Exercising, overuse of muscle, pregnancy, blood flow issues and dehydration can all lead to charley horses, or muscle cramps, states WebMD. Potassium and calcium deficiencies can also cause these muscle cramps.
Charley horses are strong and often painful contractions of a large muscle group, states WebMD. These cramps may last only a few seconds or several minutes. If a patient experiences muscle cramps, then he can stretch and massage the affected muscle often, take a warm shower to relax the muscle, drink plenty of water and sports drinks and take over-the-counter medications such as naproxen to relieve the cramping and pain.