Sudden spasm in the calf muscles is a common problem in sporting and non-sporting people alike, at any age. It can happen during activity, rest or sleep. Severe leg cramp after sports sometimes called a ‘charley horse’.
What You Feel During Calf Cramp
The effects of calf cramp range from a mild tension in the muscles to severe tightness and agonising pain.
Causes of Calf Cramp
Because of their close association with the circulatory system, the lower leg muscles reflect any adverse changes in the blood flow. Calf cramps, especially at night, happen most often because of dehydration, sometimes combined with overexercising. In very hot humid climates, loss of minerals can be a factor. Females can become prone to calf cramps related to the menstrual cycle or pregnancy, and are more vulnerable if they are dehydrated or mineral-deficient. Other contributory factors include stress, raised cholestrol, varicose veins and certain medicines. Soleus muscle strain can cause cramping in the calf, especially when you walk to try to run.
Treatment for Calf Cramp
Calf cramps are usually eased by moving the foot and leg, gently stretching the calves, walking around and drinking water. In a humid climate or hot conditions you may also need to take in more minerals, including salt. If you suffer cramps often, and not sure why, you should consult a doctor.