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Doctor insights on: Charlie Horse Muscle Spasm

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Dr. Laurence Badgley
1,613 doctors shared insights

Muscle Spasm (Definition)

Muscle spasms are typically painful involuntary muscle contracures which can occur in any part of the body, such as the neck, back and legs. There are various causes of muscle spasms such as recent injury or trauma and dehydration. Typically, patients can modify activity, rest, stretch, utilize heat or ice for treatment of muscle spasms. Rarely, patients can also ...Read more


Dr. Eric Hastriter Dr. Hastriter
Pediatrics - Neurology
15 years in practice
St. George's University School of Medicine
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Left arm has continuous charlie horse like pain and muscle spasms & twitches going on for over a week now.

Left arm has continuous charlie horse like pain and muscle spasms & twitches going on for over a week now.

Charlie horse: Make sure you have enough potassium and are well hydrated. Gatorade or powerade gas the proper mix of nutrients essential for hydration of muscles. Hope this helps. ...Read more

Dr. Dariush Saghafi Dr. Saghafi
Neurology
29 years in practice
Autonomous University of Guadalajara Faculty of Medicine
3

3
I have been experiencing muscle spasms similar to a charlie horse in my right deltoid (anterior/lateral) when i stretch or reach. Do not lift weights?

I have been experiencing muscle spasms similar to a charlie horse in my right deltoid (anterior/lateral) when i stretch or reach. Do not lift weights?

Depends on This&That: If you're not used to stretching very much or doing routine exercises then, you may simply be suffering from muscle deconditioning. May be remedied by doing daily stretching. On the other hand, other causes for muscle spasms exist having to do with metabolic or medical conditions and which could also be checked out so contact your physician for a possible appointments and maybe some lab work. ...Read more

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Dr. Sandra Eleczko Dr. Eleczko
Dentistry
32 years in practice
University at Buffalo, The State University of New York School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
4

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Could you have a muscle spasm or charlie horse in your jaw?

Yes: Sore muscles, muscle spasm are common in people who clench or grind their teeth. This can also happen from trauma. Your dentist can help you with this problem. In the mean time don't eat chewy or hard foods. Stick with a soft diet. Ice packs can help. Ibuprophen can also help but only for temporary relief. You need to see a dentist. ...Read more

Dr. Bennett Machanic Dr. Machanic
Neurology
48 years in practice
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
5

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Hip/ butt muscle spasms on left side like charlie horse. Recent MS dx. Possible symptom? Very painful lasted 2 days already. Suggestions?

Hip/ butt muscle spasms on left side like charlie horse.  Recent MS dx. Possible symptom? Very painful lasted 2 days already. Suggestions?

SOME THOTS: Pain is very common in ms, and can present numerous ways, and even migraine is present in ms pts at a frequency of 2-4 times normals. However, your muscle spasms could represent a separate process in hip, back, pelvis. (unlikely, but if you were given steroids, check for avascular necrosis in hip). Lastly, do not want to second guess your doc, but there are oral meds now (no needles). ...Read more

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Dr. Mark Hutchinson Dr. Hutchinson
Orthopedic Surgery
30 years in practice
University of Illinois College of Medicine
6

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Would it be possible to have a muscle spasm or charlie horse in your jaw?

Would it be possible to have a muscle spasm or charlie horse in your jaw?

Sure: The masseter and temporalis muscles that help you chew or help your jaw move can both go not spasm with overuse! ...Read more

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Dr. Frederick Nahm Dr. Nahm
Neurology
23 years in practice
University of Michigan Medical School
7

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How can I prevent a charley horse? Every time i exercise, i get interrupted by a painful muscle spasm that lasts for about 15 minutes. What to do?

How can I prevent a charley horse? Every time i exercise, i get interrupted by a painful muscle spasm that lasts for about 15 minutes. What to do?

Muscle pain: Muscle pain and spasms after exercise can be quite severe. Keep in mind the kind of activity that is bringing it on, and seeing if there is something about your exercise regimen that needs adjusting. Hydration with water and perhaps electrolytes can help this condition, but look carefully and keep track of what kind of exercises are triggering the spasms and consult with your docotor. ...Read more

Dr. Anlin Xu Dr. Xu
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology
20 years in practice
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
8
Dr. Bernard Seif Dr. Seif
Clinical Psychology
36 years in practice
University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry
9

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Having muscle spasms like Charlie horse, and ball like cramp on left foot. Extreme severe pain and reoccurring. She has a thyroid prob(overweight)?

Having muscle spasms like Charlie horse, and ball like cramp on left foot. Extreme severe pain and reoccurring. She has a thyroid prob(overweight)?

Muscle cramps: may be the result of low magnesium. Your doc can test you for this and other minerals and find out. A more extensive micronutritent test is available through Spectracell lab in TX. Peace and good health. ...Read more

Dr. Walker Wynkoop Dr. Wynkoop
Orthopedic Surgery
32 years in practice
Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine
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Currently painful bilateral calf spasticity that began yest. Muscles stiff,feel verge of "charlie horse". Pain to touch,walk. No workout,no DVT symptm?

Currently painful bilateral calf spasticity that began yest. Muscles stiff,feel verge of "charlie horse". Pain to touch,walk. No workout,no DVT symptm?

Dehydration?: When there is a simultaneous bilateral problem, think what could be happening that would affect my whole system via my blood stream? Dehydration can cause bilateral calf spasticity, especially if you're low on electrolytes. Also, the onset of a virus is systemic and could cause this. If your pain is improving hour by hour just wait, if it's getting worse, seek medical help ASAP. Good luck! ...Read more

Dr. Sandra Pinkham Dr. Pinkham
Holistic Medicine
49 years in practice
University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
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Charlie horse spasm in upper abdomen. It knocks the breathe out of me. I have to lay on the floor and massage it until the muscles loosen. What is it?

Deficiencies: Anxiety, back pain, difficulty breathing and muscle spasm can all be due to magnesium deficiency which is often present in winter with a need for vit d3 as well. Topical magnesium oil or a magnesium supplement like calms might help with 1, 000 to 10, 000 units of vit d3. Listen to your body and take what works. Avoid refined foods and sugar and improve over all health with good choices. ...Read more

Dr. John Michalski Dr. Michalski
Orthopedic Surgery
32 years in practice
Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University
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I have a pulled muscle or charlie horse, would a hot or cold compress work?

I have a pulled muscle or charlie horse, would a hot or cold compress work?

Muscle pull: Generally speaking, ice followed with moist heat helps. Also consider gentle massage of the muscle belly. ...Read more

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Dr. Ahmad M Hadied Dr. Hadied
Orthopedic Surgery
45 years in practice
University of Damascus Faculty of Medicine
13

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What can make your muscles cramp up, like a charley horse?

What can make your muscles cramp up, like a charley horse?

Many reasons: Poor blood circulation in the legs overexertion of the calf muscles while exercising insufficient stretching before exercise exercising in the heat muscle fatigue dehydration magnesium and/or potassium deficiency calcium deficiency in pregnant women pinched nerve side effect of some drugs lasix, statin medications donepezil Neostigmine Procardia (nifedipine) proventil and asthma medications. ...Read more

Dr. Gurmukh Singh Dr. Singh
Pathology
45 years in practice
University of Pune, Armed Forces Medical College
14

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Is it possible to sprain your calf muscle after a charlie horse ?

Is it possible to sprain your calf muscle after a charlie horse ?

Yes: Charlie horse is a non-specific lay term for muscle spasm and it can affect calf muscles. See this site for more info. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002066.htm. ...Read more

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Dr. Clark Pillsbury Dr. Pillsbury
Podiatry
30 years in practice
William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine
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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

Dr. Ahmad M Hadied Dr. Hadied
Orthopedic Surgery
45 years in practice
University of Damascus Faculty of Medicine
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Can a "charley horse " cause a pulled muscle? What's the best treatment for "charley horses."

Can a "charley horse " cause a pulled muscle?  What's the best treatment for "charley horses."

Yes it could: But it is not very common. Relief is usually given by either massaging or stretching the foot, ankle or knee in the opposite direction of the spasm. Sport medicine advice suggests that dietary deficiency of potassium, found richly in bananas and many vegetables, is a common cause of these spasms. ...Read more

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Dr. Stephen Rothstein Dr. Rothstein
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery
35 years in practice
George Washington University Medical School
17
Dr. Michael Sparacino Dr. Sparacino
Family Medicine
33 years in practice
A. T. Still University Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine
18
Dr. Edward Smith Dr. Smith
Neurology
50 years in practice
University of Illinois College of Medicine
19

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Can you pull a muscle from hving a charley horse?

Yes: A charley horse is an involuntary muscle contraction which is prolonged. If the spasm is strong enough and starts abruptly enough, tendons can be damaged, stretched and possibly torn. ...Read more

Dr. Kathryn Mosher Dr. Mosher
Physical & Rehabilitation Medicine
16 years in practice
University of Minnesota Medical School
20

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My muscle still hurts 3 days after a charley horse. Isn't that a long time?

Yes: Length of recovery has some to do with your age and baseline level of fitness. For example a teenager will recover much faster than an elderly sedentary person. But if your symptoms are severe it may mean it is not just a charley horse. Perhaps you have a small partial tear in your muscle. You should see a doctor if it persists. ...Read more

Muscle (Definition)

It is a body tissue that has the ability to contract. It shortens and generates force. It relaxes and returns to its original length. Muscles move joints, stabilize the body, move air and food through the organs, act as valves for bladder, bowel and other organs. They control movement of the eyes. They help us express ourselves by changing the shape of our ...Read more


Dr. Ellen Bondar
434 doctors shared insights

Muscle Cramps Or Spasms (Definition)

A muscle cramp is a sudden and involuntary contract of one's muscle(s). Such cramps are usually harmless, and may result from certain medications or from long periods of exercise. ...Read more