| Bill Ferguson
Registered Osteopath, Cranial Osteopath, Acupuncture and Sports Injuries
Tenterden Osteopathic Clinic
|Location: Home | Special Topics | Cramp|
Gastrocnemius (calf muscle) stretch on stairs
Myth – drink tonic water
Unfortunately modern tonic water no longer contains quinine so a couple of G&Ts are unlikely to prevent cramp
Other causes of cramp
If you started to get cramps soon after taking a new medication check with your GP or Google to see if this might be a side affect.
If you get cramp in more than one place at a time then I would suspect an electrolyte imbalance or dehydration. This is the sort of cramp that makes footballers writhe on the ground when they have been running for 90 minutes and the game goes into extra time. What happens is that the brain is telling the muscles to make the player run, the muscles are exhausted and unable to contract strongly enough and the brain just keeps pressing the buzzer. The result is a continuous contraction.
To work properly, muscles need a good supply of glucose and normal amounts of water and electrolytes like sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium. If it is a hot day and you are sweating a lot you may need to replace some sodium by salting your food.
Rhabdomyolysis: If cramps are followed by red or brown urine, your muscle tissue could be breaking down and releasing muscle contents into the blood. This is a medical problem needing immediate professional attention to prevent kidney damage. Treatment for acute rhabdomyolysis is high volume intravenous rehydration.
Deep vein thrombosis:
If you get sudden severe cramp and swelling in the calf, especially after prolonged bed rest, or after a fracture of the leg, a thrombosis of the deep veins (DVT) is possible, and an urgent medical opinion is necessary.