A charley horse is a cramp that hits with no warning signs. The pain can be excruciating. Causes include sore muscles, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, hormonal imbalance or a process called calcification where blood gets trapped in the muscle and hardens. If you get a charley horse in your leg you can walk it off, but the pain may linger. There are a number of easy and inexpensive at-home methods to quickly relieve the pain from a charley horse.
Using Home Remedies to Treat a Charley Horse
Take Vitamin E capsules regularly to prevent re-occurring charley horses. If you often get them at nighttime, it is probably the result of a lack of vitamins. With the regular use of vitamin E, you can prevent the re-occurrence of charley horses.
Get enough magnesium in your daily diet. If you get charley horses often and Vitamin E does not help, you might want to try a magnesium supplement instead to replace a mineral deficiency or hormonal imbalance. Eating foods rich in magnesium such as fish, rice bran, tofu and spinach is helpful. Dried pumpkin seeds are also a quick fix for a magnesium supplement.
Get more potassium in your diet. A charley horse can also be caused by a lack of potassium. Potassium-rich foods include bananas, bran cereals, apricots, cantaloupes, grapefruit juice, orange juice, peaches, pears, dried prunes and watermelon. You can get a good source of potassium from vegetables such as artichokes, asparagus, beans, peas, potatoes, pumpkins and others. Potassium can also be found in meat, fish, poultry, milk, cheese and yogurt.
Soak the affected area in a tub of warm water mixed with Epsom salts for at least 20 to 30 minutes to soothe sore muscles, reduce inflammation and ease pain. The two main components in Epsom salts are magnesium and sulfate, which are beneficial for the proper functioning of muscles, nerves and certain enzymes in the body.
Take three lemons, one grapefruit and two small oranges and put in a blender, peelings and all. Blend together well; add a teaspoon of cream of tartar and blend again. Take two tablespoons of this mixture with two tablespoons of water twice a day to help relieve re-occurring charley horses.
Massage may help to relieve the pain from charley horses. Charley horses can also be brought on by exercising. If you get a charley horse in your leg while exercising, try stretching your calf muscles until the pain eases. Encouraging more blood flow from your legs to your heart can ease the throbbing pain of charley horses, so try propping your legs up.
Avoid heat to ease the pain from a charley horse. Most people think heat helps to ease all types of pain, but when it comes to a charley horse, heat can cause swelling and increase calcification.