There's nothing quite like waking up to a full-blown charlie horse in the calf of your leg. Muscle turned to rock -- excruciating, pain-filled rock. Supplementing with calcium, magnesium, potassium and possibly sodium can often ease this distress. These minerals are electrolytes which are also used by marathon runners who may suffer from leg cramps due to excessive sweating from their exertions.
Incorporating daily stretching of the calves may make a difference. Stretching the calf by pulling your toes upward is one way to bring relief. Sometimes, warm water in a shower or bath may loosen a cramp. Oddly enough the reverse, an ice massage, may also ease cramping.
"Sometimes the cramps are caused by overexertion of the muscles, structural disorders (flat feet), standing on concrete, prolonged sitting, inappropriate leg positions while sedentary, or dehydration. Doctors do know that those who are more muscular seem to have more leg cramps. Less common causes include diabetes, Parkinson's disease, hypoglycemia,anemia, thyroid and endocrine disorders and use of some medications." A number of medications are available for relief of leg cramps.