Muscle Cramps

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Brizza, Jul 19, 2003.

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Do you get muscle cramps?

  1. No Never

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Not Often

    18 vote(s)
    19.1%
  3. Sometimes

    38 vote(s)
    40.4%
  4. Regularly

    38 vote(s)
    40.4%
  1. Brizza

    Brizza New Member

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    Imediatly after a long race today, I got a cramp in my left foot, under the arch.
    I was wondering if anyone knows a good definition of a muscle cramps, what people find cause cramps and the best way to deal with them if you're riding.

    Brian
     
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  2. Spider1977

    Spider1977 New Member

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    I'm no medical expert, but I think cramps are just an extreme contraction of a muscle or group of muscles (a spasm). I once saw a guy get cramps s badly that his whole leg was siezed up. Every muscle was in full contraction and the poor guy was in terrible pain. He had been batting at cricket for some hours on a very hot day. We had to take him to hospital, where I assume they administered some relaxants.

    I also get the occaissional muscle cramp, strangely in the same place as you (left foot arch). They usually happen when i'm straining the foot to manouevre it into place, e.g into or out of bike shoe, boat foot stretcher. Sometimes I get the cramp when swimming. It's only ever on the left side. I'm predominantly right footed when kicking. The only way I find to fix it is to take the pressure off and relax.

    Some people say that eating bananas helps due to the high potassium - which helps alleviate cramps. Keeping hydrated probably helps as well.
     
  3. Brizza

    Brizza New Member

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    Other theories are an insufficent intake of Magnesium or Zinc, insufficent salt intake, and dehydration.
    Has anyone had experience with these causes?

    Brian
     
  4. paul wills

    paul wills New Member

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    Have suffered for years with cramps. Went to a specialist about them years ago, Was informed that there is no magic cure. Streching is a good work around, also increased fluid intake obviously helps prevent cramps.

    Good luck



     
  5. Mouse Potato

    Mouse Potato New Member

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    How weird... I get them occasionally there (left foot arch) too, and very rarely in my left leg. Not specifically from riding, though (which I've only started recently).

    To deal with them in the short term I usually put most of my weight on the toes of the affected foot/leg, bending at the heel, knee and hip, for as long as it takes to ease (about 30 seconds or more). Then I kind-of avoid straightening that leg out fully for an hour or so otherwise it cramps again. Looks rather peculiar walking around like that, by the way...

    Usually it starts happening after I've been living almost entirely off the munchie machine at work for too long, so I figure it's poor nutrition and take multivitamins for a few days. That seems to stop it from recurring for months.
     
  6. JimAmelung2

    JimAmelung2 New Member

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    I think there is two things you can say for sure about cramps. One, you usually get them when your dehydrated. Two, anytime there is dehydration, mineral imbalance exists.

    This means that to stop the cramping, you have to restore both minerals and water, one or the other just won't do it.
     
  7. Aztec

    Aztec New Member

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    I never get them. Well, OK, I've had a few over the years in my foot. I used to get them in my right shoulder when doing crunches! THAT was annoying. Or in my foot when doing chins if I left my legs straight rather than bending at the knees.

    My wife gets them in her foot in the middle of her sleep sometimes. She does lots of treadmill work, etc., but we don't know if it's related to that. It's very entertaining to see her jump up in the middle of the night grabbing her foot...
     
  8. TTer

    TTer New Member

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    Cramps usually occur when you haven't pushed muscles as hard previously, for example in the first few races of the year. Riding my first 25mile TT on the limit is always a nasty cramping experience afterwards.

    A cramp in your left foot arch sounds very specific though and surely must be relatively to your shoe/cleat. I doubt that cramp is due to any mineral deficiency as it's so specific and in a small muscle group. It must be down to your shoe fit been very slightly too tight, too slack, or maybe your cleat is set wrong and you are trying to curl-up/arch your foot in your shoe to get your foot more over the cleat (I know I used to do this when the cleat was positioned too far back).
     
  9. Spider1977

    Spider1977 New Member

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    That's no fun, it's happened to me as well. :mad:
     
  10. Mouse Potato

    Mouse Potato New Member

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    Not for me.

    Fortunately they're rare, but when I get 'em they're equally likely to hit when I'm just walking around in sneakers or ordinary work shoes or bare feet, as when I'm doing some form of exercise. I've had the middle-of-sleep cramp too a couple of times (it does look pretty entertaining, even when it's happening to me!).

    I've probably just got a bodgey left foot. ;)

    Interestingly enough from what Aztec mentioned, I do a lot of treadmill work too... but I used to get 'em before I started that so I don't think it's related.

    Maybe it's all in my head, but multivitamins do seem to fix them for me.
     
  11. grasshopperNC

    grasshopperNC New Member

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    I use to get them regularly in Martial Arts class - always at a time when we were suppose to be standing respectfully at attention!
     
  12. LowCel

    LowCel New Member

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    I get them sometimes during or after hard rides or races. Last year in one race I lost five minutes because I could not straighten my leg out. I was walking around/ jumping around in pain for five minutes trying to get it to go away. That one was in my right thigh. A lot of times on tough road rides I will get them in my calves.

    After races, once I am home I will sometimes get them in my thighs and calves. What is really bad is when I get them in both legs at the same time so I cannot even walk them off. I just have to lay on the carpet in pain. That sucks!!!! My wife just stands there feeling helpless while I am in misery.
     
  13. rule62

    rule62 New Member

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    Only get them on rest days. :confused:
     
  14. leegregory

    leegregory New Member

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    Only get them on Cold Damp days
     
  15. TheToad

    TheToad New Member

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    I've been a chronic cramp sufferer since my early teens..

    I've found the following has pretty much stopped the problem.

    1. Hydration, you HAVE to be hydrated, if your mouth is dry you're already well into dehydration..
    2. Stretch after a warm up, and after a hard workout, I have found that a single stretch after a solid ride isn't always enough and continue to stretch calf, quads and glutes through the day if they feel tight.
    3. Spend time on the bike, as your fitness increases you reduce the risk of cramp.
    4. Bananas, Isotonic Drinks, Potasium/magnesium and Multivitamin supplements seam to help as well.

    This is what has worked for me, and its pretty much advice from other riders within the club that I train and race with. The biggest thing I have found is plain old hydration, if I cramp, I havn't had enough fluid or lost more than I've been able to put back in.
     
  16. joule

    joule New Member

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    Admittedly less likely, but cramps can be more prevailent if you have hypothoidism (underactive thyoid). Had same and went undiagnosed for 30 years. As I grew in age, symptoms became worse. About two years ago was diagnosed and on medication for same now. Other symptoms, constipation, generally cold, swelling.



     
  17. pwforprez

    pwforprez New Member

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    after longer rides if i stop my whole legs will cramp and i cant able to walk sometimes for 30 minutes. whats worse is when this happens in the middle of a ride. i just found that if you walk it off it will be hard but after awhile you will loosen up and will be better.
     
  18. ChangMan

    ChangMan New Member

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    I rarely get cramps. I usually eat bananas on a regular basis. They are high in potasium, which helps with cramping.
     
  19. Brizza

    Brizza New Member

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    The cramp in my foot was a one off and I never cramp while racing but I cramp when track standing on a hill.

    Always the same hill with trafic lights at the top, the continual pressure of against the hill almost always creates a cramp in my right calf. The cramp will be gone within 200 metres after the lights but it hits me everytime I wait there.
     
  20. CampagnoloBora

    CampagnoloBora New Member

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    I used to ALWAYS cramp regardless of what I ate, drank etc... especially on longer rides.. I don't know how many times in a race where I was right in there until a cramp in my quad or calf would force me to drop out....

    But I found a supplement that works for me. I was in Hawaii and got some Endurolytes by Hammer Nutrition, I haven't cramped since... and I was putting in 80 mile rides in the Hawaiian sun... this is only from my own experience, what works for me may not work for you.

    www.e-caps.com/za/ECP?PAGE=PRODUCT&CAT=HAM&PROD.ID=4037&OMI=&AMI=&uir=product.category,HAM,Hammer%20Nutrition#info3

     
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