DEAR DOCTOR K: Over the past few months, I've been experiencing severe "charley horses." What causes them? How can I prevent them?
DEAR READER: Almost everyone has a "charley horse" at some point in his or her life. These are muscle spasms in which a group of muscles involuntarily contracts. This causes pain and inability to use those muscles. Stretching typically stops the cramp. But you may continue to have soreness for several days.