A muscle cramp, often referred to as a charley horse is a sudden and involuntary contraction of one or more muscle If you’ve ever been awakened in the night or stopped in your tracks by a sudden charley horse, you know that muscle cramps can cause excruciating pain. Though generally harmless, muscle cramps can make it temporarily impossible to use the affected muscles.
Most muscle cramps can often be stopped if the muscle can be stretched. Muscle cramps can often be prevented by incorporating better nutrition and hydration in the diet.
Eating foods that contain potassium, a mineral that helps break down carbohydrates and build muscle, will help maintain circulation and help flush cramp-causing waste products from your muscles. The recipe below contains many of the suggested nutrients.
Arteriosclerosis: The narrowing of the arteries that delivers blood to the legs.
Lumbar Stenosis: Compression of nerves in your spine) can also produce cramp-like pain in the legs.
Mineral depletion: Too little potassium, calcium or magnesium in your diet can contribute to leg spasms.
Medications like Lasix, Evista and Procardia can also contribute to muscle spasms and restless leg syndrome a well as leach electrolytes from your body.
Dr. Armon Neel Jr. of AARP reported the older you are, the more likely you are to get nighttime leg cramps—sudden jolts of pain that can last from a few seconds to 15 or more minutes. Nighttime leg cramps typically affect the calf muscles but you can also get them in the feet or thighs.
Sometimes severe muscle cramps can be misdiagnosed, according to the US News Health article "Living With Lewy Body Dementia” by medical reporter Samatha Costa.
“Judy Kauser suffered with such severe leg pain her physician contributed it to back pain, when she became confused and disoriented the doctor blamed it on her medication. It was two years later Mrs, Kauser was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia, not severe muscle cramps.
Recent news on Good Morning America (GMA) reported that Robin Williams was diagnosed with symptoms of Lewy Body Dementia, which led to his suicide.