Worst. Pain. EVER.

I’m a bit late posting this.  Yesterday morning about 3:30 AM I woke up with the most excruciating pain.  Yes, friends, I had a charley/charlie horse.

 What causes the torture in the calf muscles?  According to WedMD, it can be due to:

  • Too much exercise or overuse of muscles (not highly likely for me)
  • Standing on hard surfaces (concrete, pavement) for long periods of time, or sitting for a long time (the latter of which is highly likely)
  • Putting your legs in an awkward position while you sleep (no comment…make up your own dirty jokes)
  • Lack of potassium, calcium, or other minerals in your blood (highly possible)
  • Dehydration (which is surprising, since I drink a lot of tea every day)
  • Certain meds like antipsychotics, steroids, diuretics, or statins (drugs are bad, m’kay?)
  • Flat Feet (My feet aren’t flat!  They’re just blig bloned!)
  • Thyroid disease

I’ve had the cramps in the past, but far and few between have they happened.  The most recent one (yesterday morning) was probably the worst one ever.  It’s suggested that you walk around and jiggle your leg a bit.  The last thing anyone wants to do to a hurt leg is use it.  It’s also suggested to stretch the calf muscle.  If you’re sitting down, stretch out your leg and flex your foot towards your knee.  You might want to place a towel under the ball of your foot, and pull both ends of the towel towards you, while keeping your knee straight.  If standing, stand a couple of feet from a wall, and lean towards the wall.  Keep the hurt leg straight, with the heel flat on the floor, and bend the other knee.

The cure sounds even worse than the pain itself.  Just give me a couple of Advil or Tylenol and call it good.

On the dehydration thing…it is possible to be dehydrated while you still drink a lot of fluids.  Sodas, sweetened tea or coffee, fruit juices made from concentrate, etc. all contain sugars and/or caffeine, which can cause dehydration.  Alcohol can also cause dehydration.  Why do you think whenever you drink a glass of tea or soda with your dinner, you always have to have more?  It’s not because it tastes good.  You’re getting dehydrated.

This morning I bought a small bottle (13.5 oz.) of Simply Orange brand orange juice.  My leg was still cramping a bit this morning, but after drinking the juice, it no longer cramps.  That’s because it’s real liquid that won’t dehydrate, and it’s a good source of potassium, which helps strengthen muscles.  If you limit your caffeine or alcohol intake, drink plenty of water, and consume foods rich in potassium, calcium, and magnesium, you can lessen your leg cramps.

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