What Are Charlie Horses?

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Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
A charley horse is an American lay term that refers generally to a severe contraction of a muscle or group of them-- a severe and sudden cramp, usually in the leg muscles, but also sometimes in the arm.  The term is said to have originated in Chattanooga, Tennessee many years ago -- It is understood that indeed there was a rather lame horse (name of Charley) whose job it was to work pulling equipment around a baseball field.  He became a familiar site to fans prior to games and during game intervals (7th inning stretch) as he gimpeed around the field with a dust brush in tow.  Players soon began to refer to one another as a Charley Horse when they had sustained leg or arm bruises or muscle injuries as they also rather gimped about.
 
The cause of muscle cramping is most often over exertion due to repetitiveness of motion, and is often complicated by low potassium levels in the body.  If they are extremely frequent, you might talk with a nutritionist or your doctor about potassium and nutrient levels, and or also about how to moderate your exertion and/or condition your muscles for physical activity.
JustMr Jude Profile
JustMr Jude answered
They are also sometimes caused by nutritional imbalance (high or low amount) of electrolytes in the body. And can be caused by poor diet or a side effect to certain medications (ie: Diuretics and others). Common electrolytes involved include: Potassium, magnesium and calcium. Lab tests can easily tell if one of those 3 electrolytes are too high or too low from a "normal" range and are also easily, quickly corrected.  Your doctor or pharmacist would advise an IV cure or pill supplement depending on if you're in the hospital at the moment or at home.
doctor C Profile
doctor C answered
When you feel a sudden painful twinge in the bottom part of your leg from various exercises

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