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#1151661 - 09/14/16 11:36 AM Cramps
Eric T Offline
member

Registered: 04/09/12
Posts: 195
TRs: 14 Photos: 344
Loc: Mountlake Terrace, Wa
Hey All,

I have some serious issues with cramps and I have tried so many things to stop them. I'm curious if anyone else has cramp issues and what has worked for you?

I hydrate, use electrolytes in a few different forms over the years such as electrolyte stamina pills and my latest is a product called base salts that has 80 different elctrolytes and minerals in it and is used by the tri community.

I've tried a product called Hot Shot that you can look up and read about but it goes after receptors in the mouth and tummy that stop cramps and I'm back and forth on its effectiveness. I've tried mustard and pickle juice and none of the above has stopped my cramp issue.

Please help, it's painful and it wastes my partners time. Once I cramped so badly by Eldorado that I was shaking uncontrollably my face and arms went numb and my poor young partners didn't know what was going to happen next. I've got issues....ha




Edited by Eric T (09/14/16 04:36 PM)
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#1151662 - 09/14/16 11:52 AM Re: Cramps [Re: Eric T]
olyclimber Offline
☼☼☼☼☼☼☼

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 25324
TRs: 47 Photos: 895
Loc: In Love with You
I'd see a doctor about that! I certainly wouldn't give you advice about it because i'm not qualified...but I use Nuun tabs which I'm sure you've tried....but I also don't get that cramps in activity that often...its usually later after the activity, and then only occasionally.

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#1151665 - 09/14/16 12:21 PM Re: Cramps [Re: olyclimber]
Bronco Offline
Deskjockey

Registered: 02/16/01
Posts: 3555
TRs: 15 Photos: 131
Loc: Port Gardner, WA
Originally Posted By: olyclimber
I'd see a doctor about that!


Second that, sounds like it could be something more than typical muscular cramps that I've experienced.

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#1151667 - 09/14/16 01:35 PM Re: Cramps [Re: Eric T]
JonNelson Offline
journeyman

Registered: 09/17/05
Posts: 90
TRs: 3 Photos: 38
Loc: Redmond, WA
For a period of a month or two, I had a problem with cramps in my calf muscles. Very painful.

But they just seemed to go away on their own.

I didn't try ingesting any concoctions, including more water, and am a little skeptical on their efficacy. I googled 'cramps', but concluded that nobody understood them.

My guess is that the reported 'cures' are placebo. And I also suspect that psychology plays a major role. But I would like to be proven wrong here, and find enlightenment on the issue.

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#1151669 - 09/14/16 02:28 PM Re: Cramps [Re: JonNelson]
JasonG Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 10/12/00
Posts: 2794
TRs: 107 Photos: 1811
Loc: Mount Vernon
I have problems with cramps as well and after doing some web research concur that nobody really understands them well. The military has done the most research and they have concluded that nothing really works consistently either, at least for most people. Being fitter is the best strategy I've found, but when you are pushing up against your limits those that have issues with cramps are going to suffer. I try and stay hydrated and not do days or a pace that totally depletes me.

Basically, we have lost the genetic lottery (compared to our non-severely cramping partners). For me, it means I tend to stay away from steep, long rock climbs near my grade limit. Having bad arm cramps on lead is no fun and not fair to my partners. The older I get the more I gravitate to technically easier routes where having to stop and work out a cramp isn't usually life and/or limb threatening (and it is easier to dial the intensity and duration down a bit).

If I am wrong here, I'd LOVE to hear a solution.
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#1151673 - 09/14/16 08:25 PM Re: Cramps [Re: Eric T]
Jcweinsx Offline
n00b

Registered: 05/23/12
Posts: 41
TRs: 1 Photos: 7
Loc: Portland
I use a product called calm made by natural vitality. It's sold at most GNC / vitamin Shoppe type places. It's magnesium. Make sure you plan ahead when you use it as it tends to activate the bowels. Works well for me, another climber told me about it.

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#1151688 - 09/15/16 07:05 PM Re: Cramps [Re: Eric T]
kroc Offline
journeyman

Registered: 01/08/08
Posts: 55
TRs: 0 Photos: 0
Loc: Seattle
I assume that you know this to be a metabolic issue. You can get leg cramps due to nerve damage for example.

If you have insurance than going to an MD is a no brainer. Get some blood and urine tests that cover your kidneys, endocrine, and metabolic systems to rule out an underlying pathology. Reflex checks for nerve function? Do some prior research so you can advocate for tests that you think might be important. Sorry, but I don't have full confidence in some family practice MD's.

No insurance and limited resources?

-Examime your diet, especially salts and natural diuretics.

-There are some good examples of electrolyte replacements above, try only replacments, no straight water during activity.

-Are you really sweating that much? Some people just do, but are you doing everything you can from a clothing prospective to minimize fluid and electrolyte loss? You might end up doing approaches bare cheasted in running shorts or tropical sun protective clothing. And freezing at any stop!

Good luck.

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#1151695 - 09/16/16 06:49 PM Re: Cramps [Re: Eric T]
layton Offline
sprayer

Registered: 11/27/00
Posts: 7497
TRs: 39 Photos: 811
Loc: Sandy, UT
the science of muscle cramps is constantly evolving - way faster than any bullshit products on the market. The current theory is has nothing to do with electrolytes or pickle juice and more brain/neuro

-are you overheating?
-are they always in the same places?
-are you doing repetitive eccentric or isotonic motions you don't normally do (lowering, holding, or using a muscle to break)?

but that sounds really weird. see a neurologist

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#1151697 - 09/17/16 09:32 AM Re: Cramps [Re: Eric T]
Eric T Offline
member

Registered: 04/09/12
Posts: 195
TRs: 14 Photos: 344
Loc: Mountlake Terrace, Wa
Thanks for the replies, I climbed yesterday and moved 12 miles with no cramps.

Layton,

I'm with you 110%, electrolytes have nothing to do with ERMC (exercise related muscle cramps), in fact I've now read that our electrolyte levels may rise as we lose liquid during exercise. It's almost funny that there are so many electrolyte replacement products for athletes. I've read that a study done on racing triathletes tested pre and post race for hydration and electrolytes. Turns out there was no correlation between electrolytes, hydration and cramping.

Electrolytes are a possible reason for non exercise related cramping.

Yes, heat is an issue for me and I do dress down or try to approach in the cool of the day. I do notice that I'm more susceptible to cramps in the heat than cold but they can occur on cold days.

Yes, my cramps are always in the same place, my upper legs and always occur on the approach. The cramps do affect different parts of the leg (inner thigh).

Yes, eccentric or different movement can trigger cramps for me. I move on the trail for miles no problem but as soon as I post hole or bush whack I can feel them coming on.

" The current theory is has nothing to do with electrolytes or pickle juice and more brain/neuro"

Yes, that hotshot http://www.teamhotshot.com/ product is with you on that and I believe will work for non exercise related cramping. It was partially effective for me with ERMC but not a total cure by any means. I've also been taking B vitamins because they have something to do with neuro path ways. Still cramping.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-causes-leg-cramps/

This did discourage me and fit me to a T though...

"Age also seems to predispose individuals to cramping--the phenomenon may develop later in life for people who exercise for years without prior problems." Scientific American

It's back to what Jason is saying about the genetic lottery.

I'll take your advise on being in better shape Jason and I'm going to stretch a lot more.

I don't have means for a Doctor although i'd like to see a specialist about this. I think your average Doctor, after hearing about a 12 mile approach w/backpack then leaving the trail and climbing thousands of feet with an elite partner 15 years my junior, would simply say......stop doing that.






Edited by Eric T (09/17/16 09:42 AM)
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#1151698 - 09/17/16 01:01 PM Re: Cramps [Re: Eric T]
dougd Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/03/07
Posts: 852
TRs: 5 Photos: 17
Loc: Spokane
I've had bad leg cramps since the car to car on Shuksan in in '07 I think. I was 53 then. They hit me right behind my knees and near the top of the gully. Pretty sure I was salt deficient as I lost a lot of moisture on the approach. I use magnesium fairly regularly. Electrolyte supplement before and after trips. And I carry salty snacks and try not to run low on water, like I did on a recent trip...

And this restorative pose (stretch) has helped me when I can get into position to do it. Near the top of the gully on Shuksan is not the place but it worked well at the bivy on Triumph and I recommend it for your workouts. It is a part of mine.

http://www.doyouyoga.com/5-health-benefits-legs-wall-posture/

d
_________________________
The older the violin, the sweeter the music...

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#1151704 - 09/17/16 05:55 PM Re: Cramps [Re: Eric T]
layton Offline
sprayer

Registered: 11/27/00
Posts: 7497
TRs: 39 Photos: 811
Loc: Sandy, UT
Originally Posted By: Eric T
I think your average Doctor, after hearing about a 12 mile approach w/backpack then leaving the trail and climbing thousands of feet with an elite partner 15 years my junior, would simply say......stop doing that.



good point

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#1153559 - 02/11/17 08:30 AM Re: Cramps [Re: Eric T]
pu Offline
addicted to cc.com

Registered: 08/14/02
Posts: 484
TRs: 12 Photos: 46
Loc: Idaho
Eric T.

I too have suffered from cramps. I am in decent shape. I stayed hydrated. Electrolyte drinks didnt work. Salt stick tabs didnt work but, my shirts had nice white lines on them. Hot shot is likely snake oil.
Usually i suffered from bicep and foot cramps while climbing. A while back i suffered a wicked hammy cramp while lying in bed. Several hours post bike ride. Not a long ride either by my standards.

I told my dad about my leg cramp. He said "oh yeah, i used to get those. Now i take Calcium. All gone." Whatever Geezer.

So, i skeptically started calcium. 600mg calcium carbonate with d3 from Costco. ALL CRAMPING HAS CEASED. I am sure i get the rda of calcium in my diet. Guess i needed some extra. This worked for a friend of mine too.

All those electrolyte products focus on sodium and potassium. Not Calcium or Magnesium. Also electrolytes and important.

If im gonna have a big day i take a couple calcium instead of one a day. Give it a try. Its a cheap experiment. Also, i started on mg too. Be careful with mg. it softens stools. I take one in the am. Theres a fine line between soft and uh oh.


Edited by pu (02/11/17 08:32 AM)

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#1153560 - 02/11/17 11:37 AM Re: Cramps [Re: pu]
Rad Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/11/03
Posts: 2461
TRs: 28 Photos: 760
Loc: The Emerald City
Holy crap. I learned something from you guys!
Thx much. Rad

ps. Once you've solved this mystery try to figure out why I get double vision during long pounding descents but not during any other high exertion times. It sometimes gets to the point where I have to cover one eye to keep from being confused about where to put my foot. Not fun, but it goes away within 20 minutes of stopping. There is no pain or other symptoms, and doesn't seem to be affected by ibuprofen, extra hydration, food, or electrolytes. I haven't been able to induce it using any other exercise mode. Very odd. Hasn't changed in severity in the past 8 years.
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Earth and stone echo my bone.

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#1153561 - 02/11/17 03:48 PM Re: Cramps [Re: Rad]
dougd Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/03/07
Posts: 852
TRs: 5 Photos: 17
Loc: Spokane
You might want to check out the stroke thread dude... crazy

We have one of those right?
_________________________
The older the violin, the sweeter the music...

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#1153563 - 02/11/17 09:00 PM Re: Cramps [Re: dougd]
Rad Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/11/03
Posts: 2461
TRs: 28 Photos: 760
Loc: The Emerald City
Originally Posted By: dougd
You might want to check out the stroke thread dude... crazy


Not likely. There are two kinds of strokes: ischemic (loss of oxygen to the brain, which is usually due to arterial vessel blockage) and hemorrhagic (bleeding). Both cause irreversible damage in proportion to the size/area affected. As a long shot, this could be a temporary vessel occlusion (blockage) that is released within minutes of stopping the descent. That would be very unlikely. Add that no permanent effects have yet been detected and it seems even more unlikely to explain this. Maybe Dr Phil can help...
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Earth and stone echo my bone.

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#1153564 - 02/11/17 10:29 PM Re: Cramps [Re: Rad]
Sol Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/24/03
Posts: 1707
TRs: 31 Photos: 407
Loc: leavenworth
Originally Posted By: Rad
Originally Posted By: dougd
You might want to check out the stroke thread dude... crazy


Not likely. There are two kinds of strokes: ischemic (loss of oxygen to the brain, which is usually due to arterial vessel blockage) and hemorrhagic (bleeding). Both cause irreversible damage in proportion to the size/area affected. As a long shot, this could be a temporary vessel occlusion (blockage) that is released within minutes of stopping the descent. That would be very unlikely. Add that no permanent effects have yet been detected and it seems even more unlikely to explain this. Maybe Dr Phil can help...


I'm a certified Neurologic RN who works with acute stroke victims and I will say that these symptoms are consistent with a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA or Mini-stroke) which only last 1-30 minutes and then completely resolve.. Might be worth a quick Head CT or MRI to rule out any type of vascular abnormalities.

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#1153566 - 02/12/17 01:28 PM Re: Cramps [Re: Eric T]
dougd Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/03/07
Posts: 852
TRs: 5 Photos: 17
Loc: Spokane
My only qualification to post on this is that I stayed in a holiday inn last night so it doesn't mean much.

This deficit, in and of itself, apparently does not preclude me from becoming education secretary of the US someday or even President though so there's hope there.

Rad seriously, hope everything works out man.

d


Edited by dougd (02/12/17 02:07 PM)
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The older the violin, the sweeter the music...

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#1153569 - 02/13/17 08:46 AM Re: Cramps [Re: dougd]
JasonG Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 10/12/00
Posts: 2794
TRs: 107 Photos: 1811
Loc: Mount Vernon
Calcium! Have to say I've never heard of that, nor tried it. Will do and report back. Thanks!
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#1153580 - 02/13/17 05:26 PM Re: Cramps [Re: Sol]
iluka Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/16/04
Posts: 307
TRs: 17 Photos: 148
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: Sol
Originally Posted By: Rad
Originally Posted By: dougd
You might want to check out the stroke thread dude... crazy


Not likely. There are two kinds of strokes: ischemic (loss of oxygen to the brain, which is usually due to arterial vessel blockage) and hemorrhagic (bleeding). Both cause irreversible damage in proportion to the size/area affected. As a long shot, this could be a temporary vessel occlusion (blockage) that is released within minutes of stopping the descent. That would be very unlikely. Add that no permanent effects have yet been detected and it seems even more unlikely to explain this. Maybe Dr Phil can help...


I'm a certified Neurologic RN who works with acute stroke victims and I will say that these symptoms are consistent with a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA or Mini-stroke) which only last 1-30 minutes and then completely resolve.. Might be worth a quick Head CT or MRI to rule out any type of vascular abnormalities.



These symptoms are in no way consistent with those seen in stroke (hemorrhagic or ischemic) or transient ischemic attacks and there is no indication to do a Head CT or MRI in this situation. Spare yourself that time and expense.

A local occlusion of the vessel feeding the affected muscle is certainly possible but the likelihood of that in a young, healthy, non-smoking individual is very unlikely as vessel occlusion like that is typically only seen in older individuals who have smoked for a long time (peripheral arterial disease) and some other less common circumstances.

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#1153581 - 02/13/17 05:55 PM Re: Cramps [Re: Eric T]
DPS Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 10/13/00
Posts: 4092
TRs: 19 Photos: 64
I thought this thread was about stoke.
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Dispensing piss poor advice for since October, 2000.

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#1153587 - 02/14/17 08:34 AM Re: Cramps [Re: DPS]
JasonG Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 10/12/00
Posts: 2794
TRs: 107 Photos: 1811
Loc: Mount Vernon
Trump is going to replace Obamacare with message boards like this where we can get widely divergent medical opinions from caring e-mountaineers (with apologies to Iluka and Sol, I know you guys are actual medical professionals).
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#1153602 - 02/16/17 12:26 PM Re: Cramps [Re: Eric T]
Rad Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/11/03
Posts: 2461
TRs: 28 Photos: 760
Loc: The Emerald City
Cue exploding head GIF.
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Earth and stone echo my bone.

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#1153615 - 02/17/17 02:50 PM Re: Cramps [Re: Eric T]
G-spotter Offline
Sick Spray Bird

Registered: 12/20/01
Posts: 15226
TRs: 57 Photos: 412
Loc: free range
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#1153619 - 02/17/17 09:39 PM Re: Cramps [Re: G-spotter]
pink Offline
sprayer

Registered: 10/19/06
Posts: 8496
TRs: 1 Photos: 368
that's a great cover, and i just watched drugstore cowboy the other day.

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