What are muscle cramps
I usually get mine at night, after waking up and stretching. They mostly happen in my calf muscle of either leg (my right most frequently), but I’ve had them in a number of areas. Here’s a handy list!
- Bend of my leg at the hip
- Bottoms of feet/toes
- Back, various areas
- It is worth mentioning that I have also gotten them in my driving leg, while driving.
I have had them worse than the labor I have experienced. I did end up with an epidural eventually but I went through a not insignificant amount of labor before it was administered. Someone once told me, before I had my child, that labor pain was nothing like a muscle cramp. They probably never had my muscle cramps.
How are they treated.
Typically I can flex, stretch, or twist out if mine. Leg? Just flex in the opposite direction, back while getting comfortable enough to sleep, twist the right way. Foot while trying to get comfortable enough to sleep, just stretch.
Sometimes I have to get up and walk them off. Like tonight, which is why I’m sitting on the toilet writing a blog post about cramps, at 4am.
When I started to flex my leg/foot to ease the cramp in my calf, it decided it didn’t like that direction either. I had absolutely no way to ease it without standing up and putting weight on it.
And sometimes it is physically impossible for me to put weight on it.
One night when the whole house was asleep (me, my husband, my child) I woke up and angered the gods somehow and got a cramp in my leg. I could not flex out if it so I sat up with my feet in the floor. The cool floor and the act of planting my feet sometimes grounds me I think. Anyway, it wouldn’t go away and proceeded to worsen.
And that’s when the other leg, IN THE EXACT. SAME. SPOT decided to cramp. it became so incredibly painful that my usual “suffer in silence” motto was forgotten and I called out in pain. A lot. Not only did I wake my sleeping child, but my husband, who sleeps like a rock (or used too).
“Mommy are you ok?” My child asked.
“Yes baby, mommy is just in pain right now.” Despite being scared, this kid was patting me on the back as I suffered a double cramp. My husband came in the room and asked if there was anything he could do.
Put me out of my misery if it doesn’t stop soon.Is what I said.
I asked for a bottle of water because somehow I simultaneously am dying of thirst and need to tinkle during and post cramp.
After what seemed like hours but was in reality more like minutes, it let up, very slowly and one leg at a time.
Besides everything that I do, the Google says to apply hot or cold to the area. I have done that with little to no effect, besides wanting to burn my leg off.
The google says to seek medical care if your symptoms are severe. Honestly from the list above the only one I haven’t experienced in all my years of muscles disobeying me, is the “swelling, redness or skin changes.”
Lately* I get them very rarely but they usually build up. Small cramps here and there in different locations in my body until the crescendo of a doozy. I have been calling these “devil cramps”. These are worse than child birth.
*subject to change
I’ve talked to a doctor about them but I’ve never been given a definitive answer. From what I can tell mine are probably from muscle overuse or dehydration. But I work the exact same and no extra most of the time, but I drink a decent amount of water, though not enough probably. I’ve also had blood work come back “slightly low” in calcium.
I’ve also seen literally everyone get them. Young people, old people. My dad used to have leg cramps every night. But then he had a heart attack sometime later and they’ve let up some.
My mom got them in her hands when her calcium, potassium, or magnesium were low. At least that’s what that one not-so-bad-looking ER doctor said.
My cramp tonight is long gone and it’s almost 5am on my day off. I have sufficiently been distracted. That’s better than singing the “There Was A Hole” song until it goes away. The goal was to “not give the cramp power” or something. I kept forgetting the words.
As always, thanks for reading