Things to Know about Charley Horse

Charley horse is defined as an ache of the muscle and it appears in any parts of the body, but most likely in the legs. Doctors name this condition muscle spam. Charley horse is not a threat to your health, but it can cause pain and discomfort. Below, you have more information regarding this problem:



You can recognize charley horse by the intense pain you will feel in the muscles. The muscles that suffer a spasm are usually rigid, and they can’t be relaxed for a while. There are cases in which the muscle is inflamed and this can last for a day.


You can take over-the-counter painkillers in order to ease the pain created by muscle spasms. If these medications don’t have an efficient effect, then consult your doctor so he/she can prescribe a more potent painkiller. Also, you can try physical therapy.

Moreover, surgery is needed in some of the cases. The nerve roots that are irritated can lead to nerve compression, thus to surgery.

Home remedies

  • Eat healthy. If you have a high risk of developing charley horse, then you should consume foods that are loaded with potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
  • Stay hydrated. Dehydration is one of the factors that trigger charley horse, so it’s important to consume water. This can occur when you’re having an intense physical activity.
  • Use Epsom salt bath. Put some warm water and dissolved Epsom salt in the bathtub. Bathe yourself so you can ease the pain.
  • Chilly compress. Put several ice cubes in a plastic bag and then cover it with a towel. Place the towel on the affected area.
  • Stretching is a good idea if you want to relieve the pain provoked by charley horse.
  • You can massage the area where you feel the pain by using circular motions.

Risk factors

Everybody is prone to have charley horse. It doesn’t matter what your gender is or how old you are. Besides this, it can happen anywhere, at any time, even in your sleep.

Specialists affirm that athletes are more likely to experience muscle spasms because they exercise continually, and they don’t let the muscles relax. Moreover, the persons who suffer from obesity or who smoke have a high risk of having charley horse because the blood circulation is poor in the lower extremities. Additionally, there are drugs that have a secondary effect, and that is the removal of extra water; those can be considered triggers.


The usual cause of charley horse is dehydration. This condition occurs when you’re doing an intense workout, and you don’t consume enough liquids to replace the ones you lose. Moreover, if you don’t stretch your muscles before doing sports, you are prone to suffer from a muscle spasm. Also, if you train without any breaks or if you exercise in a hot environment, you will increase the risk. Other causes of charley horse are a nerve compression in the spine or the consumption of diuretics.

If you experience charley horse regularly, you should seek medical assistance.

1 comentariu

  1. extremely annoying, more like extremely PAINFUL, especially in the middle of the night 🙁

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