Cramp

User avatar
661-Pete
Posts: 8675
Joined: 22 Nov 2012, 8:45pm
Location: Sussex

Cramp

Postby 661-Pete » 16 Mar 2016, 11:58am

Yes I know it's been discussed umpteen times before, and there's no quick-fix.

We just got back from a 2-week holiday in a very hot place (Indonesia) where I was sweating profusely all the time, and drinking litres of water to make up the fluid loss, as advised. Since arriving back in a not-so-hot place (UK) I've suffered several cramps, one whilst cycling - which is unusual for me, I usually get them in bed or while relaxing in an armchair. I had to dismount and stretch my leg until the pain eased off.

Point is, I had no cramps while in Indonesia. They started when I got back home.

Possibly electrolyte loss? Perhaps I should make a slightly salted electrolyte drink to make up for it? I should explain, these are not severe cramps, but they are a bit of a nuisance.
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).

User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 45619
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: Cramp

Postby Mick F » 16 Mar 2016, 3:05pm

I get cramps in a thigh or a foot ............. nowt to do with electrolytes, but everything to do with over-straining. I'm sitting here in the livingroom, and I could flex a foot in just the right way and induce a cramp in all five toes. I could do it in both feet at the same time.

I can do it with a thigh too, but it hurts .......... so I won't.
Mick F. Cornwall

User avatar
DaveP
Posts: 3227
Joined: 9 Mar 2007, 4:20pm
Location: W Mids

Re: Cramp

Postby DaveP » 16 Mar 2016, 5:36pm

Probably wouldn't hurt to get yourself a salty drink - or a plate of fish 'n' chips :mrgreen:
But if one dose doesn't fix things then that probably isn't the cause.
Two week lay off followed by what, an 18 hour flight? Perhaps you're just trying a little too hard with resuming cycling?
Trying to retain enough fitness to grow old disgracefully...

User avatar
CycedAngus
Posts: 1
Joined: 21 Mar 2016, 6:17pm
Location: Gloucestershire

Re: Cramp

Postby CycedAngus » 21 Mar 2016, 7:31pm

I started getting calf cramp after my first bike cycle (75 miles in the Malvern Hills).

To eliminate them instantly during the ride, I stretched my calf out long and hard for 30-45 seconds. Since then I have been eating a lot more and only get them when I really exert myself, a sign of a good training session if you ask me!

Continue with stationary stretching (even though it's said to reduce energy and muscle efficiency prior ride) and try to eat more. Hopefully they'll begin to disappear.
Lover of cycling, residing in Gloucestershire

Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 16865
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: Cramp

Postby Vorpal » 21 Mar 2016, 10:19pm

The differences in temperature can also affect it. Keep your legs warm.

If you have any lingering pain in your leg, or other symptoms, see your GP, or even go to A&E. DVT can resemble a cramp, and if you've had apparent repeated ones or lingering pain, it's best to be safe and get it checked out.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

User avatar
al_yrpal
Posts: 7449
Joined: 25 Jul 2007, 9:47pm
Location: Where pasties are crimped at the top!
Contact:

Re: Cramp

Postby al_yrpal » 21 Mar 2016, 10:36pm

Just got back from 2 weeks in Peru with the last 4 days in the Amazon. Very hot. Lousy water, even though we drunk only bottled water, avoided salad and brushed teeth with bottled water, we got several bouts of the trots. Lots of loperimide.

I have had loads of cramps despite drinking pint after pint of water on returning. The trots are now under control but the cramps at night have disrupted sleep. Very painful.

Saw just one pair of cycle tourists near Cusco. Lots of cargo bikes around. Personally wouldnt fancy touring there because of the terrain. Fantastic country and people though.

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. CTC gone but not forgotten!

reohn2
Posts: 34770
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Cramp

Postby reohn2 » 21 Mar 2016, 11:15pm

A quick fix for cramp that works,put a bit of salt on the back of your hand and lick it onto your tongue.Instant relief.
-----------------------------------------------------------
I cycle therefore I am.

User avatar
661-Pete
Posts: 8675
Joined: 22 Nov 2012, 8:45pm
Location: Sussex

Re: Cramp

Postby 661-Pete » 22 Mar 2016, 8:33pm

The cramps have eased off now - I think it was indeed partly down to the sudden change from a very hot to a rather cold environment, coupled with a long flight and jet-lag of course. I've just done the same commute as last week - 10 miles each way, no problems.

We too, in Indonesia, were advised to drink only bottled water, which we mostly stuck to - but in restaurants you tend to order the fresh (and delicious) fruit juices on offer, they may be made with tap water. Nevertheless, no problems with our innards (some others on our group weren't so lucky).

Oh the joys of travelling! I'm not really a seasoned traveller - I leave that to our son.
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).

Colossus
Posts: 3
Joined: 22 May 2016, 9:46pm

Re: Cramp

Postby Colossus » 22 May 2016, 9:59pm

I seem prone to getting awful cramps. Can be in thighs both inner thigh and outer or in feet or shins. Extremely painful and haven't really been able to establish why. I drink lots of electrolyte drinks while cycling and have recently started taking magnesium tablets. Since starting those I have had far fewer cramps but this evening had horrendous inner thigh cramps after an fairly easy 40 mile ride. Drank 2litres of electrolyte during ride and had fish and chips at end! Have been forgetting magnesium recently and this ride ended by being picked up in car and was consequently motionless for a couple of hours after ride. It would be good to have any advice from other riders if only to know that I'm not alone with this problem.

User avatar
Vantage
Posts: 2585
Joined: 24 Jan 2012, 1:44pm
Location: somewhere in Bolton
Contact:

Re: Cramp

Postby Vantage » 23 May 2016, 9:54am

Colossus wrote: if only to know that I'm not alone with this problem.


I get quite debilitating cramps all over my body pretty often. It really does spoil the fun in certain activities. :shock:
I blame it on my diabetes and its effect on the general quality of my blood.
Bill


“Ride as much or as little, or as long or as short as you feel. But ride.” ~ Eddy Merckx
It's a rich man whos children run to him when his pockets are empty.

User avatar
DaveP
Posts: 3227
Joined: 9 Mar 2007, 4:20pm
Location: W Mids

Re: Cramp

Postby DaveP » 23 May 2016, 9:55am

Paying attention to hydration and electrolytes is obviously a good start!
Are you still drinking after the ride? You should! Milk, apparently is particularly good for post exercise rehydration, and apples are supposed to supply just the right blend of complex sugars to tide you over the recovery period.
I have no particular expertise to base this on, but in your shoes I would be looking at doing some sort of "warm down" at the end of a ride. This could be just a matter of doing the last few miles very gently, or making a point of periodically getting up and walking about for a few minutes after you have finished, maybe even a shoulder stand doing pedalling motions with your legs in the air - the whole idea is that keeping the tired muscles moving gently makes it easier for the blood flow to wash out the fatigue products
When you get bored with that, a simple hot bath can help muscle relaxation. Sometimes all that is needed is a chance for everything to finish switching off.
HTH
Trying to retain enough fitness to grow old disgracefully...

Colossus
Posts: 3
Joined: 22 May 2016, 9:46pm

Re: Cramp

Postby Colossus » 24 May 2016, 7:28am

Thanks for that. Certainly my last ride I'm sure suffered from getting straight in car and being motionless for quite a while. I only did minimal stretching after ride. Seeing off to ride from Gateshead to Nottingham tomorrow over 3 days. All on sustrans ropes. About 80 miles a day. Will try milk idea and apples if I can get them.

Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 16865
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: Cramp

Postby Vorpal » 24 May 2016, 11:17am

Colossus wrote:I seem prone to getting awful cramps. Can be in thighs both inner thigh and outer or in feet or shins. Extremely painful and haven't really been able to establish why. I drink lots of electrolyte drinks while cycling and have recently started taking magnesium tablets. Since starting those I have had far fewer cramps but this evening had horrendous inner thigh cramps after an fairly easy 40 mile ride. Drank 2litres of electrolyte during ride and had fish and chips at end! Have been forgetting magnesium recently and this ride ended by being picked up in car and was consequently motionless for a couple of hours after ride. It would be good to have any advice from other riders if only to know that I'm not alone with this problem.

Keep your muscles warm. Get plenty of sleep. Avoid extreme changes in the level of activity you do, if possible.

In general, cramps during exercise are likely to be because of loss of hydration &/or electrolytes. After exercise, there are more possible reasons. It can be because you haven't kept your muscles warm. For example, if you are wearing shorts in cool or cold weather, once you stop cycling, the muscles will start to tighten and cold can make that worse, so it's a good idea to put long trousers on, even if you don't feel you need them. Protein replacement drinks or milk, or chocolate milk can also help. When I get cramp, it's almost always during a period of inactivity, immediately following exertion. So, the best thing for me is to get get up and walk around every few minutes, rather than sitting still.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=87692 is a previous thread about cramp, with links to a couple of others.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

MikeF
Posts: 3706
Joined: 11 Nov 2012, 9:24am
Location: On the borders of the four South East Counties

Re: Cramp

Postby MikeF » 24 May 2016, 2:07pm

CycedAngus wrote:I started getting calf cramp after my first bike cycle (75 miles in the Malvern Hills).

To eliminate them instantly during the ride, I stretched my calf out long and hard for 30-45 seconds. Since then I have been eating a lot more and only get them when I really exert myself, a sign of a good training session if you ask me!

Continue with stationary stretching (even though it's said to reduce energy and muscle efficiency prior ride) and try to eat more. Hopefully they'll begin to disappear.
I had a slight feeling of cramp in my calf, and I'd only cycled about 8 miles. Not had that before - no doubt age related. :( I was on a track rather than a road, but it occurred to me that "fully blown" cramp could be a problem on a busy road.
reohn2 wrote:A quick fix for cramp that works,put a bit of salt on the back of your hand and lick it onto your tongue.Instant relief.
Do you carry salt with you whilst cycling?
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

reohn2
Posts: 34770
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Cramp

Postby reohn2 » 24 May 2016, 4:34pm

MikeF wrote:
reohn2 wrote:A quick fix for cramp that works,put a bit of salt on the back of your hand and lick it onto your tongue.Instant relief.
Do you carry salt with you whilst cycling?


In a salt seller of course :roll: :mrgreen:
-----------------------------------------------------------
I cycle therefore I am.