A Charlie horse (also called a “charley horse,” “dead leg,” and “corkie” is a unpleasant, involuntary muscle cramp that generally occurs in your legs. It’s also an expression employed for leg cramps (For extra details on cramps, read Cramps). Charlie horse is also used to describe agonizing contusions or bruises and even hematoma or internal bleeding around the thigh or lower leg. This is a common injury in many contact sports since it is induced by impact force. It’s not considered long term or life-threatening, and can be expected to fully recover within a couple of days to a mon
One of the origins of this unusual name is it is said to have come from the pitcher Charlie “Old Hoss” Radbourn, an American baseball pitcher in the 1880s who was said to experience suffering from leg cramps. Yet another story claimed that the name was from a real horse named Charley that applied to work at Comiskey Park in the Chicago White Sox’s ballpark, although it was also known that old, retired horses were also known as “Charlie.”
Charlie horses are also termed as “nocturnal leg cramps,” normally striking the calf region at night without apparent warning and hours immediately after any kind of physical activity. It can last for a few moments or several hours, based on the extent of injury or cause. Other symptoms include:
• Muscle spasm.
This is described as the tightening of muscles and a sensation of “going into knots.”
• Swelling, bruising and tingling.
For injuries caused by impact force, welling, bruising, discomfort and tingling may be the most immediate results of such a hit.
• Restricted motion.
Muscle contraction is your body’s method of protecting your muscle tissues and this cause restricted or limited movement from the affected location.
• Tenderness or sensitivity to the touch
Charlie horse is usually considered as a sports injury (Extra tidbits on Sports injuries), but most people also run the risk of getting it for several reasons:
• Muscle fatigue. First time heading to the gym after a long time? Don’t overdo it. Most leg cramps arise from strenuous activity and our muscles’ lack of capability to put up with an too much and sudden stress. Lack of warm-ups and appropriate stretching in your exercise routine may also cause undue stress on your muscles.
• Mineral deficiency. Occasionally, charlie horses are caused by an imbalance of potassium, calcium or magnesium in our bodies.
• Dehydration. Dehydration is one of the definite causes to muscle cramps, due to the fact our body wants water to act as lubricant for our joints and muscles.
• Pregnancy. Charlie horses can also be experienced by pregnant women on account of additional weight gain and an increased stress on blood vessels, which may slow circulation and cause blood to accumulate within your legs.
Calcification. Calcification happens when the mineral calcium gets into gentle tissue and hardens. This happens when your body does not effectively absorb calcium.
• Side impact. It can be a side effect to medications like stains (cholesterol decreasing medicines) and prednisone (medicine for allergic ailments).
• Complications. Charlie horses can also be considered a complication towards the serious clinical situations including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and neuropathy, both conditions of ruined neurons in the brain.
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• Don’t strain yourself.
If you are an athlete, you do not need to put strain around the impacted region. Limit your movements and avoid strenuous pursuits.
• Using Ice on affected area.
For your quadriceps contusion type of charlie horse, applying ice to the affected area must be the immediate response. Keeping the leg in a fully bent situation for 24 hours also helps in stopping further pain or spasms.
• Do not use heat.
Heat can only enhance swelling and encourage much more blood to flow inside the impacted region and it could worsen the contusions.
Compression is done to reduce swelling, and is particularly useful for that quadriceps contusion type of charlie horse.
• Elevate the area.
Encourage the blood flow out of your limbs towards the heart by elevating your legs above the heart area. You’ll be able to do that by lying down and propping your legs on pillows.
• Vitamin E.
400 lu of vitamin E is advised for individuals who get nightly charlie horses.
•Stretching and massaging.
For your quadriceps contusion kind of charlie horse, do gentle pain-free quadriceps stretching for 30 seconds, and repeat 5 occasions everyday. Based on the severity on the condition, you might also utilize mild massaging towards the area. For that far more typical kind of charlie horse, it is possible to also gently massage the impacted region as well as do some very simple stretching workouts.
• Walking aid.
Based on the severity of your case, strolling aids may also be advised until your legs totally recover. Bodily treatment may possibly also be required. (For extra info on physical therapy, read the guide to Physical therapy)
Anti-steroidal, non-inflammatory may perhaps be prescribed for that discomfort. For more severe instances, anti-spasm medication might also be prescribed to you personally.
• Seek medical related attention.
It’s ideal that you see an expert to diagnose the severity of the charlie horse and its appropriate treatment.
• Warm up and stretching.
Charlie horses usually occur from a physical exercise routine that doesn’t incorporate a proper warm up and stretch time. Should you be a newbie in sports or inside the fitness center, don’t push your self so hard. Your muscle groups may not be able to consider the beating and you might immediately obtain a charlie horse. Your muscle groups need to have time to get prepared for the most strenuous components of your exercise, and they need time to wind down as well. (Guidelines on the way to warm up just before working out)
• Drink up.
Keeping your self well-hydrated goes a long way in making sure your muscular tissues don’t get strained. Drink before, during of and after your workout. Drink less diuretics such as tea and coffee.
• Mineral consumption.
Drinking magnesium with calcium helps the body take in calcium and prevents calcification. Most sports drinks contain potassium as well as magnesium and calcium, and so are recommended for athletes and large fitness center buffs.
Some sports activities need body padding to protect you against impactful forces that you may run into. Some sports, however, don’t. If you are into contact sports, just find out ways to dodge it better.
Conclusion: Words of wisdom
Charlie horses used to be a term for retired horses, but getting a charlie horse does not mean you have to retire from any type of activity. Appropriate exercise regimens, stretching, hydration plus the appropriate diet plan are needed to keep your muscular tissues happy and ready for anything. If you’re interested in this article, you’ll undoubtedly be fascinated to read how you can get rid of cramps.