What do people use for severe cramps??

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Sundowner

Full Member
Jan 21, 2013
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Northumberland
I've been suffering from a young age from severe leg cramps. I'm talking about the sort of cramp that makes you scream in the dead of night, waking up neighbours anywhere round our house. I get those after fishing, canoeing and especially when I get cold. The fear of getting one of those is now really beginning to hold me back even though I have been prescribed Amytriptilene, which seems to help in terms of severity. We're talking of cramps where I still have "tight" feeling thighs 3 days later!!
So I'm asking those of you who have cramps, what are you taking/using for your cramps??
I should add that mine could stem from a bad back but this has never been confirmed.
Many thanks for your replies
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
4,123
3,290
Mid Wales
That sounds rough; my sympathies - but I know that doesn't help.

I only suffer from the very rare one but it can be bad. Consequently I can't advise on what to take. However, my dear old Mum used to suffer dreadfully with them and she swore the only way she could stop them was not to drink any alcohol at all - I know, a bit severe :(
 

Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
I suffer from my calves and right pectoralis muscle.
Stretching to stop the cramp, then stretching after. Yes, truly painful.

If the cramp is really bad, I take a muscle relaxant and pain killer too. Not ASA though. Increases the bleeding risk.
 

Robson Valley

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Nov 24, 2014
8,706
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McBride, BC
Hyponatremia = lack of muscle electrolytes, low sodium in particular?

As an experiment, a large packet of potato crisps (potato chips to me, fried potato & salt just as good).
It is a biochemical fact that the salt uptake is "Active Transport."
That means that you must supply some sugar for energy.
So you wash the salt down with a fizzy sugary drink like 7Up, Sprite, Coke, what have you.
That has worked well for me since I was a child.
 
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Nice65

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Apr 16, 2009
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W.Sussex
Though I only get the leaping out of bed screaming cramps very occasionally, I’ve been prone to leg cramps for years. Even stretching my legs and feet in bed could cause the the muscles to tighten. At worst, it was like you said, my muscles went into total lock and felt bruised for a couple of days. I’m assuming you’re not pushing your muscles by over-exercise, and you’re drinking enough water.

Isotonic drinks high in Magnesium, Potassium, Calcium and Sodium helped no end, along with keeping well hydrated. I used to keep rehydration salts, osteo tablets for bone health, or fizzy sports tablets in the cupboard. Magnesium and Potassium are often mentioned regarding cramp. Hate to say it, but Brochs mum may be right, not drinking alcohol has made the biggest difference.
 

Sundowner

Full Member
Jan 21, 2013
876
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Northumberland
That sounds rough; my sympathies - but I know that doesn't help.

I only suffer from the very rare one but it can be bad. Consequently I can't advise on what to take. However, my dear old Mum used to suffer dreadfully with them and she swore the only way she could stop them was not to drink any alcohol at all - I know, a bit severe :(

Same with my mother, most nights, but she's not drinking at all. I think it may be hereditary.
 

Sundowner

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Jan 21, 2013
876
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Northumberland
Thanks everyone for your input. This fizzy drink thing has been mentioned to me before, by a sport therapist, didn't give it too much thought but will definitely now. I should have mentioned that I always eat very salty even tho I cut down on salt lately. Thanks again guys! I'm ok for the time being as I've just had a new hip installed last Wednesday and I'm therefore full of all sorts of medication turning off ALL the necessary nerve ends in my legs!
 
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Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Hyponatremia = lack of muscle electrolytes, low sodium in particular?

As an experiment, a large packet of potato crisps (potato chips to me, fried potato & salt just as good).
It is a biochemical fact that the salt uptake is "Active Transport."
That means that you must supply some sugar for energy.
So you wash the salt down with a fizzy sugary drink like 7Up, Sprite, Coke, what have you.
That has worked well for me since I was a child.

My cramps occur during the night. So should I have a Sprite at bedtime?
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Fantastic, I am happy for you!

A good friend had both knees replaced late last year. His wife passed away two years ago. He got an infection in the skin wound, went deep, around the implant.. Will soon be reoperated.
If no success - amputation.

No, people doing the work in the British healthcare should be praised! ( in every country to be frank)
No other field in the society do the hours they are expected to do, with the pressure.

Be careful placing any load on your hip for about 6 months, the Ti needs to osseointegrate properly. Use a cane.
They like to tell people to load them fully but that goes against Prof. Branemarks 50 years of research into osseointegration!

Massage the muscles in the thigh. Use a Vit A cream on the scar.
 
Last edited:

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,264
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Do they not recommend to eat bananas if you suffer from muscle cramps?
Something to do with low potassium ( Na) levels?

Does not help me though to be frank. I eat lots of them, I grow them. Have 7 varieties.
My bananas are Organic, orgasmic and wholesome!

Once you had a plant ripened banana, you can not touch the store ones.
 

Sundowner

Full Member
Jan 21, 2013
876
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Northumberland
Do they not recommend to eat bananas if you suffer from muscle cramps?
Something to do with low potassium ( Na) levels?

Does not help me though to be frank. I eat lots of them, I grow them. Have 7 varieties.
My bananas are Organic, orgasmic and wholesome!

Once you had a plant ripened banana, you can not touch the store ones.

Tried bananas, not great for me!!
 

Robson Valley

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Nov 24, 2014
8,706
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McBride, BC
K+ (= Kalium = potassium) levels are important for heart beat regulation.

The muscle cramp maybe due to low sodium(Na+ = Natrium). Hyponatremia.
Eat something salty and drink something sweet to power the Active Transport.

I used to find myself travelling on many sunny days with the shade temp pushing 100F and, of course,
even hotter on the highway. Big cup of salty fried potatoes, big sweet drink and away I fly.
 
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Nice65

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Apr 16, 2009
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W.Sussex
Thanks everyone for your input. This fizzy drink thing has been mentioned to me before, by a sport therapist, didn't give it too much thought but will definitely now. I should have mentioned that I always eat very salty even tho I cut down on salt lately. Thanks again guys! I'm ok for the time being as I've just had a new hip installed last Wednesday and I'm therefore full of all sorts of medication turning off ALL the necessary nerve ends in my legs!

Good luck with the new hip, I’ve had one of mine replaced with Ti and ceramic. I didn’t get much in the way of post op painkillers, just Codeine. Though if one thing did turn off all the nerves, it was the epidural. Just the weirdest thing, being completely numb from the waist down.

Sodium is rife in our Western diet, I wouldn’t be seeking it for cramp. Unfortunately it comes as part of the isotonic range of fizzy tablets and powders which are really intended for those who’ve lost salts through sweating during exercise. Despite that, they did help me with cramp during the night. Have a look at some of the osteo tablets, part of the reason I started to take them was due to having my hip done as they’re high in Calcium and Magnesium. Potassium features highly in google searches for cramp.
 
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zornt

Forager
Apr 6, 2014
205
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Ohio, USA
Another vote for tonic water. I drink a 1 liter bottle 3 or 4 times a month and dont have problems.
Also my body processes sodium very fast so I have to keep up a large salt intake.
Fortunately I like salt!!
It is fun to have your doctor explain that you need lots of salt.
 

Sundowner

Full Member
Jan 21, 2013
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Northumberland
Couldn't live without salt! Unfortunately the other half thinks it's the devils gift to human kind. Was on quinine a long time but still got caught out with cramps
 

Robson Valley

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Nov 24, 2014
8,706
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McBride, BC
If you shed the salts, the electrolytes, you must compensate with extra salts.
Our diet is no where near as salty as it was 200 years ago with the salt preservation of foods.

Believe this: the actual uptake in your gut requires energy. ATP-driven Active Transport. Not negotiable.
You must supply the energy as a quick carbohydrate = sugar.
Only then will you absorb the salt.
 

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