Good News: It usually only lasts a few minutes.
Bad News: It can be intense.
These cramps usually start suddenly and without warning. Common causes include muscle stress, vitamin deficiency, or medication side-effect.
What should you do? Stretch, massage and muscle exercises. (Handouts available in the office.) Foot orthotics are important for many patients. Pain killers sometimes are needed, especially if the cramps disturb sleep.
So where did the expression "Charley Horse" (or "Charlie Horse") come from? While no one knows for sure, it is at least 100 years old. Numerous sources relate it to baseball (such as pitcher Charlie "Old Hoss" Radbourn or from a lame horse named Charley that pulled a roller across the infield in the Chicago White Sox ballpark).
If you are suffering from foot or leg spasms or pain, please call our office at 847-675-3400 for an evaluation or schedule your appointment online at www.skokiepodiatry.com.