Leg Cramps – Part III

[The finale from August 28, 2014]

In my posts of October 24 and 26, 2011, I discussed the causes of and treatments for leg cramps. Since that time, I have had zero leg cramps. Until last night. . . . .

Let’s set the stage.  It was Friday.  I took the day off.  To play in a 2 day golf tournament (my team won).   It was 90+ degrees.  100% humidity.  I poured sweat.   And drank bottle after bottle of water.  At the turn, when I normally make a pit stop, there was no reason to stop.  I just went on to the 10th tee.  And teed off.  More water.  And I continued to pour sweat.  We had dinner.  More water (no cabernet).  And when I got home, I was tired.  I went up.  Got in bed and started reading.  That’s when it happened.  The biceps femoris (the muscle behind my right knee) began cramping.  Ow ow ow ow.   I rubbed.   Drank some water.  And Donna sped off for some V-8 juice (potassium/sodium).  And she gave me two more things not mentioned in the earlier posts. 

Donna had read that magnesium can help stop muscle cramps.  So I popped a magnesium pill (Metagenics Mag Glycinate – 200 mg).  And she had bought a Health & Wisdom magnesium gel with aloe vera.   And she brought some ice.  Within 10 minutes, the cramp was history.  I went back to reading.  And slept like a baby.  Maybe it was the Dove bar that I tossed under the sheet . . . . *

*Read prior post for context  

Leg Cramps – Part II

[A repeat from October 26, 2011]

My last post on Leg Cramps prompted numerous comments.  One cure – from my old friend Jim – had me saying “no wayyyy”:

I have a much easier solution . . . . You simply put a small bar of soap in a pocket or hold on to it.   That’s it.   It’s weird but I have used this for years.  You can even place some small bars under your sheets.    I prefer to keep some of the bars in my nightstand so they are readily available in case of a cramp.  If I get a cramp I reach into my nightstand drawer, grab a bar of the soap and the cramp is gone within about 10 seconds.  It has never failed to work.   My doctor confirmed that he had heard of this working, but I know of no scientific evidence as to why.”

Soap.  Puh-lease

However, investigative reporter that I am, I delved into this “remedy.”  There are many articles on this subject.  Soap – a remedy for leg cramps.  Even the ever-suspicious Snopes refers to the cure as “undetermined” – http://www.snopes.com/oldwives/legcramp.asp    If you Google +”leg cramps” +”bar of soap” you will get more than 30,000 records.  +soap yields over 2 million(!).   One theory is that soap is heavy in sodium chloride – which can be inhaled.    

Sure – I’m a skeptic.  But you know what?  I now have a bar of soap by the bed. . . . .

Leg Cramps – Part I

[A post from August 28, 2011]

Both Donna and I have experienced nocturnal leg cramps or spasms.  Back of the leg.  Very painful.  Does it ever happen to you?

In order to treat leg cramps, it is advantageous to know the cause of such cramps.   From my research, I gather that dehydration, low potassium, low sodium, low calcium and underlying muscle injury can contribute to leg cramps.  When I have experienced leg cramps, I rub the area vigorously, apply ice, drink a V-8 juice (high in sodium and potassium) and have a few glasses of water.  Know what?  The cramp goes away.* 

The last time this happened I had played golf all day without stops.  Walking.  No water.  Had a bit of lunch and a little ice tea and no other hydration.  Then we went out in the evening.  A wee bit of red wine.  No water.  Come nighttime, there was little inspiration to guzzle a few glasses of water or V-8 at bedtime.  Then at midnight – KA-BOOM!  Leg cramp.  My RX worked perfectly. 

*My comments here are not medical advice.  

Leg Cramps (Part III)

In my posts of October 24 and 26, 2011, I went into concise detail on the causes of and treatments for leg cramps. Since that time, I have had zero leg cramps. Until last night. . . . .

Let’s set the stage.  It was Friday.  I took the day off.  To play in a 2 day golf tournament (my team won).   It was 90+ degrees.  100% humidity.  I poured sweat.   And drank bottle after bottle of water.  At the turn, when I normally make a pit stop, there was no reason to stop.  I just went on to the 10th tee.  And teed off.  More water.  And I continued to pour sweat.  We had dinner.  More water (no cabernet).  And when I got home, I was tired.  I went up.  Got in bed and started reading.  That’s when it happened.  The biceps femoris (the muscle behind my right knee) began cramping.  Ow ow ow ow.   I rubbed.   Drank some water.  And Donna sped off for some V-8 juice (potassium/sodium).  And she gave me two more things not mentioned in the earlier posts. 

Donna had read that magnesium can help stop muscle cramps.  So I popped a magnesium pill (Metagenics Mag Glycinate – 200 mg).  And she had bought a Health & Wisdom magnesium gel with aloe vera.   And she brought some ice.  Within 10 minutes, the cramp was history.  I went back to reading.  And slept like a baby.  Maybe it was the Dove bar that I tossed under the sheet . . . . *

*Ya gotta read 10/26/11 for context  

Leg Cramps – Part II

My last post on Leg Cramps prompted numerous comments.  One cure – from my old friend Jim – had me saying “no wayyyy“:

I have a much easier solution . . . . You simply put a small bar of soap in a pocket or hold on to it.   That’s it.   It’s weird but I have used this for years.  You can even place some small bars under your sheets.    I prefer to keep some of the bars in my nightstand so they are readily available in case of a cramp.  If I get a cramp I reach into my nightstand drawer, grab a bar of the soap and the cramp is gone within about 10 seconds.  It has never failed to work.   My doctor confirmed that he had heard of this working, but I know of no scientific evidence as to why.”

Soap.  Puh-lease. 

However, investigative reporter that I am, I delved into this “remedy.”  There are many articles on this subject.  Soap – a remedy for leg cramps.  Even the ever-suspicious Snopes refers to the cure as “undetermined” – http://www.snopes.com/oldwives/legcramp.asp    If you Google +”leg cramps” +”bar of soap” you will get more than 30,000 records.  +soap yields over 2 million(!).   One theory is that soap is heavy in sodium chloride – which can be inhaled.    

Sure – I’m a skeptic.  But you know what?  I’m gonna put a bar of soap by the bed. . . . .

Leg Cramps

And while we’re on the subject of first aid . . . .

Both Donna and I have experienced nocturnal leg cramps or spasms.  Back of the leg.  Very painful.  So what can you do?

In order to treat leg cramps, it is advantageous to know the cause of such cramps.   From my research, I gather that dehydration, low potassium, low sodium, low calcium and underlying muscle injury are major contributors to leg cramps.  When I have experienced leg cramps, I rub the area vigorously, apply ice, drink a V-8 juice (high in sodium and potassium) and have a few glasses of water.  Know what?  The cramp goes away.* 

The last time this happened I had played golf all day without stops.  Walking.  No water.  Had a bit of lunch and a little ice tea and no other hydration.  Then we went out in the evening.  A wee bit of red wine.  No water.  Come nighttime, there was little inspiration to guzzle a few glasses of water or V-8 at bedtime.  Then at midnight – KA-BOOM!  Leg cramp.  My RX worked perfectly. 

*My comments here are not medical advice.  Always talk to a medical professional for issues like this.