The Mother of All Leg Cramps

Got got stuck getting out of my Ellesmere’s ocean cockpit Saturday. The kayak drifted backwards as I was doing a paddle-brace exit, so there I am, tilted sideways with my knees up, leaning helplessly on the paddle as the boat drifts into deeper water. Did I just let go, take the easy way out and capsize? Of course not! I managed to pull one leg out to stand on, and in the process got the mother of all cramps in my calf. It was all I could do to hold onto the kayak to lean on; must’ve lasted for at least a minute. Glad the water was shallow. When the cramp finally did release, it left my calf so sore I could barely touch it; it’s been that way for two days now. Not a cramp, just really sore.

This has never happened before. I’ve had leg cramps, but never lingering soreness. I’ve tried hot water, walking, running, Vitamin I, and nothing seems to help. What the heck is going on?

Nasty calf cramps OUCH!
I get those all too often. Worst is in the boat when I can’t stretch it out. The bad ones definitely do some damage as evidenced by the sore muscle afterward.

If I catch it as it comes on I can usually ease or even prevent it by stretching the calf. I’m getting real good at feeling it coming on. Even waking myself up before the cramp does at night. I guess pain is an effective teacher.

It Happens
Sometimes it stays sore for a couple of days. Mine happen at night. A very hard bike ride (race) followed by rich food brings on the cramps most every time.

Hot water was bad for it.
You should have iced it instead.



I feel for you brother!
Had one myself over the weekend - in the middle of the night while rolling over in my Hennessey Hammock. Never experienced that before. Like your situation, difficult to resolve and begged a sream in pain. Of course, without the possibility of drowning.


Be glad it wasn’t a hamstring cramp.
Them’s the worst!

Stretch it.
In fact stretch both calfs. Hold at least 20 seconds per side, no bouncing. Do it several times per day. Massage will also stimulate circulation and healing.

Sure ;you didn’t actually strain/tear?
Sounds like you were twisted and over-reaching…a SURE way to tear a muscle.

Drink Tonic Water
It has quinine in it which helps prevent muscle cramps. I drink it both before and after a heavy workout from paddling.

That Happened to Me…

– Last Updated: Sep-29-09 5:45 PM EST –

Years ago I went jogging. In MID-STRIDE my calf cramped and I could actually feel the muscle tear as my foot hit the pavement. It took months for that to heal up.

Uhhh... Trillium... if it tore it's gonna hurt for a while. Good luck.

I get 'em in my hammies
But jay is spot-on. Stretching does wonders, before and after.

Better today
Went for a good long hike/trail run after work yesterday & while it didn’t feel better right away, could definitely tell the diff today. Did the same tonight & it feels a lot better, so probably didn’t do a whole lot of damage, thank goodness.

Thank you for all your advice. Never knew cramps could damage muscle. Next time I will definitely capsize and find something else to bitch about :-)))

You might need more calcium
That is one nutritional deficiency that can cause muscle cramps.

I recently added yoga to my routines (stretching, a few calisthenics). Feels good during and after, including the next morning. I also found that going for even a short walk after paddling feels good.

Stretching helps before…
the activity but pounding fluids works for me. If I don’t hydrate, I pay for it later when my hamstring seizes up on me. As Kheya already mentioned, treat it like a strain…

I can deal with the calf cramps.
It’s the back of the upper leg when it takes someone else to straighten your leg that will make you cry.

Good thing you had help. Ain’t getting old a bitch?

Yet another mineral
I have found magnesium effective for relieving my leg cramps and restless leg syndrome. I prefer something chelated rather than the oxide. YMMV.

TL, what’s the latest? All better?

A Bar Of Soap
For leg cramps in the night a bar of soap works.

My Mom used to get them frequently. She keeps a bar of soap under her bottom sheet.

I get them occasionally. I keep a bar of soap on my headboard. When I wake up with a cramp I grab my soap and apply it to my calf. The cramp goes away quickly.

We read about this in Dr. Gott’s medical column in the Newport Daily News. Try it!

TL, I had those wicked cramps when
I was a teenager.