Chronic Calf Cramps


Today I received an interesting question on one of the forums I moderate. It was really short, in fact, all it said was How can I eliminate my chronic calf cramp. It comes and goes, could it be something else?

Nice, short, but the answer would be HUGE if I posted everything about calf cramps. Plus, there was a bit of confusion as to whether he meant actually cramps (Charlie horse cramping) or spasms (knots in the fibers but not as violent as a cramp). I thought that this may be interesting to you, especially if you are an athlete.

Here’s my response:


Is it a cramp like a Charlie Horse, or like a spasm? It makes a difference, but I’ll give you some info that is the same for both situations. A Charlie Horse is often caused by a deficiency in calcium and potassium. Most of our diets are deficient in minerals (and vitamins too) because our food sources are over-processed, loaded with pesticides/herbicides/etc., or grown in soil that is depleted of nutrients.

Chronic spasms are often caused by pressure on your sciatic nerve, this is especially true if you are very active. The good news is that it comes and goes, because most serious problems come and stay, so I would say that the odds are good that all that is happening is either a repetitive strain injury, or one of the two things I mentioned above.

Another reason for calf cramps is the need for water. Your muscles can be dehydrating even if you don’t think you’re especially thirsty. Try adding some extra water to your daily diet and see if that helps you. If you are interested in sports nutrition and hydration products that have been used by Olympic athletes, elite endurance athletes, and even NASA, let me know and I’ll send you a link.

If you go to you can read all about repetitive strain injuries and why they cause pain in areas far from the source of the pain, and I also suggest you read the sections titled “Muscles and Pain” and “What’s Happening Exactly” as they will give you more information. Also, I suggest you read which explains why the muscles that attach to your pelvis (especially your iliopsoas and quadriceps) will rotate your pelvis and put pressure on your sciatic nerve.

I’ve worked with athletes for many years and it always amazes me how the muscles will cause chronic calf spasms.

Hope this helps you, please share it if you know someone who has chronic calf spasms or cramps.

I didn’t give this writer the info about nutrition, but I will share it with you. Calcium is not always considered when a person has chronic spasms or cramps, yet it is the cause so many times. The problem is that most calcium supplements are made from a source that isn’t useful to humans (still calcium though so they aren’t lying). If you want to find the best calcium, it will cost a bit more than you’ll find in the store but since it is absorbed in your body (not simply passing through unabsorbed which makes that a very expensive pill).

Wishing you well,


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