One of the most common complaints we hear from many people involves painful Charley horse and how to get rid of a charley horse. So, what is a charlie horse. Likely, you’ve gotten your share of these also, particularly when you are active and work out regularly. Occasionally they can be simply an obscure, achy “muscle cramp” or tightness and in other times Charley Horses can be a deep, intense, zapping pain that jolts you awake in the middle of the night. If you’ve been bothered by this issue, let me share with you what I tell my patients how to get rid of a charley horse in calf and preventing it.
What Causes Charley Horse in calf?
The simple answer of what causes charlie horses can be brought on by inadequate stretching prior to exercise, but are most often brought on from overall dehydration. If you’re sweating a lot, from outside or exercise work, and not drinking enough fluids to re-hydrate yourself, it is possible to lose a lot of electrolytes, namely the minerals sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and chloride. Certain medications, like diuretics, also can cause one to reduce a lot of fluid which is going to cost you a charley horse in calf.
If you do not replace these lost electrolytes well enough through food or electrolyte drinks, the deficiency can lead to bad issue usually in your legs, but sometimes also in your stomach and even your heart! Potassium, calcium and magnesium are liable for making muscles fire when you move and relax when you are inactive. Insufficiency of the minerals can keep muscles from working correctly plus they start to cramp. We hope we did get you a little bit closer to what causes charlie horses, and now let us move to the second question.
How to get rid of a charley horse?
The best way of how to get rid of a charley horse is to prevent them from occurring in the first place. However, if you’ve ever experienced a bad cramp in the middle of the night, all you can think of is how quickly you can stop it! Here are pretty rapid crisis remedies that will get rid of a bad Charley Horse when it occurs:
Your body almost propels one to get up and move when you get a very awful Charlie Horse, and that’s precisely that which you have to do. Making the muscle move raises blood flow to it and helps “iron out” the distressing kink in it. Pulling on your toes back towards your knees often helps as well. Then, move swiftly to the refrigerator at which you can catch some potassium, calcium, and magnesium to help further iron out that cramp.
Another answer for how to get rid of a charley horse, is simply by replacing Potassium: Charley Horses usually respond fairly quickly to the intake of potassium. You must replace it daily especially if you are sweating a lot and/or live in a hot, humid or very cold and dry climate, to keep muscles working perfectly and correctly including your heart. Other signs of low potassium are heart palpitations and undo fatigue. Some good food sources are:
1- Orange juice: Contains 250 mg of potassium.
2- Pickle juice: Some of my patients swear by this natural remedy to stop it. The juice has potassium and sodium in it.
3- Almond milk: 8 Oz contains 230 mg of potassium and about 30% calcium.
4- Milk: Contains about 600 mg of potassium and about 350 mg of calcium. Cramp fix: Blend 8 oz milk with 8 oz orange juice and a banana. High in calcium and potassium, it could alleviate a dehydration cramp in just a couple of minutes and tastes fantastic.
5- Vegetable juice: Contains 650 mg of potassium.
6- Banana: Contains 500 mg of potassium.
Replace Calcium and Magnesium: Magnesium and Calcium deficiencies also lead to cramps. As they contain calcium and magnesium, a substantial glass of milk, a cup of hot cocoa may help. So will taking a supplement of magnesium, calcium and zinc, mg. about 1,200 Like potassium, they have to be replaced daily by your food or nutritional supplements.
Non-Emergent Prevention for Charley Horse in calf
Here are some other things you can do on your own to relax and unwind your muscles after exercise or working outside in hot or very cold weather.
Hydrate: We can become dehydrated quickly especially in very hot humid weather or very cold dry weather or from exercise/sweating. The Institute of Medicine recommends that men consume Thirteen cups (Eight Oz) of water/fluid a day and women 9 cups. If you drink caffeinated beverages, replace 1 extra cup of water for every cup of caffeinated drink. Beverages like Gatorade and also other commercial electrolyte drinks help replace lost minerals at the same time.
Epsom salts bath: This old standby actually works. Epsom salts contain magnesium which helps relax tense muscles and keep them from cramping and spasming. Fill a warm bathtub with about 1 cup of Epsom salts (bought at your grocery or pharmacy) and soak for at least thirty minutes after strenuous exercise.
Watch Your Food Intake: 4250 mg of potassium a day is optimal, but minimum 2200; at least 1500 to 1700 mg of calcium and 700 mg of magnesium a day to prevent deficiencies.
1- Magnesium: Cocoa, spinach, legumes, halibut, almonds, soybeans, cashews.
2- Calcium: Dairy, fish, green leafy vegetables.
3- Potassium: Artichokes, potatoes, raisins, pinto beans, beet greens, white beans.
With a bit more careful attention to your potassium, calcium and magnesium and fluids intake, you ought to have the ability to avoid slumber robbing, painful Charley Horse from happening. Nonetheless, for muscle pain/cramps which are not relieved by several of the above suggestions, please get in touch with your physician, or go to your closest emergency room or urgent care as your pain may be symptoms of claudication, blood clot, muscle, ligament or tendon tear.