How To deal with and Limit The Risk Of Calf and Leg Cramps for Body surfers
As a Body surfer If you have ever had a leg or calf cramp, you will know why we have posted this. Calf cramps can be one of the most agonizing pains to experiences.
We have all had first hand experience of the pain. On more than one occasion I have fallen victim to the initial tugging feeling and then your leg stiffens up and you are rendered useless. Getting a calf cramp on land is one thing but to get a calf cramp in the water and especially while handplaning or body surfing in the ocean, not only hurts like hell, but it can also be dangerous!
One particular experience I can remember, I was travel surfing and body surfing through Morocco a few years back and I after finally seeing a good break after days of travel I bolted out into the water. 15 minutes later just as I finished the 10 minute paddle to killer point, It hit me! There was not a lot I could do apart from float around trying in vain trying to stretch my leg out; on land, this is a good idea, in water not so much. I ended up getting a set on the head and finding myself washed over the rocks for my trouble. Thing could have been a lot worse and I was lucky.
Unfortunately There is no specific way to effectively deal with cramps in the water, however this is the perfect case of "prevention is definitely better than cure". We as body surfers in particular should learn to take care of our bodies before getting into the water. Body surfers and swimmers are the most prone to being struck by a leg/calf cramps in the water. This is due to the physical excursion on the legs and calfs. Also wearing fins puts the risk much higher due to the added strain the body surfing equipment places on your calf muscles. While I am on the subject of Body Surfing equipment and Body surfing fins it is really important to choose the right Fins for your particular feet. Read our article on choosing the right body surfing fins to find fins that fit you best and reduce the strain on your your calf muscles
Below are a few tips and tricks that will greatly reduce the likelihood of you getting the dreaded leg or calf cramp
The definition of a muscle cramp:
"Technically a Muscle or calf cramp occurs when your muscle tightens and shortens causing a sudden severe pain."
muscular tissue cramping is primarily the result of overexertion and/or dehydration . Whenever you do not possess adequate fluids in your system , it can cause an electrolyte imbalance that triggers your muscle tissue to cramp up.
Electrolytes are nutrients and minerals which includes sodium , magnesium, calcium together with potassium these nutrients and minerals assist the body cells in normal cellular functions . Any time you have fluctuations and imbalances in the levels of these vital minerals you will start to have problems in the basic operation of bodily functions and the effects are brought out in the form muscle spasms and cramps The crucial electrolytes influencing muscle tissue cramping are potassium , sodium not to mention calcium.
When are your most likely to get Muscle Cramps
The most likely time yo are going to get a muscle spasm or cramp is when partaking in physical Exercise.
have been known to be the biggest culprits for leg and calf cramp while tennis and other hand held racket sports are more likely to cause arm and back cramping
Believe it or not cramping may also occur after long periods of inactivity, such as sitting too long in one place without moving a muscles. If you have a desk job take 15 minutes every 2 hours or so to stand up and stretch
Lying Down and relaxed Positions
Sometimes you can even get a cramp when you're just lying in bed this is also goes back to the above comment that Cramps are likely to occur after a period of muscle stillness or when you have been in the same position for an extended period of time.
For the most part though researchers cannot define an exact cause, and seems to vary from person to person
What are the most likely Muscles to be affected by Muscle cramps
The calf Muscle seems to be the most affected Muscle group , however, you can also get them in your thighs, feet or just about any muscle group. ,I have even had a sever back pain cramp. Cramps and Initial onset of a cramp and the ensuing pain can can be reduced by a few simple methods as we will show you below.
Causes of leg Cramps
Researchers are unable to say for certain what the exact causes of leg cramping are . Oftentimes , there doesn't appear to be a specific cause . What researches can tell us is ,
typically the cramping originate from
- Overexertion of the muscular tissue
- Structural conditions ( eg , flat feet )
- Standing upright on cement
- Extended periods of sitting
- Improper leg postures whilst inactive
Less prevalent factors include
- Diabetic issues
- Parkinson's disease
- Thyroid and endocrine problems ,coupled with the use of medicines .
- A few viral and also bacterial infections/diseases may additionally trigger the development of muscle tissue spasm .
- Circulation anomalies
- Muscle cramps can also arise from spontaneous firing of special nerve groups, followed by contraction of certain muscle fibers .
Medical Treatment of Calf Cramps
Quinine Sulfate generally is the doctor prescribed medication of preference for cramping .If the discomfort is moderate or self-limiting , topical ointment and/or oral non-prescription analgesics might be suitable .These Particular medications can be suggested by a health care provider or simply pharmacist.
How can I make cramps go away?
First, relax the tightened area.
- When the muscle cramp first starts to occur It is best to gently and slowly massage the region that has cramped , whether or not it's a crick in your actual calf from over exertion or simply a spasm in your foot .
- Stretch out the muscle tissue gradually carefully , provided that you don't sense discomfort .
Calf Cramp specific
- Perform a wall stretch out
- Position yourself around two to three feet away from the wall
- Put knees straight together with your heels on the ground
- Lean into the wall , assisting your self with your hands . You may sense the stretch out of your calf muscle tissues .
- Keep in that position for sixty seconds.
- Do it again 3 times or Until your calf cramp subsides
Cramp: Relieving tips
Number 1 and the most important make sure to drink plenty of fluids!
Exercises that reduce the risk of cramping
In the event that your calf muscular tissue are prone to frequent cramping , This may mean they are weakened! There are specific exercises to strengthen the muscle group you are having problems with. One of the best exercises for calf and thigh cramps is the Toe Raise .
- Just simply rise up on your toes
- Maintain for five seconds
- Return heels to the floor.
- Do it again 15 to 20 times , 2 or 3 times per day .
Increasing Your Vitamin C Intake
- Boost your intake of vitamin and mineral and especially Vitamin C as it will help stop your muscle tissue from cramping . It is strongly recommended to consume timed-release vitamin C supplements two times daily , 1 ,000 milligrams in the am , and additionally 1 ,000 milligrams in the evening . Keep in mind in some cases people might experience diarrhea in the event that you take over and above 1 ,200 milligrams of vitamin C daily.
- If you are suffering from cramps on a regular basis , it is strongly recommended to use a consistent application of warmth to the affected muscle tissue. Heat the muscle tissue with either a moist warm towel or with a cream like Deep Heat for ten to fifteen minutes , 5 or perhaps 6 times A day . Continue to do this until the pain diminished and .
Massage and rubbing
- Massaging the calf , arch , and toes or affected area with baby oil for 10 minutes can work wonders for the pain of a cramp.
Best Massage techniques for Cramping
- Use medium to hard pressure to really get into the deeper tissue
- Use a back-and-forth motion , across the length of the muscle .
- Use a side to side motion over the affected muscle tissue with the palms of your hands.
Counter The Contraction
- It is possible to softly loosen up cramped muscle tissue by guiding it through the regular range of movement . For a cramp in your calf , it is strongly recommended to grip your calf with one hand whilst stretching your toes and foot in the direction of other hand .
- similar guidelines apply for a cramp in your feet or foot believe it or not I have had cramp in both feet at the same time, To relieve foot cramping, simply position your hand in the arch of your foot rather than on your calf. keep the stretch out until you finally feel the cramp relieve .
Keep well Hydrated
- Making sure you are always well hydrated can go along way to helping prevent cramps. Make sure to top off your reservoirs before and also throughout any physical exercises, particularly if you find yourself working hard in warm weather conditions . You must drink 8 to 12 ounces of liquid before you begin doing exercises. Follow-through with 4 to 8 ounces of liquid each and every 30 to 45 minutes when you are doing a workout this will keep you well hydrated and hopefully free of cramps .
Ice it up
- An ice pack is both equally, a pain reliever and also an anti-inflammatory. Attempt to massage the affected area with an ice pack for a maximum of 10 minutes or until there region is a cheerful red , which implies that blood cells have arrived to heat up the cramped muscle tissue. In the event that an ice pack is unpleasant, attempt heat . Heating up the area enhances circulation and also can make muscle tissues a lot more elastic , therefore many people feel like warmth is much more alleviating for muscle tissue cramping compared to an ice pack. Attempt a warming pad for twenty minutes at a time or maybe a hot bath or shower . make sure to continuously stimulate/ massage the muscle tissue with your palms following an ice pack or warm up.