Calf Cramps

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Mccraque
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Calf Cramps

Postby Mccraque » Mon Nov 12, 2012 13:32 pm

Can anyone help please?

Over the last year or so I have been having a few issues with the lower legs. Started as achilles problems (tendonitis) - so saw a podiastrist....got orthotics made up for my running shoes...great. I can now run without achilles pain. I think as a result of raising my heels slightly.

However....

I've since pulled a calf muscle (springing off it in the gym) and in the last few events, I seem to be getting a lot of calf cramps....specifically when jumping off the bike to run. (Happened at transition in a duathlon the other week and also at the gorrick yesterday when I wheelspun on a climb). Seems to be a common occurance though.

I know about salt levels and hydration. I also try to stretch it daily....

Any other tips? Or speculation as to what's causing?

Thanks

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YeehaaMcgee
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Re: Calf Cramps

Postby YeehaaMcgee » Mon Nov 12, 2012 21:44 pm

It can be caused by a few things, most common as I understand is overhydration, or dehydration. An imbalance of salts can cause cramping, and that can be too much, or too little salt.
My cramps can be eliminated with magnesium, yours may be something else.
I guess one way to help figure it out is to try a few different things. Try drinking more, or drinking less, or having some bacon or gammon before riding, or bananas.

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Woodmonkey
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Re: Calf Cramps

Postby Woodmonkey » Tue Nov 13, 2012 07:14 am

bacons before a ride! top medicine! :D
pity those who don't drink, the way they feel when they wake is the best they will feel all day


voodoo hoodoo

Mccraque
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Re: Calf Cramps

Postby Mccraque » Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:37 am

Banana and bacon sandwich it is then...

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YeehaaMcgee
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Re: Calf Cramps

Postby YeehaaMcgee » Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:42 am

Is that an euphemism?

Mccraque
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Re: Calf Cramps

Postby Mccraque » Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:42 pm

I'll let you decide!

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jimmcdonnell
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Re: Calf Cramps

Postby jimmcdonnell » Tue Nov 13, 2012 15:37 pm

Calf cramps, or muscle strains (either in the gastrocnemius (the two big calf muscles) or the soleus (the underlying one)) are commonly caused by tight/inflexible or short calf muscles/tendons - I have this problem, and it gets brought on by over-straining or stretching when your toes are pushed up (towards your knee, if you can picture that) under load. I get it running, especially up hills. If you 'ankle' vigorously, dropping your heel well below your toes on the pedals, then that could be your cause. Easy enough to sort, with time - preventative stretching exercises to increase the calf muscle/soleus + achilles tendon stretch and flexibility. Back this up with deep tissue massage, but don't do the manly thing and bludgeon tahrough the discomfort, you'll be out of action for longer. A quick Google will find you loads of stretches, or alternatively splash out on a sports physio session so they can tell and show you what to do.
Litespeed Tuscany, Hope/Open Pro, Ultegra, pulling an Extrawheel trailer, often as not.

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Twitter: @jimjmcdonnell

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YeehaaMcgee
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Re: Calf Cramps

Postby YeehaaMcgee » Tue Nov 13, 2012 16:26 pm

I don't follow, Jim.
I only ever get calf cramps after riding a very long time, and it can be remedied with potassium, or magnesium. Surely that suggests that it's not related to inflexibility?
I've also had it when snowboarding, in very stiff boots, where the flexibility of the calf tendons didn;t some into play at all.

Mccraque
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Re: Calf Cramps

Postby Mccraque » Tue Nov 13, 2012 18:16 pm

I do follow Jim...cheers.

given the issues I have historically had with the achilles tendons (in both legs) and the subsequent orthotics (which although alleviate the achillles, the knock on would be that the calf doesn't get stretched as much when I am running etc) - I am thinking that there may be something in that.

I actively look to stretch and have built a stretch programme into my gym sessions. Seems like I may need to intensify on the calf.

I've also booked a deep tissue massage for tomorrow.

However - Yeehaa - similar problem the other week in ski boots at the snowdome. Everything fixed in place - no flex - yet got the twinge nonetheless....

C0LL0
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Re: Calf Cramps

Postby C0LL0 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 14:05 pm

Cheers Jim

I suffer exactly the same cramp, when jumping off the bike to run uphill or putting extra exertion to get over an obstacle. I will be doing extra stretching immediately. Thanks you.


dsmith682
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Re: Calf Cramps

Postby dsmith682 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 09:12 am

You could try switching to an exercise bike routine until the cramps pass, I need to do the same with stopping running for about 3 weeks to let an old injury de-flame, also I understand that certain Yoga exercises can improve tendon suppleness

here is an article about it http://ezinearticles.com/?Whats-The-Best-Exercise-Bike-For-Me?&id=7460335


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