Author Topic: Muscle Cramp  (Read 1213 times)

Muscle Cramp
« on: November 21, 2017, 08:05:23 pm »
Over the years I have always suffered from a bit of cramp in my legs. I thought it was just me, I'd pushed it too hard somewhere, not fit enough, carrying too much weight, not enough fluids or whatever. Then last summer I bought a nice shinny new bike; result no cramp on any ride regardless of the length or conditions!

Now, I've just got the old bike (531st tourer) out for the winter and first ride, cramp. Okay it was a hilly ride and and very cold, but it got me thinking; have I fundimentally been riding an ill fitting bike for years.

So, two bikes side by side and tape measure in hand. Set height, near enough the same, bar height, about an 1" higher on the old, stem reach about the same, but there was one big difference, my new bike had it's seat pushed back a lot further, as in about 2" further back that the old. In fact there were two difference the second being weight, I haven't measured it but 25yr old 531st Tourer v modern Carbon Road bike, so the weight difference was quite bit a well.

So a question to the enlighted. Do you think that have a too far forward saddle could be the cause of the cramp (mainly thigh cramp)?

Re: Muscle Cramp
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2017, 09:10:55 pm »
Watching with interest as I am a sufferer.
Get a bicycle. You will never regret it, if you live- Mark Twain

Ben T

  • What you saying, then?
Re: Muscle Cramp
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2017, 09:56:08 pm »
I thought cramp was a sudden acute spasm you get when twisting a leg in an awkward position rather than a general achiness... I've never had (what I know as) cramp when cycling.
Unless you put on overalls, boots, and a helmet with a high tech pre fitted lamp - and you dig coal - nope, you don't know me.

Re: Muscle Cramp
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2017, 10:44:44 pm »
Yes it is a sudden acute spasm, but it's nothing to do with twisting or general achiness. It's difficult to describe, but imagine your muscle has just decided to contract, with no real notice, to it's shortest length, wants to pull itself even shorter, all at the same time hurting like hell (big understatement) and you have to do something about it. The only remidy is to stretch the muscle, against the pain and I'll tell you that hurts as much, if not more than the pain of the spasm; but it's got to be done.

I remember hearing someone once say that if you not sure whether you've had an orgasm or not you haven't had one! It's the same with cramp. You bloody well do know you've got an attack.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Muscle Cramp
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2017, 12:23:19 am »
The advice for reducing cramp attacks is stretching the muscle that cramps, rather than taking drugs like quinine. e.g. stretching calves before bedtimes.

So maybe the new bike is just stretching the muscles a bit more/enough?
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: Muscle Cramp
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2017, 08:15:55 am »
I thought cramp was a sudden acute spasm you get when twisting a leg in an awkward position rather than a general achiness... I've never had (what I know as) cramp when cycling.
Cramps (in my experience) can start without any twisting or awkward positioning.
At their worst, the muscles will tear badly. They can be agonisingly painful.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Ben T

  • What you saying, then?
Re: Muscle Cramp
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2017, 09:09:32 am »
Yes it is a sudden acute spasm, but it's nothing to do with twisting or general achiness. It's difficult to describe, but imagine your muscle has just decided to contract, with no real notice, to it's shortest length, wants to pull itself even shorter, all at the same time hurting like hell (big understatement) and you have to do something about it. The only remidy is to stretch the muscle, against the pain and I'll tell you that hurts as much, if not more than the pain of the spasm; but it's got to be done.

I remember hearing someone once say that if you not sure whether you've had an orgasm or not you haven't had one! It's the same with cramp. You bloody well do know you've got an attack.

Yeah, I've had it - just as you describe. Just never while cycling, even to the point where I can't even envisage getting it while cycling.
The only difference for me is the stretching necessary to alleviate it isn't that painful, possibly only because of the knowledge of the relief it brings.
I get it when contorted wrongly, for example the last time I got it was when I was trying to look under a car to see how the towbar fitted, when crouched, rather than fully lying down with legs stretched out as I should have been. (Cramp, that is.  :) )
Unless you put on overalls, boots, and a helmet with a high tech pre fitted lamp - and you dig coal - nope, you don't know me.

JennyB

  • Old enough to know better
Re: Muscle Cramp
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2019, 04:32:46 pm »
The advice for reducing cramp attacks is stretching the muscle that cramps, rather than taking drugs like quinine. e.g. stretching calves before bedtimes.


But you can't  stretch the muscle while you have a cramp. One thing that can help is to press the joint in the direction the cramped muscle wants to take it, while tensing the opposing muscle to push back.
Jennifer - walker of hills



Re: Muscle Cramp
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2019, 05:56:35 pm »

Cramps (in my experience) can start without any twisting or awkward positioning.
They can be are agonisingly painful.
I agree.

Re: Muscle Cramp
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2019, 06:26:07 pm »
When I get them, it's usually while dismounting. As you swing your leg over the saddle, you fold it back at the knee. I remember one attack where a quick-thinking control marshal on an Audax had to grab my bike so that I could hop around the market square.

I've always associated with fitness, more than bike fit, but who knows.

Re: Muscle Cramp
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2019, 08:59:02 am »
Try pickle juice

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Muscle Cramp
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2019, 09:27:19 am »
When I get them, it's usually while dismounting. As you swing your leg over the saddle, you fold it back at the knee. I remember one attack where a quick-thinking control marshal on an Audax had to grab my bike so that I could hop around the market square.

I've always associated with fitness, more than bike fit, but who knows.

Other factors may also influence cramps.  My worst ever were as an undiagnosed type 1 diabetic, so my whole endocrine system and body chemistry out of whack, mineral balance completely up the spout.  I'd be jumping out of bed almost every night with uncontrollable calf and quad cramps.

Start on insulin, body chemistry back to normal and the cramps are now generally gone, except under extremes of exertion/endurance.
Has the OP ruled out issues such as electrolytes, dehydration, blood glucose?  Is there a fitness improvement as well as a bike change?
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Re: Muscle Cramp
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2019, 03:53:20 pm »
Can blood pressure influence propensity to cramping?

I get them at night, in bed. Started checking my bp in the morning; 93/62 was one reading. Generally systolic under 100 and diastolic under 70.

Also get them when kayaking, in my toes.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Muscle Cramp
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2019, 05:36:13 pm »
Pickle juice does help.
Get a bicycle. You will never regret it, if you live- Mark Twain

'breff

  • M' back!
  • Head Banger.
Re: Muscle Cramp
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2019, 07:34:59 pm »
Stretch and relax the affected muscle. Breathe deeply to get oxygen in as much as you can.
A can of fizzy pop with a teaspoon of salt just about stops cramp through the night.