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Charley Horse Treatments

Is there a medicine that will treat leg cramps?

Question:

Is there a medicine that will treat leg cramps?

Submitted by - Joseph, Antipolo

Answer:

A wide variety of meds treat nighttime leg cramps—the kind that wake you up in agony on a regular basis. Since they’re prescription, you’ll have to work with a local doctor if you want to try one. If you’re talking about the charley-horse type of cramps that sometimes attack backpackers (usually in the calves), well, there are no meds I know of for those. They’re caused by dehydration, fatigue, and low electrolytes, resulting in a sustained muscle contraction. You can prevent them by making sure you get enough electrolytes (try a sports drink), stay hydrated, and do a short bout of gentle stretching before hitting the trail. 

To relieve a cramp, straighten the cramped muscle and massage it. At the same time, contract the opposing muscle. For example, if your hamstring spasms, contract your quads. 

—Buck

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