Charlie Horse is a common term used to describe muscle spasm. This term is commonly used in North America but has made its way into medical idiom. Muscle pain or spasm can occur in any part of the body, but the term is more specifically used to mean muscle pain in legs. When a muscle is in spasm, it contracts without control. It does not relax and results in pain.
Symptoms Of Charlie Horse:
You can get struck with Charlie Horse anywhere –it can happen while you are swimming, running or jumping. Its sudden onset can leave you with severe pain. The pain may last for a few minutes or drag on for hours. When you get this sudden spasm, you will feel your muscles are knotted up and tight.
Causes Of Charlie Horse:
- There are a number of causes that that can lead to Charlie Horse. Some of the more common causes are:
- Poor blood circulation.
- Over-exertion of calf muscles.
- Lack of stretching before exercise.
- Hormonal imbalance.
- Exercising in heat.
- Muscle fatigue.
- Deficiency of minerals such as magnesium and potassium.
- Calcium deficiency, especially in case of pregnant woman.
- Nerve malfunctioning, which may result due to spinal cord injury.
Top 10 Remedies For Charlie Horse:
When Charlie Horse strikes, the pain can be so severe that you will look for immediate relief. You can always try OTC medication but isn’t it better to treat the condition naturally? There are some natural remedies that can offer relief from the painful condition.
Massage the calf muscles, feet and thigh. Doing so will reduce the cramps and offer relief. Massage with the help of fingers and thumb to improve blood circulation.
Muscles get constricted as a result of the spasms. In order to relax the muscles and get rid of the pain, try stretching your muscles. For a Charlie Horse at the back of the thigh, a person needs to pull his legs straight and take it towards the head. For pain on the back side of the thigh, one needs to pull the legs straight and take it backwards towards the buttock. One should stretch the legs in the opposite direction of the spasm to help loosen up the muscles and offer quick relief.
[ Read: Leg Stretching Exercises For Women ]
Bathing with Epsom salt in water and soaking the body in it for 10 to 20 minutes provides relief from the muscle pain to a huge extent. A relaxing bath is just what your tight muscles need!
4. Elevate The Painful Parts:
Elevate the part of the muscle that is hurting. It is helpful in increasing blood circulation to the areas, which in turn provides relief from severe cramps.
5. Placing Ice-bag:
One should use an ice bag and keep it over the area of the muscle that is cramping in order to get some relief. But remember that ice should never be used directly on the skin. It should always be wrapped in a cloth or cloth bag or with a bandage and then it should be used on the painful area.This is considered to be one of the easiest home remedy for charlie horse.
6. Exercise Regularly:
They say prevention is better than cure. To prevent Charlie Horse, you should try and exercise daily by stretching properly, standing straight, bending the knee and kneeling down.
[ Read: Best Daily Exercises For Women ]
7. Proper Diet:
Many a times, Charlie Horse is caused due to inherent deficiencies in the body. To prevent these deficiencies, it is important to eat food that provides the body all the nutrients it needs. Fruits, such as bananas and oranges must be taken for their potassium content. It can also be taken in the form of supplements available at heath stores.
8. Intake Of Calcium, Magnesium:
Calcium and magnesium are a must to keep the bones and muscles fit, healthy, and strong. The intake of these minerals is highly recommended to avoid Charlie Horse.
9. Drink A Lot Of Water:
Water intake is another vital necessity. It helps to decrease sodium level in the body, which in turn prevents painful muscle spasms.
10. Avoid Caffeinated Drinks And Drugs:
One should avoid consuming caffeine and drugs unnecessarily. The more you fill your body with these things, the more likely you are to suffer from Charlie Horse!
Though it sounds fancy, Charlie Horse is a problem most of us face at some point. It is not a medical emergency; in fact, you don’t need to see a doctor for relief. But if you suffer from frequent bouts of muscle spasm, seek medical advice—this can be a symptom of an underlying health condition. But most of the times, the home remedies mentioned here are all you need to get relief!
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