Calf muscle cramp

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Thought I'd post here as you guys will probably have the answer. At various points in my life I've had really bad cramp in my right calf, usually it cramps right up in the night, causing me to wake screaming. Then it's sore for several days afterwards. I'm in a sore period right now! I don't have this issue with any other muscle in my body, just that one. Anyone know what this is and more importantly, is there anything I can do to stop it?

Thanks
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Replies

  • xvolution
    xvolution Posts: 721 Member
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    It's most likely due to severe dehydration. I often get these myself due to some medications I take.
  • DancingMoosie
    DancingMoosie Posts: 8,619 Member
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    Drink more water, or you might need some electrolytes. I take magnesium at night to keep my legs from having spasms.
  • gail1101
    gail1101 Posts: 9 Member
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    I get cramps all the time and they are painful. I friend once told me to take several teaspoons of plain yellow mustard and the cramps will go away. I have been doing this for years and it does help...usually within a couple of minutes. I know it sounds disgusting, but for me...it is better than the cramping muscle. Hope it works for you!
  • Cherimoose
    Cherimoose Posts: 5,208 Member
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    At various points in my life I've had really bad cramp in my right calf, usually it cramps right up in the night, causing me to wake screaming. Then it's sore for several days afterwards. I'm in a sore period right now! I don't have this issue with any other muscle in my body, just that one.

    When it's just one spot, it's usually because that muscle is tight, which reduces the flow of blood & electrolytes within the muscle, causing it to seize up. It happens at night because blood flow to the legs is reduced then, plus the knee is usually bent, which compresses the calf. To find out why it's just your right calf, you might need to have a physical therapist assess you. Possibly a leg-length discrepancy or a fallen arch. While you figure it out, try this stretch for 30 seconds *hourly* on the right side:

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=CkgkmbXz8Mo

    Also try to go over it a few times a day with a foam roller or "The Stick" to increase circulation.

    Keep us posted how it goes. :+1:
  • RainyDayBrunette
    RainyDayBrunette Posts: 59 Member
    edited July 2016
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    Cherimoose wrote: »
    At various points in my life I've had really bad cramp in my right calf, usually it cramps right up in the night, causing me to wake screaming. Then it's sore for several days afterwards. I'm in a sore period right now! I don't have this issue with any other muscle in my body, just that one.

    When it's just one spot, it's usually because that muscle is tight, which reduces the flow of blood & electrolytes within the muscle, causing it to seize up. It happens at night because blood flow to the legs is reduced then, plus the knee is usually bent, which compresses the calf. To find out why it's just your right calf, you might need to have a physical therapist assess you. Possibly a leg-length discrepancy or a fallen arch. While you figure it out, try this stretch for 30 seconds *hourly* on the right side:

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=CkgkmbXz8Mo

    Also try to go over it a few times a day with a foam roller or "The Stick" to increase circulation.

    Keep us posted how it goes. :+1:

    This is great! I always wondered why I only get them on one side... it made me assume it was a localized problem rather than systemic -like an electrolyte deficit. Thanks for this info!!

    Original poster: I get them every few weeks. Only in my left calf! I am lucky that I subconsciously stop them by pointing my toe up towards my knee... that helps elongate the muscle... and stops the cramp from escalating. I remember having them, but they don't make me wake up screaming since I stretch it away... but I still have some tenderness the next day...
  • dutchandkiwi
    dutchandkiwi Posts: 1,389 Member
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    My husband suffered this badly too. Since he's been using the stick as mentioned by @Cherimoose the pain has reduced to acceptable levels and only appears when he has been training more than (his) average
  • caradack1985
    caradack1985 Posts: 254 Member
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    Thanks

    I don't think it's dehydration as I've been drinking a lot of water recently to stem food cravings. Electrolyte unbalance seems more likely.

    I do have EDS hypermobility type so no arches whatsoever! I'll have a look at the stretches and incorporate them into my day.
  • Chieflrg
    Chieflrg Posts: 9,097 Member
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    I've noticed more of my older friends my age 45+ have this in summertime.

    Dehydration has a lot to do with it.

    Drink electrolytes pickle juice, gatorade, etc...or eating bananas help.
  • arditarose
    arditarose Posts: 15,573 Member
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    Magnesium, sodium, potassium. When I'm in a good deficit it's important for me to add in extra potassium or I get crampy. Magnesium is necessary all the time (for me). And a lot of people poo poo sodium, but you need it yo. Obviously if you have a medical condition you have to watch it.
  • RoxieDawn
    RoxieDawn Posts: 15,488 Member
    edited July 2016
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    Sounds like you periodically get a charlie horse.

    edited to add: if you can get up right when it happens and massage it through and even try to start walking on it and continue to massage the spasm and knot you get int the calf you can alleviate some of the terrible soreness you get days later.
  • gen39
    gen39 Posts: 36 Member
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    Like others have said, electrolytes. Whenever I don't eat enough potassium (e.g. when I was on a very low carb diet) I tend to get those in the middle of the night.
  • caradack1985
    caradack1985 Posts: 254 Member
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    Thanks all, I've got some dioralyte and eaten banana today, it is feeling better. I'll just have to keep an eye on my potassium and magnesium levels and making sure I'm getting enough.
  • ladipoet
    ladipoet Posts: 4,180 Member
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    arditarose wrote: »
    Magnesium, sodium, potassium. When I'm in a good deficit it's important for me to add in extra potassium or I get crampy. Magnesium is necessary all the time (for me). And a lot of people poo poo sodium, but you need it yo. Obviously if you have a medical condition you have to watch it.

    This ^^^^. A high quality magnesium oil (it's not really an "oil"...that's just what they call it) sprayed onto your leg(s) and rubbed in at night before you go to bed would likewise help with the problem. Epsom salt foot baths (or regular baths with same added) are also a good source of magnesium that your skin / legs / feet can absorb too. Even though I do make sure to get in plenty of salt and supplement magnesium / potassium, I still get cramps in my lower legs & feet too. The supplements and magnesium oil help. The only thing I found which got rid of the cramps for me completely was an electrolyte drink that had a lot of magnesium / potassium in it. Unfortunately, the electrolyte drink was too darned expensive for my budget ($60.00 for a 2-month supply and that was getting it cheap at Sams)! Good luck OP!
  • arditarose
    arditarose Posts: 15,573 Member
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    ladipoet wrote: »
    arditarose wrote: »
    Magnesium, sodium, potassium. When I'm in a good deficit it's important for me to add in extra potassium or I get crampy. Magnesium is necessary all the time (for me). And a lot of people poo poo sodium, but you need it yo. Obviously if you have a medical condition you have to watch it.

    This ^^^^. A high quality magnesium oil (it's not really an "oil"...that's just what they call it) sprayed onto your leg(s) and rubbed in at night before you go to bed would likewise help with the problem. Epsom salt foot baths (or regular baths with same added) are also a good source of magnesium that your skin / legs / feet can absorb too. Even though I do make sure to get in plenty of salt and supplement magnesium / potassium, I still get cramps in my lower legs & feet too. The supplements and magnesium oil help. The only thing I found which got rid of the cramps for me completely was an electrolyte drink that had a lot of magnesium / potassium in it. Unfortunately, the electrolyte drink was too darned expensive for my budget ($60.00 for a 2-month supply and that was getting it cheap at Sams)! Good luck OP!

    Where do you get magnesium oil btw?
  • ladipoet
    ladipoet Posts: 4,180 Member
    edited July 2016
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    I get mine online from sunfood; however, many places sell it. I just happen to like the purity and high quality of sunfood's magnesium oil.
  • arditarose
    arditarose Posts: 15,573 Member
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    ladipoet wrote: »
    I get mine from sunfood.

    Thank you
  • ladipoet
    ladipoet Posts: 4,180 Member
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    No problem. You are most welcome! :)
  • arditarose
    arditarose Posts: 15,573 Member
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    ladipoet wrote: »
    No problem. You are most welcome! :)

    I don't mean to derail the thread but it's kind of on topic.

    Do you find topical magnesium more effective than pill?
  • lemmie177
    lemmie177 Posts: 479 Member
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    ladipoet wrote: »
    arditarose wrote: »
    Magnesium, sodium, potassium. When I'm in a good deficit it's important for me to add in extra potassium or I get crampy. Magnesium is necessary all the time (for me). And a lot of people poo poo sodium, but you need it yo. Obviously if you have a medical condition you have to watch it.

    This ^^^^. A high quality magnesium oil (it's not really an "oil"...that's just what they call it) sprayed onto your leg(s) and rubbed in at night before you go to bed would likewise help with the problem. Epsom salt foot baths (or regular baths with same added) are also a good source of magnesium that your skin / legs / feet can absorb too. Even though I do make sure to get in plenty of salt and supplement magnesium / potassium, I still get cramps in my lower legs & feet too. The supplements and magnesium oil help. The only thing I found which got rid of the cramps for me completely was an electrolyte drink that had a lot of magnesium / potassium in it. Unfortunately, the electrolyte drink was too darned expensive for my budget ($60.00 for a 2-month supply and that was getting it cheap at Sams)! Good luck OP!

    I sometimes make my own electrolyte water. If you get salt substitute, sometimes sold as No-salt or Lite salt, its mostly potassium chloride. I also add magnesium citrate powder. With a little math, you could approximate your own version.
  • dlr165
    dlr165 Posts: 118 Member
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    I take 2 potassium pills everyday and now I only get leg cramps once in a blue moon. It was daily. I just didn't get enough in the foods I ate. The pills are cheap and do the job.