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Doctor insights on: A Charlie Horse In Calf

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Does restless leg syndrome cause a charlie horse in calf?

Does restless leg syndrome cause a charlie horse in calf?

No: Cramping or charlie horses in the calf are generally not part of restless leg syndrome. I would recommend that you see your doctor for further workup and treatment of what could be causing the cramping especially electrolyte disturbances. ...Read more

Dr. Sandra Lora Cremers
242 doctors shared insights

Charley Horse (Definition)

A Charley horse is another name for a muscle spasm. These extremely painful contractions can occur in just about in muscle, though most commonly ...Read more


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What causes a continual charlie horse in the calf?

What causes a continual charlie horse in the calf?

Difficult to say: If you have had a long-standing problem w/calf pain or 'charley-horses' i would see your physician for evaluation.In the differential DX would be a chronic gastoc.Strain, a 'leaking' bakers' cyst and even a dvt(blood clot).Best bet is to come in and see your orthopedic surgeon for evvaluation.Good luck! ...Read more

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Heard a loud pop and then felt immediate, sharp stabbing pain in my calf. What could cause this? I also had a charlie horse in same calf yesterday

Heard a loud pop and then felt immediate, sharp stabbing pain in my calf. What could cause this? I also had a charlie horse in same calf  yesterday

Muscle tear: It may be a calf muscle tear. This painful injury typically occurs during activities that require sudden changes in direction like tennis. A pop may be heard, and there will be some swelling and bruising. Please have this properly evaluated. ...Read more

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Bf woke up w/ bad charlie horse pain in calf. His leg was really stiff & still won't relax completely. He has had 2 "attacks" this am. What to do?

Bf woke up w/  bad charlie horse pain in  calf. His  leg was really stiff & still won't relax completely. He has had 2 "attacks" this am. What to do?

Drink water: If it doesn't go away with hydration or there is swelling or injury to that legs he needs to be seen by a doctor today as this could be a sign of a serious condition called a dvt. ...Read more

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I was running when i got a charlie horse in my calf next day and continuing week every time i was running it would start to throb bad but calm at rest?

I was running when i got a charlie horse in my calf next day and continuing week every time i was running it would start to throb bad but calm at rest?

ER/UC: Although you might have torn your gastrocnemius muscle ( calf ), you must make sure that you did not inflame or rupture a vein, causing thrombophlebitis- please get examined and a venous and arterial ulteasound ( doppler) of your lower leg. ...Read more

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Is there anything I can do to relieve the pain when I wake up with a Charlie horse in my calf? I don't know how to stop it from cramping.

Is there anything I can do to relieve the pain when I wake up with a Charlie horse in my calf?  I don't know how to stop it from cramping.

First make sure: It's not a clot in your leg. If it is not I would consider taking magnesium supplements before bedtime like magox400 mg. if you are on any statins I would either discontinue them (with discussion with your doctor) or supplement with coenzyme q10. ...Read more

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Can you tell me when having sex and I am about to orgasm, why do I get a really intense charlie horse in my calf?

Can you tell me when having sex and I am about to orgasm, why do I get a really intense charlie horse in my calf?

Muscle spasm: Most likely from the work you are doing during sex. Sex is hard work but usually pays off with much pleasure. However, you may be favoring one leg or the other as you work during sex, and have a muscle spasm. Could be electrolytes low such as sodium or potassium. Try taking a multi-vitamin every day, keep yourself hydrated well, and try to keep up good nutrition. ...Read more

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I'm pregnant. At night I'm awakened by painful Charlie horse on my calf after yawning. It's very painful. Causes? Treatment?

I'm pregnant. At night I'm awakened by painful Charlie horse on my calf after yawning. It's very painful. Causes? Treatment?

Rule out DVT: I'm glad you mention that because you need to go in and have it checked out. You may have a muscle strain but the most important thing to rule out is deep vein thrombosis, or DVT. DVT is a very dangerous condition if not diagnosed and treated promptly. The diagnosis is confirmed by using a doppler machine to look at the veins in your calf. I recommend you do this right away please. Good luck. ...Read more

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Very scared!started walking 45min a night 2weeks ago. Feel like I have a charlie horse -right lower calf. No DVT risk but my weight. Cld it be dvt?

Very scared!started walking 45min a night  2weeks ago. Feel like I have a charlie horse -right lower calf. No DVT risk but my weight. Cld it be dvt?

See below: It is more likely to be a muscle strain. This is very common in people who suddenly start doing exercise that they are not used to. However, it is always best to be seen by a doctor to make sure it is nothing serious like a dvt. ...Read more

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Calf pain about 2 weeks ago i got what i thought was a charlie horse in the calf of my left leg and since then the pain seems to have moved up in back of my knee, do you think I have just sprained my calf. Or is there some thing else going on. Thank you!

Hard : Hard to say without seeing it, but one concern I have is phlebitis, an inflamed clot inside a vein, which can cause pain and swelling and the feeling of migration further up the leg. There are two kinds of phlebitis: superficial thrombophlebitis, which is annoying at best, and deep vein thrombosis, which is a medical emergency because the clot has the ability to break off and travel to the lung. Given there is a possibility of the latter, i would recommend you make an appointment with your primary care physician today. If you're having chest pain or shortness of breath, you must go to the er immediately. I don't mean to be an alarmist. What you have could just be a silly muscle sprain. But given my lack of ability to see your leg, and given the possibility of you having a dvt, i'd rather not take chances and insist you get checked out now to be safe. Stop reading and go! ...Read more

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Have charlie horse in my calf since morning, its night and wont go away, also sprained my ankle last month and have hip pain, diagnosis?

Have charlie horse in my calf since morning, its night and wont go away, also sprained my ankle last month and have hip pain, diagnosis?

Magnesium: Drink 1 tsp (5gm) Epsom Salts (magnesium sulfate) in 6 oz of warm water, 2 x/d. Magnesium is the ultimate muscle relaxer. If diarrhea develops, decrease Epsom salt dose. ...Read more

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3 days ago had a charlie horse in my calf and ankle and still have mild pain not swallow.could it be a blood clot?

3 days ago had a charlie horse in my calf and ankle and still have mild pain not swallow.could it be a blood clot?

It could or it : Could be a Charlie horse. Since one can kill you, I would advise having it checked out. Always better safe than sorry. ...Read more

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I walked d.L. For 2 days and now have a consistant charlie horse in my r calf. Ate bananas took mus. Relxrs. What else can I do to stop this?

I walked d.L. For 2 days and now have a consistant charlie horse in my r calf.  Ate bananas took mus. Relxrs.  What else can I do to stop this?

Rest: If you have persistent muscle cramping 2 days after your exercise try moist heat and massage, possibly a lift in your shoe, and rest.If it continues see your physician .! ...Read more

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What point should I visit the doctor after charlie horse pain in the calf?

@ any point: Especially if long term problem. Also if U R working out & not replacing Ur H2O & electrolytes. @ Ur age i would do so now. More so if interfering with Ur quality of life. ...Read more

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I have lupus and many other auto immune diseases. I have charlie horses like in your calf, but i get them in my abdomin, and they hurt very bad, why?

I have lupus and many other auto immune diseases.  I have charlie horses like in your calf, but i get them in my abdomin, and they hurt very bad, why?

There can be: Multiple reasons for abdominal pain. It is helpful to specify where on your abdomen. Low abdomen could be gynecological. It could be bladder or constipation. Upper abdomen could be gallbladder or heartburn. I would get seen but in the meantime make sure u take your heartburn medication. Good luck. ...Read more

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Why do I have "charlie horses cramps in the calf of my leg that wakes me up while I am sleeping never had this before am very active and 70 years old woman

Why do I have "charlie horses cramps in the calf of my leg that wakes me up while I am sleeping never had this before am very active and 70 years old woman

Nighttime : Nighttime leg cramps are involuntary, painful contractions of muscles in the lower limbs. These cramps usually affect the calves, but can also affect the feet and toes. While they are usually benign, there are some cases when cramps can be an indication of a serious problem, like circulatory disease, diabetes, thyroid disease, parkinson disease, vitamin deficiency, effects of medication, or a pinching of a nerve or nerves in the spine or lower limb. New onset of leg cramps is a good reason to visit a doctor to sort things out and (hopefully) get back to normal sleep. ...Read more

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Stepped out of my van felt a pop in my calf now hurts like charlie horse pain is intense only when put pressure on it?

Stepped out of my van felt a pop in my calf now hurts like charlie horse pain is intense only when put pressure on it?

Tear of calf muscle: This is most likely a partial tear of your calf muscle (the gastrocnenius) -- initial treatment would involve rest, ice and antiinflammatory medicine along with gentle stretching of the calf -- this type of injury sometimes benefits from physical therapy as well -- if pain does not improve, it would be wise to schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor. ...Read more

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I think i got a charley horse in my calf. What can I do for this?

Stretches: Generally a charley horse refers to a bad cramp. Usually these are short-lived and will resolve spontaneously. If they are recurrent or persistent, you can try stretches, massage, and anti-inflammatory meds. Keep yourself hydrated and eat a banana a day (to keep your potassium up) until it improves. ...Read more