Also called: Charley horse

Muscle cramps are sudden, involuntary contractions or spasms in one or more of your muscles. They often occur after exercise or at night, lasting a few seconds to several minutes. You have probably had a muscle cramp before. It is a very common muscle problem. Muscle cramps can be caused by nerves that malfunction. Sometimes this malfunction is due to a health problem, such as a spinal cord injury or a pinched nerve in the neck or back. Other causes are Straining or overusing a muscle Dehydration A lack of minerals in your diet or the depletion of minerals in your body Not enough blood getting to your muscles Cramps can be very painful. Stretching or gently massaging the muscle can relieve this pain.