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Doctor insights on: Calf Pain After Charley Horse

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How do a charley horse and calf pain differ?

How do a charley horse and calf pain differ?

Cramp: A charlie horse is a cramp and pain can be sharp, dull, piercing, or feel like you have injured yourself. The cramping can occur in the muscle and pain can occur on the skin in the bone, tendons or legiments. ...Read more

Calf Pain (Definition)

Means a pain in the calf. This can be from muscle strain, a clot in a vein, a torn tendon, infection or a host of several other problems, including referred pain from someplace higher up, like the lower back. The best starting place for calf pain is your primary medical doctor, who can then make an appropriate referral depending on what he or she ...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!

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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How to get rid of a charley horse in my calf?

How to get rid of a charley horse in my calf?

Rub it: Rubbing can help. If it's recurrent, you could have a mineral or vitamin deficiency. Recommend an evaluation for magnesium, potassium, vitamin d, b12, folate and iron levels including ferritin and %iron saturation. ...Read more

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Is it normal for a charley horse to bruise in the calf?

Is it normal for a charley horse to bruise in the calf?

Possibly.: If the muscle tissue there tears, it can bleed under the skin, and then eventually bruise. It should clear itself up in a couple of weeks. ...Read more

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

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

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I had a bad charley horse last night. Today I notice that my calf is stiff and slightly larger than the other. Can this be the result of the charley?

I had a bad charley horse last night. Today I notice that my calf is stiff and slightly larger than the other. Can this be the result of the charley?

Phlebitis or Bust.: Best not to worry whether or not it's a charley horse or not. Be concerned if it is a blood clot. It's a perfect location and the symptoms match. You need to have it examined immediately, as the end result could be potentially catastrophic. Stay off of it, apply heat and get to the urgent care. ...Read more

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Have a deep ache in upper calf, feels like the remnants of a charley horse. Becomes more pronounced when standing/walking. Should I get it checked out?

Calf pain: Yes, you would be wise to have this checked. It may be muscle pain or it could be a blood clot in the vein in your calf. You probably will need to have a test, an ultrasound test of your leg vein to look for blood clot. ...Read more

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I have charley horse in my calf and am going to have tkr will this cramping go away?

I have charley horse in my calf and am going to have tkr will this cramping go away?

Cramp: Perhaps...If the cramp is a result of referred pain from the arthritic knee or from walking with a limp. ...Read more

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How can one prevent getting a charley horse in your calf muscles?

Stretching: A "charley horse" in my terminology would be a cramp in the muscle. It can caused by a muscle inbalance of leg muscles in front vs back of the leg, swelling of the muscle and then cutting off the blood supply to the muscle. Apply ice, never heat, to the area. Stretch the muscles. See a physical therapist. ...Read more

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I had a loong painful "charley horse" in my calf 2 days ago now I can hardly walk and if I stretch anther cramp tries to start. What can/should I do?

I had a loong painful "charley horse" in my calf 2 days ago now I can hardly walk and if I stretch anther cramp tries to start. What can/should I do?

May be a tear: Calf tear can actually result from a prolonged muscle spasm, especially if the was any compromise of the muscle prior to the spasm. If you notice any black and blue changes the tear is confirmed. Do not try to work through the pain. Muscle needs to heal or can lead to chronic problems. If having difficulty walking should be on crutches. See a orthopaedist or sports doc if symptoms persist. ...Read more

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Please tell me, could I use Aleve (naproxen) to help my charley horse in my right calf?

Please tell me, could I use Aleve (naproxen) to help my charley horse in my right calf?

Have it evaluated.: Gentle massage is usually helpful, but have it evaluated and make sure that it is not something more serious. ...Read more

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I had a charley horse over a month ago and my calf still feels sore and tight. What can I do to help it finish healing?

Massage: Massage is a good thing to do but from your history that you supplied I think it would be wise to see a physical therapist. Did you talk to your family physician about the charlie horse as to what he/she might think was the cause? Could be an electrolyte imbalance. Do that first. ...Read more

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Really bad Charley horse in calf two nights ago. Strange quarter sized painful bruise with a knot in it showed up right after the cramp. Why?

Really bad Charley horse in calf two nights ago. Strange quarter sized painful bruise with a knot in it showed up right after the cramp. Why?

Blood clot: You should be evaluated for blood clots in your veins. While the one you can see on the surface usually isn't a problem there can be deep clots that triggered that superficial clot. ...Read more

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After a charley horse in calf: how long is it normal to experience tense or sore muscles afterwards?

After a charley horse in calf: how long is it normal to experience tense or sore muscles afterwards?

Muscle spasm: These can happen spontaneously, with quick movements, or during exercise. They are common - and happen to kids and adults alike, and pain can be for a few hours to a few days afterwards. For myself, I usually massage, use some heat, gentle stretching (like in the pic) and anti-inflammatories like Ibuprofen if it's really bothersome. ...Read more

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Had charley horse last night-Calf sore today. Wife says be seen in case of blood clot-Seems bit extreme. No swelling or discoloration-pulses r present?

Had charley horse last night-Calf sore today. Wife says be seen in case of blood clot-Seems bit extreme. No swelling or discoloration-pulses r present?

She can be right: Calf pain can be a sign of a blood clot also called thrombophlebitis. Your pulses would be Ok with a blood clot. The calf location is suggestive. Sometimes you don't see the swelling. You can best evaluate this with your physician. If necessary you can get a vascular study done by an ultrasound. ...Read more

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Acute calf muscle pain? Feels sore like after a Charley horse but did not actually experience a Charley horse. A college student & overweight. Advice?

To the doctor, ASAP.: Severe calf pain, seemingly for no reason, can be the onset of a serious condition known as a deep vein thrombosis, or clot. Because of the potential consequences of leaving it untreated, you should move to have your leg evaluated quickly. There could be other reasons also, but without a better history of your condition, it would be best to have it evaluated, and right soon. ...Read more

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What causes charley horse in calf with steroid use? Could it be potassium deficiency

What causes charley horse in calf with steroid use? Could it be potassium deficiency

What kind of: Steroid use are we talking about? What are the steeds being used for?
Potassium def is a possibility, as is magnesium deficiency aside hydration etc, if this is chronic or persistent you should be evaluated. ...Read more

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How long does leg pain last after a charley horse?

How long does leg pain last after a charley horse?

Some times long: Time (few days), some times few minutes, it depends on the amount damage to the muscle for the charley horse some time minimum and some time there is major damage. ...Read more

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How can I fix a leg spasm/cramp/charley horse?

How can I fix a leg spasm/cramp/charley horse?

Put your foot: At a 90 degree angle to your leg with moderate pressure until the cramp goes away. This won't stop, it from coming back again. Sometimes quinine is helpful for leg cramps at night. ...Read more

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Is it normal to still have pain in the leg a day after having a charley horse?

Yes!: There can be muscle damage after a muscle cramp. Magnesium helps prevent muscle spasms and cramps if taken daily. ...Read more

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I got a charley horse on my leg like 2 days ago shouldn't it have gone away right after I stretched?

Sure it's a cramp?: Cramps at times can last for quite some time, not the cramp itself, but the soreness in the calf after a particularly strong one. If there is pain without the cramping, it could possibly be a blood clot or at times a baker's cyst that ruptured behind the knee, with the fluid migrating down into the calf area. ...Read more

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What is the best way to get rid of a charley horse in your leg?

What is the best way to get rid of a charley horse in your leg?

Hydrate: Short answer;get up and stretch the muscle. Better answer:prevent the problem-drink more fluids before exercise. Now the super secret:drink the juice from claussin pickles-as a sports physician dealing with athletes I've found this to be very helpful. Don't tell everyone-our edge will be forever ruined. ...Read more

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Any advice on preventing leg cramps/charley horse?

Any advice on preventing leg cramps/charley horse?

Magnesium!: Leg cramps are usually due to a magnesium deficiency. I would suggest 400 mg of either magnesium aspartate, magnesium citrate, magnesium glycinate, magnesium maleate or magnesium taurate to relieve this problem. Do not waste your time with other forms of magnesium. These are available over the counter. If you take too much magnesium, you will get diarrhea. ...Read more

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My husband recently had been getting charley horse like cramps lately in his right leg. Sometimes even during sex. What does this mean? & why?

My husband recently had been getting charley horse like cramps lately in his right leg. Sometimes even during sex. What does this mean? & why?

You need a doctor: It is impossible to answer your question without examining your husband. The problem could be vascular or muscle cramps. You need to consult a doctor to have this evaluated. ...Read more

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What causes a charley horse? I got one in each leg this morning and can barely walk now! Muscles are very sore.

What causes a charley horse? I got one in each leg this morning and can barely walk now! Muscles are very sore.

Many causes: If nothing changed in daily life- no new work outs, not pregnant- then often it is mineral shortage. Get some calcium, potassium in a system. Get multivitamins, eat a banana, drink milk, cheese. ...Read more

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I've been using Vuse vape pen...foot tingling sending tingles up leg into hip causing charley horse is this being cause by nicotine use?

I've been using Vuse vape pen...foot tingling sending tingles up leg into hip causing charley horse is this being cause by nicotine use?

Possibly: Could be result of nicotine but sounds like some type of neurologic issue, perhaps trauma to nerve, dehydration or radiculopathy. First step is to cut back or stop vape use ...Read more

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Have pain in left leg for a month. Negative d dimer and ultrasound but now a charley horse/knot feeling woke me up and won't go away. Could it be dvt?

Have pain in left leg for a month. Negative d dimer and ultrasound but now a charley horse/knot feeling woke me up and won't go away. Could it be dvt?

Very unlikely to be.: With a negative d-dimer you're more likely to be suffering from muscle spasms, particularly given your symptoms of Charlie horse/knot. If your symptoms do not resolve with adequate hydration, warm compresses, light massage, and other soothing measures, see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment. ...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?

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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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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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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Is it possible to get what feels like a charlie horse in the sciatic nerve? Goes from my butt all the way to my calf&lasts about 5 minutes! Ouch! .

Is it possible to get what feels like a charlie horse in the sciatic nerve? Goes from my butt all the way to my calf&lasts about 5 minutes! Ouch! .

Muscle: A charley horse is a muscle usually which if sudden and cramping is present. While sciatica flairs it usually is constant with classic burning quality from the buttock down the back of leg to heel. The hamstring muscle will give you cramping. ...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

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

Dr. Herman Hammerstead
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