Charlie horse/leg cramps

I’ve woken up the past 3 nights a couple with leg cramps that hurt so bad the only way to get it to stop is get out of bed and stand on your leg. I’ve taken mustard, extra potassium, extra magnesium, taken Tylenol, drank Gatorade, rubbed my legs does for two nights…nothing seems to help. Has anybody had this? What helps?

my husband is a cyclist and suffers cramps a lot. He keeps a saucepan lid at his bedside. When he is woken up with cramps he presses this icy cold metal on his leg which eases the pain.

Sounds just like what I occasionally go through. Figured the muscle needed to relax, so I run very HOTwater in the sink, soak a washcloth, ring out a bit, and press it onto the affected area.I do this over and over, until I sense it is passing.

Works for me!

My drs. have no idea about the cause of cramps. It must be a combination of things, exhaustion, lacking something, too little consistent exercise - maybe all three together!

Good luck!

I think everyone who gets these will have their own "solution". I wrap bath towels around my leg. It gets me to where I can sleep again. I also watch my salt intake. I try not to eat anything too salty like potato chips or pretzels especially after supper.

Well, this has been covered before; it's a thing we live with. Again, it's probably our nerve signals getting confused, again. First, drink lots of water. Like a gallon (yes, a GALLON) through the day. Take a 200mg quinine cap It is a rx item, but quinine is not manufactured in USA. (I got my last from Canada.) Get some calf compression leg supports to wear at night.

I believe that a lot is caused by poor leg circulation at night. Also elevate the legs with a pillow device. There are several antileg cramp meds OTC, but I have found them to be basically ineffective. Oh, additionally you may try same anti arthritis creams, like aspercreme. Good luck and advise on results. Silky

I have very bad cramps all over. The best method to avoid them is exercise (weight training and stretching). My neurologist said she could prescribe a mild muscle relaxer but most people don’t like the side effects. Hot yoga seems to work also, I look like a fool because I can’t do many poses but the little I can do helps.

Sorry to hear your having this I have them too. Bananas and lots of water before you go to bed I do this but still get them a lot. Hope someone has a solution for yu and I too ill steal the idea.

I use foot night splints to keep calf muscle taught.

Works a treat

I went through a period where I got bad leg cramps at night. I used to wake up and stagger/limp to the bathroom and hold a cold wash-cloth on my leg until it was numb. Sometimes it would take ages and I would have to use two wash-cloths and keep one of them cold and keep changing them about. One night it was so bad and even in both legs that I literally dragged myself to the bathroom using my hands. This would happen one or two nights in a row and then not happen for three or four nights and then happen all over again.

I was talking about this with my 91 year old mother in law and she recommended "no cramp" spray (that you could get from a pharmacy). I tried that and it seemed to make no difference and tasted absolutely horrible (it might work for you though, I guess different things work for different people). Then she recommended having a banana every night before you go to bed, this worked perfectly for me. I have bananas now and haven't had cramps since.

Also it seems really odd, but another thing that worked for me was drinking energy drinks (you know, like the kids have), "red bull", "V", "lift +". I know you've tried "gatorade" but that's not exactly the same. Well you never know.

I suffered almost every night for 6 months, tried it all...nothing really worked Finally Dr. ordered a "sleep test". Thought he was nuts...turned out I had severe sleep apnea. Been using a CPAP for the last 1 1/2 years. No more cramps unless I sleep more than 4 hours without it!

I sip tonic water before bed

I have the exact same problem, have even been taking Magnesium, but doesn't seem to help much. I sometimes have to walk to get rid of them, and as soon as I get back to sleep they start frustrating....If you hear of anything, let me know, I know not everything works for everyone.

Its worth looking at Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS), also known as Willis-Ekbom Disease (WED)


i also suffer from cramps in my legs. i usually find that when i get really bad cramps its best to lay flat on your back and bring your knees close to your chest. WARNING it hurts a bunch but when you relax and lay flat agin i find that its after I've stretched them (the calf muscle) and them i rub them with a closed fist using my knuckles.

Magnesium tabs have helped a bit but because its our brain and not the actual muscle thats making it hurt (msgs not getting through) (i feel like a hypocrite for giving this advice because i haven't done it for a while)



i still get them but not as frequent


I have leg cramps about once a week and restless leg syndrome almost every night. I take a supplement by Hylands, called “Leg Cramps”. It takes care of the problem. You can get them at Super Suppliments. Good product!

I’ve eaten a banana everyday and drank gatorade and water and slept with them elevated. It worked! Thanks everybody!!

I just saw your post in my e-mail. Leg cramps, especially in the middle of the night, suck eggs, to put it mildly. Now, I am not too reliable about checking my e-mail and stuff but I do want to help, I was a personal trainer for 25 years and many of my clients would experience this, try tonic water, about 6-8oz. Tonic water contains quinine, if that helps you can buy the straight pills at wal-mart, I am afraid it is just try until something helps. Anything else I can advise or help someone with would be my pleasure!

My whole life was helping other people. I went way beyond what your usual 24hour fitness type trainer was. I was more like a life coach. I "trained" mind, body and spirit. I worked for 9 years as lead trainer in Las Vegas at the Bellagio hotel/casino. Those who worked with me understand how far reaching my "training" was. If I can help it will give me a sense of purpose again.-Randall

Hi Iwentdownunder, I just seemed to work out a system with my Dr.(GP & Nero) about this. Because I had 4-5 nights having woke up with very saver Charlie horse in my calves. I posed this question here to and tried many things. All which helped a little. I think they were all great and all of them added to helping me some. Nothing seemed to work not even a 2 hour massage on my legs!

But unfortunately sometimes like my Dr. said a person just has to break that cycle of cramping and pain and use meds. She said meds were made for that reason,(maybe she said that to get me to take a few I don't know ) especially if I don't take anything very often. I took Baclofen (when googled it didn't say it helped cramping but it did for me it's a muscle relaxer) for 2 days 20mg 4 X's in the day and 2 nights before bed. I was told to drink at least one cup of Tonic water before bed (because it has Quinine in it but it was challenging to find one without sugar in it but I did). I have a rice cake with peanut butter about 2Tablespoons and then I take 250 mg of magnesium citrate tablets (not regular magnesium it processes faster and better in my system). I use arnica gel as a prevention before bed and slather it on if I start or have any cramps. Again, because my body is clean with the foods that I eat this works for me (no Gluten no refined sugars even 1 gram/pinch) I also have a banana every morning now.

I automatically just do some gentle stretching my hamstrings every morning after I wake up (because it feels good to me). I ran this passed my Nuero that I went through a period of Charlie horse cramps and how could I avoid them in the future). He said to make sure I'm hydrated (watery foods and drink more than I think I need. Then he asked if I stretched my legs. I told him that I did in the mornings and showed him what I did (hold on to kitchen counter lean back (like I'm going to sit as low as I can while still holding on) to stench my back (at the same time) while extending say my right leg out in front of me, left leg bent behind. Then I lean forward to strech other one. Then I switch legs and do that again. He said that helps stech my back, my quads, calves and ankle which is really good since they are all connected. But he said he wants me to do that in the morning and just before I get in bed too. Eventually they will get longer too. He asked about if I take magnesium that's when he told me to take the citrate. He said not to worry about taking too much, it flushes out of the system. But he said to make sure I'm taking a multi with M in it daily and make sure to eat more M in my foods.(Gosh writing this all down sounds like allot but I'm into a habit now so it doesn't seem like allot to me now but it did the first few nights.) Good luck finding things that will work for you too. I do think it's all trial and error. But my advise is to give each thing a try for at least a week to see if it works for you. Our makeup are all so very different, so I don't think just one thing will work for all. But I'm so grateful that have meds just in case I need them if I get a recurring string of cramps that I need to break. But I do believe that the meds didn't do it for me alone. They effect my moods when I take Baclofen so I don't like taking them. :0)

P.S. He also suggest (and it helps I think) to keep my feet out from the covers if the rest of me is covered.

I’ll look for tonic water. Keeping your legs out from under the covers… I did that and it actually seemed to help… I just thought that was all in my head so I didn’t list that ias something that helped.