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Dr Subbanna MD
Dr Subbanna MD, Neurologist (MD)
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 5290
Experience:  American Board Certified Neurologist, Internal Medicine
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What should I do when I get a Charlie horse (painful muscle

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What should I do when I get a Charlie horse (painful muscle contraction) in the front of my leg running from my toes up the front of my foot to my shin? It hurts. What causes these spasms?

Neuro Doctor :

Hi, I am Neuro Doctor, an American Board Certified Neurologist with vast clinical experience.

Neuro Doctor :

Approximately for how long you have this symptom?

Neuro Doctor :

I have posted a question above, please reply to me when you can access this chat and when you are ready. Please take your time.

Customer:

About 6 months. It usually happens at night when I am going to sleep.

Neuro Doctor :

Okay I see

Neuro Doctor :

Did you sustain any trauma or injuries to the leg?

Customer:

No, I have not. However, I do have cold legs in the evening and wonder if that has something to do with it.

Neuro Doctor :

Okay I see

Neuro Doctor :

Do you experience any numb feeling or pins & needles feeling in the feet or legs?

Customer:

No I don't but I do have some form of neuropathy in my second and third toe on my left foot but not any pins and needles, mostly a feeling like those two toes are stuffed with cotton.

Neuro Doctor :

Okay I see

Neuro Doctor :

Have you seen any Dr, especially a neurologist for these symptoms in the leg & feet? And have you undergone any investigations?

Customer:

No, it seems like I always have other more important things to mention and forget to mention the Charlie horse.

Neuro Doctor :

Okay I see

Neuro Doctor :

Is the charlie horse in both legs, or on only one side?

Customer:

It has only been on the left leg.

Neuro Doctor :

Okay I see

Neuro Doctor :

Have you had any blood tests to check the thyroid or the electrolytes?

Customer:

I have had blood tests and I am sure my thyroid was included in those tests but electrolytes were never mentioned.

Neuro Doctor :

Okay I see

Neuro Doctor :

And coming to the treatments, have you tried anything else other than the peppermint oil?

Customer:

No the oil is all I could think of trying that would work right away.

Neuro Doctor :

Okay I see

Neuro Doctor :

Okay I will now discuss the possibilities and the treatment plan

Customer:

Okay

Neuro Doctor :

First of all I reassure you this does not sound like related to anything serious

Customer:

Good

Neuro Doctor :

You need a thorough clinical examination and certain investigations

Neuro Doctor :

There are possibilities like circulation problems, nerve injuries in the leg, electrolyte disturbances etc

Customer:

Okay

Neuro Doctor :

All these can cause charlie horse

Neuro Doctor :

The cold feeling in the legs may be related too

Neuro Doctor :

The cold feeling could be from circulation problems

Neuro Doctor :

circulation problem can cause charlie horse too

Neuro Doctor :

So as you see there are many possibilities

Neuro Doctor :

nerve injuries, circulation issues, electrolyte imbalance etc

Neuro Doctor :

You need a nerve test called as EMG/;Nerve conduction test

Neuro Doctor :

And blood to check electrolytes

Neuro Doctor :

Also a circulation test

Neuro Doctor :

These tests will give us the precise diagnosis

Neuro Doctor :

Once a final precise diagnosis is reached it will be treated appropriately

Neuro Doctor :

In the meantime;

Neuro Doctor :

For the severe charlie horse I will recommend few things

Neuro Doctor :

For example muscle relaxants like Baclofen can help very much

Neuro Doctor :

A nerve-pain pill like Gabapentin or Amitriptyline can help too

Neuro Doctor :

Lidoderm anesthetic pain relieving skin patches are another option

Neuro Doctor :

TENS is another option

Neuro Doctor :

TENS is an electrotherapy

Neuro Doctor :

TENS is Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation

Neuro Doctor :

It also helps for severe charlie horse

Neuro Doctor :

Tramadol or Lortab are some other options

Neuro Doctor :

You may please discuss these above recommendations with your clinic Dr, preferably with a neurologist

Neuro Doctor :

They will examine you and arrange for the above mentioned investigations too

Customer:

Thank you very much. Very interesting.

Neuro Doctor :

You are very welcome!

Neuro Doctor :

I hope you find these above information helpful.

Neuro Doctor :

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Neuro Doctor :

Do you have any further questions?

Customer:

Not right now.

Neuro Doctor :

Okay. I wish you a quick and complete recovery, All the best!

Neuro Doctor :

Please let me know if you have any further questions. And if you feel you have received the answer to your question please rate my answer to compensate me for the time and effort put by me in answering your question.

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