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Muscle cramps and spasms can be painful, and often come on without warning, during or shortly after exercising, or when falling asleep. Skeletal muscles cause a muscle spasms in the legs that is often referred to as a charley horse. Older adults, athletes, and people with certain medical conditions are most likely to experience muscle spasms.

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1. What a Charley Horse Feels Like

A muscle spasm in the calf is called a charley horse. Most skeletal muscular cramps, especially those in the leg, feel much like a charley horse, often resulting in symptoms such as sharp pain or the sensation of a hard lump or twitching spot just under the skin (where the muscle tissue has contracted). Charley horses usually come on quickly and last for up to 15 minutes.

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