Being woken up in the middle of the night because of a Charley Horse is awe-full. About 60% of us have experienced this a leg cramp with feels more like a super painful spasm that just wont’ stop.
A Charley horse develops when the nerves send to many signals to your muscles at the same time which causes your muscles to contract in a painful way. When we sit or lay down for a long time – like when we are sleeping – this can trigger a nerve malfunction. Hence the middle of the night cramps.
It seems we can get them more in the warmer months because we have higher levels of vitamin D in the summer from exposure to the sun.
In most cases Charley Horses don’t have long lasting effects on our body.
If you are prone to Charley Horses you can help reduce them by stretching your calves, hamstrings and quads for at least 3 min. before you go to bed.
If you get these in the middle of the night you can get up and do these stretches as well to help stop them.
If a spasm does strike in the middle of the night, ease the pain by using the same stretches.
A few other tricks to help stop Charley Horses include:
- Getting out of bed and walking around
- Apply ice to the area where you’re feeling the cramps
- Take an Epsom Salt bath
- Put some pillows under your leg to elevate your leg
- Keep Hydrated
Stretching seems to be the one key factor in reducing Charley Horse’s. Stretching is also a good way to keep your muscles from becoming sore on the job. Do some stretches before you start your work day.