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Doctor insights on: Cause Of Charlie Horse In Calf While Sleeping

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I have had charlie horse-like pains in my right knee that radiates down the leg. It always seems to happen when I lie down to go to sleep. Any advice?

I have had charlie horse-like pains in my right knee that radiates down the leg. It always seems to happen when I lie down to go to sleep. Any advice?

Maybe internal knee: Hi DRoy
Is your knee otherwise fine? Sometimes inflammation inside the knee can be triggered by changes in position when lying down, and start hurting. Any 'radiating' pain also suggests nerve compression as a source. Try more stretching, but if continues, consult with your PCP. Good luck. ...Read more

Dr. Heidi Fowler
5,032 Doctors shared insights

Sleep (Definition)

Sleep is a topic that involves concepts such as how long it takes to fall asleep, how many times one wakes up at night, how many hours one sleeps at night, sleep stages, ...Read more


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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

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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

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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'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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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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While sleeping I get painful Charlie horse when I yawn. It wakes me up because of the pain and feels like a ball. Cause?

While sleeping I get painful Charlie horse when I yawn. It wakes me up because of the pain and feels like a ball. Cause?

Muscle spasams: Can be related to low magnesium. Please see your doc to rule out medical conditions and consider seeing a nutritionist about magnesium or other supplements. Peace and good health. If you are talking about pain in your jaw a dentist would be a good person to see for possible TMJ. ...Read more

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What is the problem when you have to sleep straight at night because anyover will cause a charlie horse?

What is the problem when you have to sleep straight at night because anyover will cause a charlie horse?

Muscle cramps: May be due to mineral deficiency (potassium or magnesium) or anemia. Do you take statin for cholesterol? Try stretching calf muscles before bedtime & magnesium supplement (~100 mg). If no improvement, see fp for exam & tx. ...Read more

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What is the cause of a Charlie horse in my sleep that wakes me up with a lot of pain in my ankle and I feel like it is paralyzed. I can't even move it?

Unknown cause: Charlie horse leg pain is common and the cause is unknown. If you have these frequently you can lower the incidence by using quinine infused seltzer water in the late evening. ...Read more

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Would low potassium cause more than just a cramp/charlie horse in one leg? On nexoum for 8 days and on lisinopril 10mg n hctz (hydrochlorothiazide) 12.5. Should I worry?

Would low potassium cause more than just a cramp/charlie horse in one leg? On nexoum for 8 days and on lisinopril 10mg n hctz (hydrochlorothiazide) 12.5. Should I worry?

Get potassium measur: Low potassium doesn't cause muscle cramps - it can cause tetany and, in extremely low levels, it can cause muscle weakness (called "periodic paralysis"). I suggest you have your potassium measured and then supplement it if it's low. Low potassium is a common cause of cardiac arrhythmias. ...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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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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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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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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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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Cramps in thighs and calfs when I dance after I eat. Like charlie horse. What does this mean?

Low calcium: This can be many things, but low calcium intake and/or low but D is most common in girls your age. If you are very active physically, it can be due to muscle fatigue, or sitting in a way that cuts off blood flow to your lower legs. Obesity when extreme can cause cramping, but almost always because of compressive issues. Start taking a calcium/ vitamin D chew daily, see your GP for a checkup ASAP ...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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I had one saturday night in the middle of the night in my calf. It still hurts and I feel it twitching often. How can I get this charlie horse to go away?

Stretching: Try doing some good long stretches of the calf several times a day. Massage may help. Try eating a banana a day for a few days. There are prescription muscle relaxants which may help too. Good luck. ...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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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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Squatted down holding 25 lbs felt cramp in calf now feels like charlie horse happen about 9 hrs ago only getting worse pain radiating up leg now?

Squatted down holding 25 lbs felt cramp in calf now feels like charlie horse happen about 9 hrs ago only getting worse pain radiating up leg now?

Most likely muscle: Pull or tear. However, one of the worrisome things about injuring your calf, when the pain keeps getting worse and worse, is that it could be compartment syndrome. If the calf feels very tight, pale, loose pulses in feet, then get to a doctor. Other possibility is that you herniated a disc and caused a radiculopathy or irritation a nerve from your back. Will also need to see a physician for this. ...Read more

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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

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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

Dr. Linda Callaghan
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