A muscle cramp or spasm is a sudden, uncontrolled contraction of a muscle. This type of pain is most commonly experienced in the legs, and therefore often called a leg cramp or a "charley horse."

    The exact cause of a leg cramp is not completely understood, but there are some factors that are thought to contribute to this condition:

• Muscle fatigue
• Heavy exercising
• Dehydration
• High weight (not necessarily obesity)
• Electrolyte imbalances
• Medications (statins, prednisone, others...)

    The most common cause that is typically seen in patients who develop leg cramps is exercising in an unusual way, meaning either more activity or a different exercise. Leg cramps are more common in young (adolescent age) and older (over 65) patients. Patients who weigh more are more prone to developing leg cramps. Also, some medications can cause side effects of leg cramping.

   'Charley-horses' is the first place your body targets when you are dehydrated. Drink lots of water! I recommend purified water and Mineral Water mixed 50/50. The Mineral Water is going to put back into the muscles the minerals they are losing on a daily basis. You must drink beyond your thirst to get the benefits of hydration.

    I suggest that adults and children drink 40 ounces of water per 100 pounds of body weight every day. Realize that exercise, ambient temperature, and state of health affect the water needs of your body.

    In the evening take a hot bath with 2 cups of dissolved Epsom salts and soak for 30 minutes. Afterwards, if you have something shaped like a cylinder and made out of hard material (think of a large rolling pin you would use for pizza dough or something) place it under your leg and push down and roll it back and forth...this should massage the spasms out of your leg. It will hurt while you're doing it, but more so the type of pain that actually feels good, in the long run. Afterwards massage an analgesic cream into the area. You will start feeling better very quickly.

    Take 500mg of calcium and magnesium every evening. This will help stop the cramping as these minerals have a significant relaxing affect on the muscles.

    Eat a diet with lots of fresh green vegetables. These vegetables uncooked have tremendous amounts of minerals that will feed the muscles. Today's diet is greatly lacking in fresh vegetables and fruits. The water that's contained in vegetables and fruit has the greatest absorption of minerals into the body.

    I strongly recommend that people take a digestive enzymes capsule every time they eat to optimize the absorption of the foods they are consuming. Without enzymes your body cannot absorb food. This is one of the reasons that people are constantly hungry - their body is no longer producing enzymes in their stomach. This is common nowadays because of lifestyle (consuming fast food daily) and illnesses.

    If you find this problem continuing you should see your medical doctor because it's possible it could be a more serious problem and will need medical investigation.

Cherokee Bille http://www.cherokeebillie.com