ZocdocAnswersHow can I get this pain in my calf to go away?

Question

How can I get this pain in my calf to go away?

Woke up yesterday with a terrible cramp in my calf muscle. I stretched it out and the cramp went away, but now there is still a lot of pain in the area and it feels like it is going to cramp up again. What should I do? How do I make this pain go away?

Answer

Cramps are a common part of life, and most of us will have to experience them in one part of our body or another at different times of life. One common area for cramps in the strong muscles of the lower extremities, with the calf being especially frequent. This is often known as a Charlie Horse, and can be brought on by dehydration, excessive exercise, fatigue, poor blood flow, nutrition imbalances, electrolyte imbalances, and other things. It can often just come on with no inciting factor. Cramps are long periods of time when the muscle is contracting and not relaxing, which leads to a muscle that is even more fatigued (which can thus make it more prone to further cramping). The muscles feel that they have gone through a heavy workout during the period of the cramp. The best thing that can be done is to massage, rest, eat a healthy diet, and use warm compresses to increase blood flow to the area. It is important to speak with your doctor about the cramps to determine if there is anything that you can do to avoid them in the future. Good luck.

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