Mother of all charlie horses... HELP!



  • AnJulNZ
    AnJulNZ Posts: 186 Member
    Oh gosh you poor thing! I used to get them frequently when I was pregnant, and once or twice since then. They are awful.

    My midwife said to put your foot on a cold floor. It worked on the occasions I could actually get to a cold floor. The banana idea is interesting, must be hard to eat when you're writhing around in agony though!!
  • R_Bedard
    R_Bedard Posts: 91 Member
    You're on the right track. Bananas and water intake are said to help. When you wake in the morning and your leg(s) still hurt, try rolling them with a rolling pin. It helps to relax your muscles.
    FATJAKE5 Posts: 162
    Are you taking HCTZ aka "water pill"?
  • luvriden
    luvriden Posts: 52
    Drink more water and more foods with vitamin D.
  • PippaJo_
    PippaJo_ Posts: 233 Member
    Potassium and magnesium.

    I used to get them often enough - but I don't think I've had one since pregnancy, over 8 years ago. A couple of quick scares, but rapidly flexing my foot seems to have saved me.

    I had a *severe* cramp while pregnant once - flexing and rubbing seemed to do nothing for it. I ended up having to sleep on the couch with my foot jammed up against the arm, to force it to stay as flexed as possible. I was in unbearable pain otherwise.
  • FredDoyle
    FredDoyle Posts: 2,273 Member
    The other members have some good ideas on why you are getting them. I will agree with the member who gave you a strategy on how to relieve them. He is right. You will have instant relief. Point your toes upward so you lengthen/stretch the calf and the pain instantly goes away.
    This. I used to get calf cramps at night and once I learned this I never let the cramp get bad enough to bruise the muscle.
    When you feel the cramp starting, quickly put the leg flat on the floor and grab your toes and pull to lengthen (not contract) the calf muscle.
    You eventually learn to do it like the poster I quoted said.
  • Thedij
    Thedij Posts: 29 Member
    I've been getting cramps in my feet on occasion since the beginning of the year. My Mom suggested I put a bar of soap in my bed near my knees between my mattress cover & fitted sheet.

    I LMAO then Googled it:

    I decided to give it a try with a small bar of soap and ... it worked!

    So now I sleep with a bar of soap. At least it doesn't snore - unlike my husband!
  • goalss4nika
    goalss4nika Posts: 529 Member
    I had to search for this thread because I had one last night and it hurt me like hell. I started to cry. What prevents them?
  • BenjaminMFP88
    BenjaminMFP88 Posts: 660 Member
    As everyone has mentioned regular streatching, I won't. However, something to consider would be to check your level of electrolytes? If you eat too little sodium, and too much potassium, cramps/charlie horses can result.
  • goalss4nika
    goalss4nika Posts: 529 Member
    As everyone has mentioned regular streatching, I won't. However, something to consider would be to check your level of electrolytes? If you eat too little sodium, and too much potassium, cramps/charlie horses can result.

    Thanks for this! I will admit, I hate to strech, but if it will prevent charlie horses then I will be from now on.
  • AlsDonkBoxSquat
    AlsDonkBoxSquat Posts: 6,128 Member
    1) stretch
    2) stay hydrated
    3) eat spinach
    4) eat sweet potatoes
    5) electrolites
  • Get a diabetes test done. My mum was a poster child for fitness - aerobics, gym and personal training instructor - but she kept getting insane cramps in her legs.
  • VP56
    VP56 Posts: 10 Member
    Drink Tonic water. It contains quinine, which will stop a leg/muscle spasm almost immediately. The taste is not great, but if you can manage about 1/2 cup, your charlie horse will be gone! We keep Tonic water in the fridge all the time.
  • Oscarinmiami
    Oscarinmiami Posts: 326 Member
    sounds like a cramp...more potasium, more water, if you can ride a stationary bike for 15-20 min before you go to bed.
  • rodneyderrick
    rodneyderrick Posts: 483 Member
    Drink plenty of water, eat foods higher in potassium, and take a potassium supplement.
  • jmom376
    jmom376 Posts: 234 Member
    Thank you for all of the tips/tricks. I have also had Charlie Horses the last 2 days. Both mornings I woke up to excruciating pain. I was thinking it might be the colder weather. But who knows.
  • xtaljd
    xtaljd Posts: 17
    When I get bad leg cramps like that I spring up out of bed and walk around. I may be whining and crying the whole time, but it makes them end quicker.
  • sandrop329
    sandrop329 Posts: 26 Member
    I echo the potassium and magnesium (especially from Epsom salt baths). I've heard about the bar of soap thing, though haven't tried it. My husband gets BAD Charlie horses. We keep a little bottle of this stuff called "leg cramps" by the bed. They're little sublingual tablets that contain quinine and they actually help him during an attack. I know that pain! So sorry you're dealing with it! Feel better!

    Here's a pic of the "Leg Cramps"

    Edited to fix the picture.
  • Vex3521
    Vex3521 Posts: 385 Member
    Magnesium! I got the first of these pregnant and to someone that hasn't ever had one this severe..... literally it was like someone or something was stripping your calf from your leg a small shred at a time. Ranks up there with the worst pain I have ever been in for my entire life...

    Since my kids I've gotten them rarely but the magnesium saves me every time. I also do a hot compress with a washrag that has Epsom salt on it. It was my grandmother's remedy, works too =)
  • MrsG31
    MrsG31 Posts: 364 Member
    Wow, I never realized how common they were! Good tips everyone, will need to keep in mind for the future! Except for the bananas - I like them, but my tummy does not. :(

    I got a couple while pregnant and yes, it is true that it is common is pregnancy, but usually later in pregnancy, likely due to all the extra weight your a holding and the interesting positions you have to get into to sleep comfortably. I had a really bad one when I was close to my due date with 1st and I woke up screaming in pain - my husband thought I was going into labor. I just flexed & pointed my foot a bunch while hubby massaged my calf. I don't remember if it hurt the next day.