Charley horse is the amusing term for a muscle spasm. It is most commonly felt in the leg area.
Charley horses have been linked to hot weather, dehydration and low potassium levels. Many people experience it after exercising, especially if they did not stretch properly before and after the workout.
One of the best and easiest ways to prevent a charley horse is to drink lots of fluids especially during exercise or rigorous activity (such as cleaning the house) or on very hot weather when you are prone to lose fluids to sweat. Eating bananas can also help prevent charley horse since these can help restore potassium levels.
Charley horses can be quite uncomfortable so when it does occur the first thing to do is to help relieve the discomfort. If possible soak the leg in warm water. It may be extra soothing to add Epsom salts which can help with muscle pain. If that isn’t possible—say, the attack happens in the wee hours of the morning—try to rub the muscle. One trick is to rub with the affected muscle, instead of across it. For example, if it’s the calf that hurts, rub the hand starting from just behind the knee, downward to the heel of the foot.
Some people recommend a making a kind of paultice made of 3 small lemons, two oranges, and a grapefruit. Without removing the peels, place the fruits in a blender and reduce to a pulp. Add a teaspoon of cream of tartar. This mixture can be applied on the affected muscle. Others recommend taking a teaspoon or two in the morning and evening, especially if you are the type to get frequent charley horse attacks.