Causes of Charlie Horses

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What is causing these charley horses?

Causes of Charlie Horses

Muscle cramps – also known as a Charlie horse, is a sudden, painful muscle contraction of a muscle that can be so intense that we can't use the muscle until the cramp eases. It can be caused by a lack of magnesium, or a potassium deficiency. But beware – it can also signal the onset of vascular disease, so if you find that you are cramping more than usual, please check this out. Kidney dialysis can also bring them on.



7/22/2006 10:34:12 AM
Judy said:

Great tip. I just wanted to know what causes it, because I've heard low salt, low potasium and too much of one or the other. I was wanting to "eat more" or "stop eatting". I was glad to get the information about the signals of other mascular problems. I will now consult my MD, as they are new and frequent. Thank you!!

7/23/2006 2:27:10 AM
Dianne M Porter said:

I have been getting a charlie horse quite often the past few weeks. It is so painful that I can't move. I had to call a neighbor one night to come over to my house and get an ice pack out of my freezer and bring it up to me. It lasted a good ten minutes. I get them in the upper thigh.

10/4/2006 9:13:51 AM
DrMom said:

Cramps are also caused by not enough water intake. DRINK LOTS!

1/3/2007 5:10:34 PM
Ryan said:

I experience charlie horses every once in a while. I am 14 years old and in good shape so I know vascular disease is not the cause. I think it may be a lack of magnesium or potassium, but I don't know what foods are good sources of potassium and magnesium.

3/7/2007 8:00:21 AM
Cindy said:

I am experiencing severe abdominal charlie horses. The pain is so intense I scream and feel like I'm in a vise grip. It ususally lasts 3-5 minutes.

3/9/2007 5:47:32 PM
Stuart said:

Bananas are a good source of potassium.

4/7/2007 11:18:34 AM
Cassie said:

I get charlie horses maybe twice a week, always at night, and it wakes me up. I am also in very good shape, and 15 years old, and I had no idea what was making them happen.

4/9/2007 6:44:52 AM
Star said:

what naturally is best to do or take for charlie horses?

8/2/2007 7:34:13 PM
LIZ said:

I get charlie horses all the time. Mostly in my upper thighs in the back and wrap around to my groin and down the front of my thigh. I take potassium and magnesium, and calcium. Wat else can i do. These are severe and last as long as 1/2 hour and leave me with muscle pain for days.
Thank you

8/6/2007 6:29:40 AM
Sahil said:

Ryan, eat 2 bananas a day for 2 weeks, then 1 banana every other day, most people like bananas so you wont have a problem. After the first 2 week period you should not have them again, if you do its usually just a minor issue. IF the problem doesnt go away, consult a doctor because you might have a family history of vascular disease.

8/9/2007 10:46:26 AM
Kim said:

I have been getting charlie horses in my right lower leg every morning about the time I start waking up. Or maybe it is what is waking me. My cousin said DRINK WATER and it is helping I didn't get one this morning.

8/10/2007 10:15:31 PM
** said:

eat more bananas

9/12/2007 8:30:02 AM
Amber said:

My husband always gets charlie horses, if you have had them before and you feel one take over, I know its painfull i get them too but stand up as soon as possable,its the only way it goes away. It really dose hurt, and it will hurt for quite some time, but its better then sitting there in pain waiting for it to go away.

9/25/2007 2:40:10 PM
Holly said:

Bananas , potatoes and "lite salt" are good sources of potatssium.
Chocolate has magnesium in it !

9/26/2007 7:05:34 PM
Jessica said:

Bananas are an excellent source of potassium. :)

10/20/2007 9:25:17 AM
William said:

Quite often I wake up with severe cramps in my calf muscle. It used to happen many years ago then it suddenly stopped but as of few years ago it's back again with more intensity. I'm not sure whether the definition of Charlie horse applies to all muscles or just the calf muscle, but for me it's always the calf muscle and only at night when sound sleep.

And since it has been happening all my life, off and on, I have learned to manage it by immediately jumping out of the bed and standing on the leg having the cramp and walking around a bit and that makes the cramp to ease up and go away.

I keep pretty hydrated all day and drink 2 tall glasses of water before going to bed every night. I take all kind of vitamins, including extra Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc, and Calcium. And have a healthy diet. I exercise occasionally but because of my job and being so tired in the evening when I come home around 7 or 8pm, I'm left with very little energy to go to a gym routinely. I’m not a morning-person so going to the gym that early is out of the question.

Anyway I’m not sure what’s causing this. Now reading the “Causes of Charlie Horses” on this website, I wonder if having high cholesterol for many years has already taken its toll and caused vascular damage to my arteries. I go to my doctor regularly now and I no longer have high cholesterol and it’s under control now through a raw vegetable/vegetarian diet and taking Lipitor 10. And my HDL and LDLs are where they’re supposed to be.

10/20/2007 6:39:30 PM
jpo said:

I have been getting them everynight in my sleep and they usually stay for about 2 minutes, I am a runner so can that conflict with it?

10/23/2007 6:38:37 PM
Sonja said:

I am going to do some more searching online, or maybe ask my Dr. about it. I was Diagnosed with MS around Christmas '98, and was experiencing exruciating Charlie Horses in not just my calves and thighs, but also in my feet. I got one in my foot so bad once while I was driving one of my daughters to the store, that I almost drove us through the front window. Since my diagnoses, most of those cramps have subsided or at least had for several years, thanks to many of the meds I take now. Although recently (like in the past year or so), my cramps have returned, only worse. I even get them in my stomach sometimes, and I am not overweight at all. They will suddenly happen when I try to sit up after relaxing on the sofa or even in bed. I have also gotten all the spasms in my legs and feet back as well, I just have never heard of getting Charlie Horses in your stomach before, so am sort of affraid to ask my Dr. for fear of them considering me a hypochondriac or something. Has anyone else ever experinced something like that as well?

2/14/2009 9:56:29 AM
Katrina said:

I've been getting Charley Horses in my calf and I could barley move my leg at all. It hurts to even walk on it. I just do not know what to do for them.

4/6/2009 1:02:56 AM
Doug said:

I get them often and a couple of potassium tabs works to get rid of them but also put a tablspoon of sugar under the tounge and let it disolve mine goes away right away for some reason after this.

4/16/2009 11:19:19 PM
Cody said:

My charlie horses are weird sometimes? One time I felt a large blood vessel popping out of my calf and as soon as I pushed on it, the cramping stopped?


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