Charley Horse anyone?

Anyone experience an increase in charley horses in the injured leg?  Just lately I am finding that I am waking in the middle of the night with a charley horse in my left leg. It seems to happen when I try and stretch my leg out and then wham! the pain sets in.  I am doing my heel raises and stretches each day and I walk at least 4-5 miles each day.  Nothing different in my diet.  This only just started in the past week so I am not sure why or how to prevent this.   I am going to stretch prior to going to bed in the hope that might help but if anyone has any suggestions, I would love to know.

7 Responses to “Charley Horse anyone?”

  1. I had to google Charlie Horse to be sure what you meant as it is not a term we use down under. If you are referring to cramps then yes I have them every now and then at night. One of the best remedies for night cramps is magnesium supplements. Take Calcium also as it aids the uptake of the Mg. Mg helps with electrical impluses in the muscle. Your stretch before bed is also wise. Charlie Horse also referrs to muscle spasms according to wiki. If that is happening to you then I have not encounted it but the Mg could help also.

  2. I had / have the same issues! My goodness, they would wake me up because they were so intense. For some reason, I point my toes while sleeping and this causes the most intense charlie horse in my calf - inured calf only. I was told to drink plenty of water and that helps some but I find that it isn’t a result of cramping, but me stretching out my legs for some reason while sleeping. Can be very painful but this was something I experienced prior to rupturing my AT. I’ve woken up a few times (prior to rupture) with my calf locked! The pain - horrible! Haven’t experienced it to that degree post injury but definitely on a lighter level.

  3. I don’t understand the distinctions you folks are making. Calf muscles are often prone to spasm, I.e. contracting hard and refusing to relax and extend again. The phenomenon is often called a charleyhorse, at least in NA. And the pain is a cramp, as I understand it. Back muscles do similar things and we call it a backache.
    Early in ATR rehab, these spasms can be scary, and are sometimes treated with antispasmodic drugs (similar to “back pills”). Later on, they’re mostly a bloody nuisance. My wife gets a few nasty calf spasms a year, usually at night, never an ATR. I’ve had ATRs in both legs, and I’ve had a handful in 69 years.
    The trauma of ATR, and the unique weirdness of immobilization for weeks, all seem to make calf spasms/cramps more frequent, and they sometimes linger.

  4. Norm - not sure if there is a distinction but I am definitely experiencing the cramping a lot more than I did pre-ATR. They are a little different in that my calf actually freezes in place and my toe is pointed but my good leg has not been affected at all. My PT told me to drink more water and I know that helps but somehow, I feel like the cramp is more a result of me actually stretching and pointing my toe while sleeping than a random spasm. I may be mistaken though.

  5. ATR, there are several gizmos on the market (lighter than boots) designed to hold your ankle near neutral while you sleep. Heck, if you still have your boot, you could try sleeping in it for a night and see if you escape without cramps. If so, maybe try investing in one of those braces or splints. Most are plastic in the shape of an L that is held to the leg (front or back) with Velcro straps.
    Not a delightful sleep accessory, but maybe better than leg cramps! And the problem will probably pass, with or without. (And try the mineral supplements too.)

  6. I’ve had these happen to me on occasion before, but very rarely. So, when I’ve had one happen 3-4 times in the past few weeks I wondered if this is coming on because of the muscle was being worked harder. My PT has recently included squat work on the Bosu ball to help with my balance and I definitely feel the injured calf really has to work hard. I am more sore from that than any of my other PT exercised. I do think it happens more often when I am sleeping on my stomach as in that pose my foot would be pointing straight down. ATR2014 and I are basically around the same point in our recovery so I also wonder if this is something that happens more around this point in time. Of course, all of this could just be coincidence.

    As for remedies, I have been given advice of everything from water to magnesium to Vit D to Calcium but I think the most unusual bit of advice was to sleep with a bar of soap in the bed! I have not tried this yet, but I did google it and there is a lot of discussion about this out there! I may slip a bar of Dove under the covers tonight, though I’m not sure what my husband will think if I do! :)

  7. A friend of mine who is a physiotherapist recommends drinking a glass of tonic water before bed. She doesn’t know why, but it sometimes helps with leg cramps

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