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Muscle cramps

Discussion in 'Other Symptoms' started by Daisybell, Dec 28, 2020.

  1. Daisybell

    Daisybell Moderator Staff Member

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    This is becoming an increasing annoyance for me. I get cramps all through my abdomen from being in the car when I have to constantly brace myself for the changes in direction and speed. I now have to support myself with my arms when I’m sitting upright at the table...
    And more recently I am getting cramps in my hands, arms, legs and feet. If I turn over in bed and stretch my legs out, then I get cramp... I got cramp down the front of my shin the other day - I thought i had pulled a muscle but I think it was just a bad cramp. It took 3 days to ease off.

    Does anyone else get this? I take magnesium every morning in case it is low magnesium but it doesnt seem to be helping much. It’s not my thyroid, and its not cold-related, as its the middle of summer here (although its worse if i am cold).
     
  2. Arnie Pye

    Arnie Pye Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    If magnesium doesn't do the trick, cramp could be caused by low iron (although this usually causes restless legs rather than cramp), low calcium, low potassium or low salt.

    It would also be worth looking at the known side effects of any prescribed drugs you take or any non-prescription supplements.
     
  3. shak8

    shak8 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I get leg cramps, mostly in the shin that can last three days. For me, what seems to aggravate and start it is any lower leg exercises or rising up on my toes.

    But it seems very intermittent and a bit unpredictable. I use a heat sac on it but that doesn't make it go away, it does lessen the pain. A muscle relaxant med and the heat is what is comforting. Massaging the muscle, not too vigorously, and stretching it after a hot bath helps, too. I looked up specific stretches under "physical therapy stretches for ____ muscles" on the web.

    Hope you find some relief and answers.
     
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  4. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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    Rather than just magnesium, I think cramps are related to other salts. (Sodium/potassium). I know someone who uses rehydration salts successfully to ward off night cramps, and I remember back when I lived in a hotter climate it was quite common for people to take salt tablets. It might be a good idea to get some medical advice on which salts you need to take.
     
  5. Amw66

    Amw66 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I know that magnesium tissue salts have helped with cramp for some. These have other salts in combination .

    These are taken regularly throughout the day, so seems to be a small consistent dose is better than a couple of more standard doses.

    Unfortunately we can't source ones without either a lactose or sucrose base so they cause other issues
     
  6. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Louie41, Amw66 and Kitty like this.
  7. Kitty

    Kitty Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Definitely worth a word with your GP, @Daisybell, if simple things like good hydration and gentle rubbing don't work. Sometimes cramps are a side effect of medication, and the doctor would know whether you take anything that could be the culprit. There might also be treatments that could help.
     
  8. Arnie Pye

    Arnie Pye Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I used to get benign fasciculations (BF). It took me a long time to find out what the proper name for the condition was. Some people have actually filmed their BF and put the results on Youtube if you want to do a search. I was in hospital once when I got BF. I'd also had blood tests done not long before it started and I managed to get a copy of the results. It turned out the BF coincided with my potassium matching the bottom of the reference range, for the first and only time. Usually my potassium is mid-range or a little bit higher.

    Something else that is worth researching is tetany : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetany

    Low/high levels of various minerals :

    Calcium : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypocalcaemia ; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypercalcaemia
    Magnesium : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnesium_deficiency ; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypermagnesemia
    Potassium : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypokalemia ; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperkalemia
    Sodium : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyponatremia ; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypernatremia

    I've used rehydration salts, as mentioned by @Trish , for cramp, twitching, spasm etc many times and I always keep some in stock.
     
  9. Arnie Pye

    Arnie Pye Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  10. Mij

    Mij Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I have been experiencing muscle cramps/soreness that migrates all over my body since menopause. Some bring me to a full stop where I have to literally sit on the floor.

    I don't think it's magnesium in my case because it's quite different from when I had severe mg deficiency many years ago.
     
  11. Daisybell

    Daisybell Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks everyone for your thoughts! I’m going to try some rehydration solution and see if that makes any difference. I’m not on any medications so it cant be that. Hopefully its just a phase I’m going through....
     
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  12. perchance dreamer

    perchance dreamer Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Low potassium can lead to muscle cramps, too. The next time you have blood work done, you might ask your practitioner to look at your potassium levels and see what she thinks.

    Foods high in potassium help me. Sweet potatoes have more potassium than bananas. Avocados are good sources as well as spinach and black and white beans.
     
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  13. Amw66

    Amw66 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  14. Amw66

    Amw66 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    V8 juice and coconut water are also good for potassium if you are not up to eating much in a oner.
     
  15. InitialConditions

    InitialConditions Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I just came to say I've had actual cramp only about three times in my whole life. No idea why it's never been an issue for me.
     
  16. shak8

    shak8 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    One more suggestion about treating muscle cramps. I had a bout of TMJ and the most helpful physical therapist ever gave me a sheet of instructions that can be used for any muscle cramp:

    10 minutes ice pack, then 10 minutes hot pack, followed by massaging the muscle in spasm.
    Repeat three times a day.

    I can't predict exactly when or why mine occur but I look to these:

    Have I "over" used the muscle (in my case three reps may be overuse).
    Have I neglected to change position often enough.
    Have I stretched the usual offenders after a hot bath (preferably after a hot bath AND meds like muscle relaxants +pain meds).

    Another point, I don't know if it applies to your muscle cramps in the car or not, but diagnosed with fibro, I find that I have to keep my arms in a low position and close to my body. If I raise my arms, it will feel the next day like a muscle sprain.

    Another thing is to be aware in the moment if you are tensing your muscles, like in the car. Trying to relax or having some other outside bracing, like a firm cushion as a brace, may be helpful?

    For me, with intermittent IBS, I have never been able to take magnesium without getting abdominal cramps, but your results may vary!
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2020
  17. Rain

    Rain Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I second this. I take different types of magnesium for different symptoms. Trying different brands within a type may also be relevant.

    I can also feel relief from blood thinning or vasodilation, but that should be discussed with a doc.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2020
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  18. shak8

    shak8 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Lower leg muscle cramping, severe. Two heating pads, one hot sack, two pain creams including capsaicin. and then finally two pain meds (muscle relaxant, opioid) which dampened it for two hours, then back again.

    Used a valium-type drug to deaden the sensation in order to fall asleep and then again when the pain woke me up in the middle of the night.

    So far, it's 24 hrs of this. I'm hungover from the two small doses of the Valium-type drug, but I'm not worrying about it!


    Edited to add: Second day of it, no sign of letting up. I'd call it a sensation of extreme muscle strain to the point of feeling almost like a cramp, but it's not unknottable like a cramp, it just keeps grinding on, impossible to ignore. Meds every 3 hrs. Woozy and 2 days wasted, but at least I have meds and know how to use them!
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021
  19. Amw66

    Amw66 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Muscle cramps are becoming a real issue for my daughter - this is general but eyes , neck and stomach seem to be particularly affected. Her eyes feel permanently strained ( describes as hanging from eye hooks) and gut muscles are so tight that she cannot be physically sick.
    Tendons in neck in particular feel as though they are in the wrong place.

    GP call tomorrow but don't really expect much - bloods a couple on months ago were normal but electrolytes not done. Report of a double neck muscle spasm 6 weeks ago were not met with nay concern/ thought though pain perception has changed since.

    We supplement magnesium as malate and glycinate as citrate does nothing very much.
    If anyone has an idea for symptom relief or mechanism it would be appreciated.it

    ETA - daughter advises that it's more like muscles seizing - the feeling just prior to full cramp that is most prevalent.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2021
  20. lunarainbows

    lunarainbows Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Some links that may be useful

    https://www.aans.org/Patients/Neurosurgical-Conditions-and-Treatments/Spasticity

    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dystonia/

    https://www.healthline.com/health/spasticity#medication

    I typed in “muscle seizing”. There are quite a lot of tests and treatments that can / should be done. it’s worth ruling out if it’s more than ME. There does seem to be medication for muscle cramps / seizures too.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2021
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