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How to Stop Charlie Horse Pain Leg Cramps

By Edited Jul 13, 2014 2 6

Get Relief from Charlie Horse Pain Fast!

Charlie Horse Leg Cramps are terrible pain

If you've ever had a severe cramp of a muscle such as a Charlie horse, you know how devastatingly painful it can be. The spasm of the tightening of any muscle that creates a literal knot can make you want to scream in agony. Screaming can prolong the pain in the long run and that's not what you want.

The first time you experience this pain, you may not know what it is or why you're having it. That no doubt affects how you deal with it. You want to know what to do to end it NOW and I agree! These are painful and seem like they're lasting hours. Here's what I've done when I had them and what I recommend to my patients in the nursing home where I work.

There are several things you can and should do as soon as you recognize that you are having a Charlie horse. Follow these tips to stop Charlie horse pain almost immediately.

Difficulty: Moderately Easy


Things You'll Need:








Relax during charlie horse pain


This is probably the hardest thing to do while you're starting to have a Charlie horse. You want to scream with pain but, that will cause a delay in relief and can actually make it worse. Stay calm for the fastest relief of pain.

Apply pressure slowly to pain


Apply pressure to the cramping area slowly. Slowly stand if you're lying down. Gently press your foot to the ground if the Charlie horse pain is in the foot. The same rule applies to other areas affected by cramping pain, ie. If the pain is in the neck, use your hand to apply pressure. This will help to increase the circulation that is lacking and causing the pain.

Focus on deep breathing

Deep Breathe

While you are trying to relax and hold pressure to the Charlie horse pain affected area, focus on deep breathing. The knot is caused by a spasm and adding at least 10 truly deep breaths will begin to alleviate the discomfort. Oxygen will help to provide the necessary circulation to the muscle to reduce the spasm.

     Gently massage the cramped area


After the initial pain begins to subside, gently massage the affected area in small circular motions. This will also help to increase the circulation, reduce the knot and increase oxygen to the cramped area. Continue to take deep breaths while you massage gently until the pain has subsided. It can feel like it's taking hours to get relief but, it's only less than a minute or two usually and you'll begin to feel better.

Add a liquid multivitamin


Once you are able to walk again after the initial pain of a Charlie horse subsides, head to the kitchen. Choose a banana, pumpkin seeds, melons, tomato, milk, cheese, cereal or fresh fruit or fresh vegetable to obtain any missing nutritional ingredients that may have caused the painful cramp to begin with and a signal to you that your body is lacking a certain vitamin. An extra dose of liquid or sublingual vitamins with Vitamin K, potassium, magnesium, calcium and vitamin E every day will also help.

     * liquid and sublingual vitamins are preferred to tablets or capsules since they absorb almost instantly once they hit under the tongue area. See my favorite vitamin drink here and below. Take it every day to ensure that you're getting the right vitamins and you'll reduce your chances of getting another one of those awful spasms in the future.


Heat dilates while cold and ice constricts. Since the muscle is already constricted and in spasm, avoid adding ice which will only further constrict this painful muscle. Heat will help to dilate, increase circulation and soothe the painful affected muscle. Try the sunbeam heat pad listed below that I use nightly for fast relief of sore, tired legs that tend to cramp and always after a bout of leg cramps for faster relief.

     Rest charlie horse pain
Allow the muscle to return to a state of rest. Lying down afterwards is helpful to naturally stretch out the muscle slowly.

     Stretch daily to reduce leg cramps

 Stretching and exercise

One exercise that may help to alleviate this cramping pain after the initial discomfort wears off is one of my favorites that I do daily:

     *lie down flat, legs extended, keep heels apart and toes touching each other. Now extend the legs as far as possible while maintaining the toes touching each other to fully stretch the calf muscles. Repeat 10 times slowly several times per day to prevent leg cramps.


I hope you'll find relief for your sore, tired, over worked and exhausted muscles that tend to cramp just when you're ready to relax for the day. These are the tips I use and wish you success with getting rid of yours - for good!


Tips & Warnings

  • Medications can delete effective nutrients in the body so check with your doctor about any medications you need.

  • Staying calm during pain is the hardest thing to do and the most helpful.

  • Maintaining a well balanced diet is key to preventing charlie horse leg cramps and to stop a cramping attack in it's tracks.

  • For more information check out How to Prevent Charlie Horse Leg Cramps

Liquid multivitamin/minerals for daily health and wellness

Take it not only daily but, during those painful leg cramps for relief

LIQUID reViva Multivitamin Twin Pack 2 X 32 Ounce Tropical Burst Total 2 Botle
Amazon Price: $22.99 Buy Now
(price as of Jul 13, 2014)
Liquid vitamins work much faster than pills since the body can absorb it almost as soon as it reaches the stomach. Try reViva and see for yourself if it doesn't help you feel better, especially for those painful charlie horse leg cramps.

Keep a heating pad on your painful leg cramp for relief

Sunbeam 756-500 Heating Pad with UltraHeatTechnology
Amazon Price: $17.53 $10.96 Buy Now
(price as of Jul 13, 2014)
I use my sunbeam heat pad nightly to soothe and comfort painful legs. It shuts off automatically if I fall asleep with it on so it's safe to use and won't cause burns on the body or a fire.


May 30, 2011 1:40pm
Great article - have you tried drinking tonic water? The quinnine it contains seems to help.
May 30, 2011 2:56pm
Thanks for adding that tip Fran5050, hadn't heard of it but glad to add more info for the readers here. Appreciate you stopping by!
Jul 4, 2011 8:52am
I suffer from these and do scream out! The best I have found is potassium - I have pills - but a half of a banana daily really helps too. Never used heat or liquid vitamins, thanks!
Jul 4, 2011 11:48am
Potassium in the daily diet will help to reduce those leg cramps and glad it's working for you footloose, try the other tips too and hope you'll finally stop having charlie horse pain:)
Jul 5, 2011 2:31pm
Deep breathing is a very helpful tip. Thanks. I've found increased calcium effective in eliminating the calf cramps.
Jul 6, 2011 9:43am
Thanks for adding that tip divaonline, hoping all these tips will help those that have charlie horse cramp pain.
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