Foot cramps, toe cramps, Charley Horses, even back spasms—they are all a form of muscles cramping.
Have you ever wondered where the term “Charley Horse” comes from to describe a cramp in the leg? It first pops up in newspapers and magazines around the 1880’s always referring to something terrible that afflicted baseball players. There is speculation that there was actually a horse named Charley that had a role on the baseball field. Or perhaps, a ballplayer had grown up with a lame horse named Charley. When players got cramps in their legs they walked around like the horse and the player said they looked like his horse, Charley.
While we don’t know the full etymology of the term, we do somewhat better understand what it going on when we get a muscle cramp. Here are science’s best assumptions on cramping right now:
- Puberty, pregnancy, menopause—they can all cause you to wake in the night with a cramp in your leg. So if your body is changing first consider that as a possibility.
- If you aren’t properly hydrated you are more likely to cramp. So make sure you are well hydrated for exercise, but also throughout the day. If you have chronic back pain, […]