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2011-10-27 10:06 AM
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Subject: RE: Cramps in Swimming- What are typical causes/solutions?

I get foot cramps from time to time while I swim. I've tried stretching and flexing and stopping. None seemed to work. What I found to work best is to just let them go and cramp all the way. Takes about 45 seconds and the body resolves the problem by itself and I never get them again. Sort of painful and anti intuitive, but it works.

On a similar note, I know that in scientific world of internet forums there are things that start to become fact just on the mere basis that they are repeated enough. Weights don't work, aero helmets make you faster than cars, and electrolytes have nothing to do with cramps (among other things). I know first hand electrolytes play some role(maybe not THE role, but some role). After a particularly bad race I was in the med tent and cramping uncontrollably. I yawned and my jaw even cramped. The doctors gave me a shot of magnesium and all cramping stopped immediately. Yep, a shot of electrolytes ended the problem in about 5 seconds. If memory serves, Doctors use electrolytes to stop cramping in women who are in labor (but the docs would have to chime in here.) Anyway, just something to think about....



2011-10-27 1:45 PM
in reply to: #3740379

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Subject: RE: Cramps in Swimming- What are typical causes/solutions?
tjfry - 2011-10-27 11:06 AM

I get foot cramps from time to time while I swim. I've tried stretching and flexing and stopping. None seemed to work. What I found to work best is to just let them go and cramp all the way. Takes about 45 seconds and the body resolves the problem by itself and I never get them again. Sort of painful and anti intuitive, but it works.

On a similar note, I know that in scientific world of internet forums there are things that start to become fact just on the mere basis that they are repeated enough. Weights don't work, aero helmets make you faster than cars, and electrolytes have nothing to do with cramps (among other things). I know first hand electrolytes play some role(maybe not THE role, but some role). After a particularly bad race I was in the med tent and cramping uncontrollably. I yawned and my jaw even cramped. The doctors gave me a shot of magnesium and all cramping stopped immediately. Yep, a shot of electrolytes ended the problem in about 5 seconds. If memory serves, Doctors use electrolytes to stop cramping in women who are in labor (but the docs would have to chime in here.) Anyway, just something to think about....

You bring up a good point, TJ.  There's a difference between the type of localized cramping associated with hard efforts/insufficient fitness, and generalized cramping throughout the body that seems to be caused by dehydration or electrolye deficiencies.  It makes me wonder if people drew the connection between hydration/electolytes and localized cramping without considering that the causes may be different.  We rarely acknowledge in these threads that there are at least 2 different types of cramping, which seem to have different triggers.

 

2011-10-27 3:27 PM
in reply to: #3736150


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Subject: RE: Cramps in Swimming- What are typical causes/solutions?

as a beginner triathlete, my opinion probably isn't worth much but i've never (knock on wood) gotten a cramp during a workout. i sometimes get them when i'm sitting on my foot for too long, but that's about it.

so i think there's a lot of truth in some of it being genetic (my dad runs and rarely ever gets cramps either).

just for some context, i'm not really fit and have been doing a lot more swimming/biking/running for my fitness level. my body is VERY relaxed during swimming and i'm pretty flexible from years of gymnastics. wonder if any of those two help?

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