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Leg cramps, or Charlie horse, is a common condition. It can affect the feet, thighs, and calves. But when should you see a doctor for Charlie horse in Maryland? While some cramps are normal, others may be severe and cause a disruption to your life. Here’s what you need to know.
What is a Charlie Horse?
A Charlie horse is an involuntary contraction of the muscle, which causes pain and tenderness in the affected area. This cramp may last a few seconds, or even a few minutes. However, the tenderness can remail for several hours.
Often, this happens when a person is sleeping or resting. While its usually harmless, it may be linked to underlying conditions like vascular disease or diabetes.
Symptoms of Charlie Horse in Maryland
During a Charlie horse, you may experience a sudden, shooting pain and feel a knot in the muscle tissue in the affected area. The muscle may be tight and painful. This episode may last a few seconds or up to ten minutes. Charlie horse is more common in the calf muscles but can also happen in the thighs and feet.
While leg cramps aren’t linked to a single cause, there are some factors that significantly contributes to leg cramps. These include:
- Insufficient blood supply. Restricted blood flow can lead to cramps in the legs and feet, especially during exercise.
- Shortening of tendons. With age, the tendons connecting muscles and bones tend to shorten. This leads to muscle cramps
- Abnormal nerve activity. Its quite common to experience leg cramps during sleep. This is typically triggered by increased nerve activity, with nerves carrying too many signals to the muscles. This makes the muscle feel contracted or knotted.
- Sedentary lifestyle. Inactive lifestyles can cause leg cramps since the muscles don’t get the regular stretching they need to function properly.
- Not drinking enough water can inhibit muscle function, causing cramps.
Other causes include medical conditions such as neurological disorders, pregnancy, bacterial infections, metabolic conditions, heart conditions, kidney/liver conditions and neurodegenerative diseases.
Treatment for Charlie Horse in Maryland
There are a few things that doctors can do to help you manage and prevent Charlie horse cramps. From exercise and stretching to medications and more. Contact The Vein Center of Maryland to learn more.