp? on our website.
Causes of Charley Horse
- Electrolyte imbalances.
- Muscle fatigue.
- Problems with the nerves.
- Peripheral vascular disease.
- Spinal stenosis in the lower back.
- Hemodialysis (for those with kidney failure).
- Venous insufficiency.
- Medication side effects.
Remedies to Get Rid of a Charley Horse
1.) Massage the Muscle to Treat Charley Horse
Charley horse is a distinctive experience in the calf, thighs and feet. Massage these calfs areas to help reduce the pressure and the pain. Using fingertips and thumbs massage in a circular motion in the affected area and the area around your calf to improve blood circulation. Continue to do this for a few minutes until the pain reduces.
2.) Stretch to Reduce Charley Horse
Your muscles become constricted because of contraction of the muscles, so stretching will help soften and relax the calf muscles.
- Stand up straight, and afterward get into a jumping position, with your back leg being the one encountering the dead leg. Correct your back leg while keeping your front leg bowed. This will constrain your weight onto the toes of your back leg. You can incline forward onto your bowed knee somewhat in the event that it is more agreeable.
- Take a seat on your bed or the floor, and put your legs straight before you. Lock your knees, and point your toes back towards your face. Get the toes and draw your foot in reverse somewhat on the leg you’re encountering the corky on.
- Stand up straight on your tippy-toes and hold it for whatever length of time that you can oversee. This will extend the calf muscles and lessen the spasming. Enjoy a reprieve at regular intervals and after that keep extending.
3.) Take a Warm Bath to Prevent Charley Horse
Taking a warm bath also help reduce the charley horse and thigh cramps. Fill your tub with warm water and put some Epsom salt and soak yourself for 10-20 mins. The heat and salt will do the work it will lose your tight muscles and helps diminish the pain.
4.) Elevate the Area to Cure Charley Horse
Elevating the area will help improve the blood circulation of the body. Raise your affected area, putting your pillow under your leg using a chair, couch or pillow. It is more effective which helps move blood from calf easily.
5.) Use Ice to Reduce Charley Horse
The Ice pack is good for the treatment of cramps. It is also useful for the treatment of charley horse. To calm down calf muscles, use a cool compress or an ice pack on the affected area to treat a charley horse. Never apply ice directly to the calf, but try wrapping it in a towel or in a piece of a cloth before placing it on the skin. Do this process for 10-15 mins for better results.
6.) Stretch Regularly to Prevent Charley Horse
- To perform a quad stretch, stand straight up and twist one knee. Keep bowing your knee to the extent you can, and after that snatch your foot behind you and hold it for ten seconds.
- To do a rush, get in a stooping position on the ground so that one leg is twisted at the knee and you are laying totally on the other calf. At that point, raise yourself off the ground so that both of your legs are bowed. Do different lurches by strolling around the room in that position, doing a reversal and forward between legs.
7.) Consume More Potassium to Avoid Charley Horse
The increase in muscle spasms and cramps are due to the low level of potassium. Eat potassium containing foods at least once in a day. Oranges, avocados and bananas are a rich source of potassium. You can also take potassium supplements from a medical store, but before taking consult your doctor.
8.) Consume More Calcium and Magnesium to Prevent Charley Horse
The vitamin and minerals go hand in hand when it comes to keeping your body fit and healthy. It helps prevent from leg cramps and charley horse. Try to consume calcium and magnesium to the max. In the form of food or tablet. You can add all the dairy products and nuts which are rich in calcium and magnesium content.
9.) Keep Yourself Hydrated to Get Rid of a Charley Horse
When you are high in sodium content, it affects your muscles and blood circulation. So in order to avoid such muscle cramps keep your sodium level low by drinking more and more water daily. One should drink 7-8 Lt of water a day to balance the water level in the body. Drink sports water while working out, that adds more electrolytes to the water.
10.) Wear Comfortable Shoes to Avoid Charley Horse
People those who have flat feet are more vulnerable to leg and foot cramps. Always wear boots with good arch supports is essential for prevention of charley horse. Especially women, try to avoid wearing high heels, which leads to stress foot and calf muscles. Avoid keeping feet in shortened and tightened position for a longer period of time.
11.) Banana to Get Rid of Charley Horse Fast
Banana is believed to an amazing source of potassium that helps prevent muscle spasms such as Charlie horse and leg cramps. This type of muscle spasm can occur due to deficiency of potassium in the diet. Potassium works as an electrolyte that helps in water regulation. So, eat a banana daily to avoid charley horse fast.
12.) Yellow Mustard and Water to Treat Charley Horse
Prepare a mix of mustard seeds by soaking it in water a day before. Grind the mustard seeds to make a smooth paste. Now, add some water to this mixture. Now, consume this daily to get rid of the painful charley horse and to keep your body hydrated, which is also essential to relieve and prevent Charlie horse naturally.
13.) Natural Vinegar to Prevent Charley Horse
Natural vinegar is high in vitamins and minerals that our body needs. Taking around 1-2 tbsp of vinegar can help in treating painful Charlie horse and muscle spasms. People who experience from Charlie horse, leg spasms can ease from this condition within 20 minutes after drinking vinegar.
14.) Vitamin E to Reduce Charley Horse Naturally
People with vitamin deficiency frequently suffer from Charlie horse and muscle spasms at night. By taking a good dosage of vitamin E can help get rid of this situation easily. Taking a regular supplement of vitamin E is essential in treating charley horse. Also, Charlie horse which occurs frequently can be the reason of poor circulatory problems and taking enough dose of vitamin E can help prevent with charley horse fast.
Some Additional Tips:
- Stretching exercises and massage before bedtime.
- Mild exercise before bedtime.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
- Magnesium supplements.
- Vitamin B12 (only if you are low).
- Neuropathic pain medications.
- Prescription muscle relaxants.
- Calcium channel blockers (often used for the treatment of hypertension and migraines).