Charlie horses are muscle spasms in the legs – and they can really hurt! Remedies for Charlie Horses are available but sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t.
Charlie Horses can occur when certain minerals in your body are low. Calcium and potassium are two that need to be at optimum levels to keep muscle spasms from occurring. With that in mind it would follow that one of the remedies for Charlie Horses would be to take calcium and potassium supplements to make sure your levels are where they should be. Gatorade could be a source of not only these minerals but the fluids you lose during exercise or exertion. Lack of magnesium could also be a culprit.
Another cause of Charlie Horses can be a pinched nerve in your back. The Sciatic Nerve runs down the back of your leg starting at your hip and can go all the way under the foot to the end of the toes. When this nerve is irritated or pinched you could be in for some nasty leg cramps and cramps under your feet and toes. Often you will experience numbness or tingling in your leg too if this nerve is involved.
There are several remedies for Sciatic Nerve problems. There are exercises and stretches you can do to, hopefully, work it loose. There are shots that can be given to reduce inflammation around the nerve so it heals and also surgery can be performed to correct the situation. Any of these solutions could be remedies for Charlie Horses.
People with fibromyalgia can suffer from muscle spasms all over their bodies and are known to experience severe Charlie Horses.
Some less severe remedies for Charlie Horses include drinking vinegar (one teaspoon of raw apple cider vinegar mixed in 8 ounces of water) or drinking baking soda (1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of soda mixed into 8 ounces of water). I have had some success with this method. There are products on the market for leg cramps. One is simply names Leg Cramps & Leg Cramps PM. These products contain quinine and are made by the Hyland company. Reviews put these products at 4 1/2 stars. I use them and have had success with them. Quinine can also be found in Tonic water. Drinking 8 ounces before bed and again if you wake during the night could give you some relief. Drinking a couple big swallows of kosher dill pickle juice is supposed to work. Putting a small bar of soap between the mattress and bottom sheet is supposed to work. There are other home-spun remedies for Charlie Horses and, as you can see, some make sense and some not-so-much.
Stretching your leg muscles, especially the calves before going to bed has been known to work. Keep the stretch gentle and just to the point of feeling it. It has also been recommended that you stretch your hamstrings too in order to keep your upper leg from cramping. Some of the most painful Charlie Horses ever occur in the back of the thigh. You can’t stand, can’t walk and can’t even cry.
If you suffer from leg cramps go ahead and try some of the home remedies, they won’t hurt you; but, you should consult your doctor to see if you might be deficient in potassium, calcium or magnesium or even sodium. Also you want to be sure to rule out any nerve involvement that could lead to other problems.