Popular Bike Shops
Join the Cycling Forums on Strava
Australian Cycling Forums on Strava
Latest Reviews and Articles
Will your next bike be Intelligent? ABS and Smart Bike Tech
Vitus Vitesse EVO Disc Review – Speed Machine indeed!
The information / discussion in the Cycling Health Forum is not qualified medical advice. Please consult your doctor.
- Posts: 41
- Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 4:07 pm
Has anybody ever experienced leg cramps like this?
A fortnight ago, every time I would walk or do any exercise at all for 5 minutes or longer I would end up with cramps in my legs somewhere. The cramps would move from different muscle groups, sometimes in the hamstrings, sometimes in the calves, sometimes in the each of the quads, sometimes in the glutes etc. And typically it is very hard to get them to release - to the point that by the time I walk the 10-15 minutes to work from the carpark I am in agonising pain and sweating etc.
The day before the cramps started I did the Ride for Pain (ironically), which was about 5.5 hours of fairly hard riding (though not the hardest ride i've done in the last couple of months). And had plenty to drink with electrolytes (about 7L) - and had to pee part way through so I don't think dehydration was an issue.
Since the symptoms started I've been taking magnesium, eating plenty of bananas (for potassium), drinking milk (for calcium) and have taken a couple of multi-vitamins just in case. I've up'ed my stretching program to see if that would help, but end up putting my back out last weekend.
I've been and seen my GP, who ran some bloods with nothing unusual. I've been to a Physio who's best guess (having never seen it before) is that it's something strange going on with the leg nerves, so he's given me some stretches to go and other exercises. But after 5 days, there has been no improvement.
So, after 2 weeks off the bike ... and no idea when I'll be able to get back on the bike, I'm starting to come to the realisation that unless things changes very quickly my 3 peaks campaign is over.
Anybody got any ideas?
- Posts: 16
- Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2013 3:14 pm
- Location: Brisbane
None of the standard solutions seemed to do anything more than slightly reduce the problem. I went googling and read about pickle juice. Apparently it started in American football. You get a jar of pickled onions, throw the onions away, and take a shot of the juice at the first sign of a cramp. I've tried it in my last three long races (11, 7 & 7 hrs) and it has stopped cramps each time. I carry a small 250ml bottle of juice in my pack, and take a shot whenever I feel the first twangs. For me at least, while it tastes absolutely horrible, it works. I don't quite understand why, because it's almost instant relief, so it's not like it's something getting into the bloodstream and to the muscles. I've read somewhere that it's some sort of nervous system hack, and that American mustard has the same effect, but I haven't tried that.
- Posts: 1346
- Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:35 am
- Location: Earlwood
- Posts: 142
- Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 9:12 pm
Family on my fathers side seem to all suffer from cramps. My sisters also suffer.
My cramps decreased significantly after starting cycling nine months ago. If I don't cycle for a week the cramps will make a sudden appearance.
I've tried to do some in depth research on cramping. It seems that their is no definitive medical knowledge on exactly why they occur.
Being from a Electrical/Electronics background I have a theory that it's bodies electrical system.
Your heart generates the electrical supply for your body and the nerves carry the "Current" around.
Electrolytes help the conductivity of the nerves to distribute the electrical impulses.
Pickle juice is one big dose of electrolyte. I have seen studies into pickle juice and cramps but there is no definitive medical evidence of why it works.
My neighbors 14 year old nephew is a tennis fanatic. His coach makes him drink a glass of salt water before a 3 set game on a hot day to avoid cramping up.
Unfortunately quinine tablets were banned a few years ago. These did have an impact on cramps. Another reason why the Brits in colonial tropical countries years ago subsisted on G&T's (Quinine in the tonic)
You would think with all the money that's poured into sport, sports institutes, specialist sports physios etc there would be some research that would pinpoint the exact cause of cramping, yet there isin't - only theories.
jetrangermike. You night want to have yourself checked out and find out if you have a very mild case of M.S.
- Posts: 10180
- Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:08 pm
- Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Hagar wrote:I went googling and read about pickle juice. Apparently it started in American football. You get a jar of pickled onions, throw the onions away, and take a shot of the juice at the first sign of a cramp. I've tried it in my last three long races (11, 7 & 7 hrs) and it has stopped cramps each time.
Hardly surprising - look at a standard pickling recipe and you will see onions are "pickled" by soaking them in a strong brine solution for 24 hours before bottling with vinegar, herbs and spices.
As it happens I have enjoyed a drop of pickle juice since I was a kid growing up in tropical Darwin. I also took salt tablets and regularly ate Chinese salty plums. Still do when I can get 'em.
So you are drinking salty vinegar. It would be easier to take a salt tablet or an isotonic drink.
- Posts: 358
- Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 10:04 pm
i have to ask if you've taken any antibiotics lately, or even lifetime. some do nerve damage even long after taking them. any other symptoms?
age? also, genetics play a part as well. some people just have better nerves than others, same goes for healing them as well.
magnesium is vital for cramps, twitches etc. might not be taking enough. 600mg at LEAST daily. magnesium chelate is best, absorbs better. i dont use any other form. except a bath with epsom salts (do this!).
stress levels? can also contribute
you're not vegan are you? b12
even overtraining, or bike fit.
- General Australian Cycling Topics
- Info / announcements
- Buying a bike / parts
- General Cycling Discussion
- The Bike Shed
- Cycling Health
- Cycling Safety and Advocacy
- Women's Cycling
- Bike & Gear Reviews
- Cycling Trade
- Stolen Bikes
- Bicycle FAQs
- Serious Biking
- Audax / Randonneuring
- Retro biking
- Fixed Gear/ Single Speed
- Electric Bicycles
- Dragsters / Lowriders / Cruisers
- Children's Bikes
- Road Racing
- Road Biking
- Time Trial
- International and National Tours and Events
- Cycle Touring
- Touring Australia
- Touring Overseas
- Touring Bikes and Equipment
- Western Australia
- New South Wales
- South Australia
- Northern Territory
- Country & Regional
- The Market Place
- Member to Member Bike and Gear Sales
- Want to Buy, Group Buy, Swap
- My Bikes or Gear Elsewhere
- Cycling Brands
- Malvern Star
- Custom Builders
- Generic Carbon
Who is online
Users browsing this forum: roadingo
About the Australian Cycling Forums
The largest cycling discussion forum in Australia for all things bike; from new riders to seasoned bike nuts, the Australian Cycling Forums are a welcoming community where you can ask questions and talk about the type of bikes and cycling topics you like.