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Introduction to Charlie horses

Having a Charlie Horses is one of the most painful conditions that a person could ever experience. What a Charlie Horses is, essentially, is a muscle spasm that usually occurs in the leg.

Most people experience it at night while sleeping and usually, the pain comes in the calf region of the leg. What occurs is the muscle contracts and then cramps up, and there is usually no forewarning that it is about to occur.

It is a very painful spasm and the muscle locks into a contracted position, which can cause a great amount of the pain.

When a Charlie Horses occurs, it is very sudden and intense and a person will lose complete control over the muscle and find it difficult to walk.

Causes

In most cases, a Charlie Horses occurs as a late response to a straining muscle during exercise. This is usually experienced when a person starts training again after taking a long break. Athletes will get this sometimes at the beginning of the season.

What a Charlie Horses is, essentially, is a late reaction to a muscle strain. The person could have strained the leg while exercising during the day, but the cramp and spasm will not occur until later in the night, usually, when the person is sleeping.

The best thing to do in order to avoid this happening is to take it easy when starting to train again after a long break and build up to more intensive work outs over a gradual period of time so that the initial strain can be avoided as much as possible.

Sometimes it can occur when a person is dehydrated while exercising. It is very important to drink a lot of water while working out and to keep hydrated before and after as well.

It is important to drink at least six to eight glass of water a day, and even more than that if the person is exercising and sweating a lot every day.

A Charlie Horses can also occur as a result of an electrolyte or mineral imbalance in the body. Potassium is needed to regulate blood pressure and the heart beat, therefore, when a person does not have enough potassium in their body, they are more prone to suffering from poor blood circulation, fatigue and muscle weakness.

Other minerals like calcium, magnesium and vitamins A and E also maintain balance within the cell walls and help to prevent spasms, therefore, people who do not get enough are more prone to Charlie Horses.

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