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I am suffering what seems to be chronic quadricep cramping. I am 24 years old, very athletic and enjoy doing numerous types of exercise/activities. While I do not experience these cramps on a daily basis, they do occur often enough for me to be concerned. I have defintely notice an increase in occurance over the last 2 years.

Every once in a while I will start to experience a mild cramp on one of my quads which quickly develops into severe cramping- to the point where I am unable to walk or stretch. The cramps typically start about 15-20 min into my workouts.

I try to stretch and stay hydrated; however, this problem seems to persist.

I have been on a handful of multi day bicycle trips. On my most recent trip I covered 3000 miles over the course of 30 days. I finished the trip and was feeling great; however, for about two weeks afterwards I was unable to run without my quads going into spasms. It seems as though these cramps occur most often when I transition from biking to running. I can remember these cramps happening on occasion all the way back to the time I was in Middle School.

I do drink alcohol in between activities and I am concerned that this my be stimulating these cramps. I hope that someone can point me in the right direction. Could this be a mineral imbalance in my body?
Should I change/alter my diet to include new foods?
Do I need to see a physiologist?
Am I just dehydrated?

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:wavey: welcome

sounds like you have a chronic problem that probably goes deeper than staying hydrated, although you should be drinking 10 glasses of water/diluted gatorade a day for your activity level...every day...and your urine should be clear all the time...or you are dehydrated. and dehydration will cramp your legs. alcohol will dehydrate so drink more than 10 glasses of water to compensate.

i think you probably have a contracted muscle elsewhere in your body that is causing your quads to shorten and chronically cramp up when you exercise. visit this forum, there is a lot of stuff on muscle pain and myofacial release here. click on the forums, and muscle and joint pain sections.


i do have her book, the pain free triathlete.

cramping in one place on your body can be a symptom of a spasm/knot somewhere else that is refering pain to the quads or causing them to spaz out when you are active. you need to get to the base of your problem before you treat yourself by stretching which, i believe, will make matters worse before better if you have untreated muscle problems in your back, hips, piriformis, psoas, etc. you'll never lose the pain until this stuff is worked out and it will continue to cause problems, in a chain-reaction kinda way.

have you seen a GOOD massage therapist, one who knows trigger point therapy or deep tissue massage and can pinpoint problems in athletes?

you may want to google myofacial release/trigger point therapy for more information on this concept if you are unfamilar with it. if you don't have a true injury (torn muscle, slipped disc, etc) these techniques can be really beneficial to an athlete.

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I agree with what Rolling Rock posted above, but would like to add a few things.

cramps can also be brought on by a lack of magnesium or calcuim, if you are an active person, check your diet. Are you getting enough nutrients? if not you may want to look into a supplement. Being active will deplete your body of the vitamins it needs. Also what is your caffine intake?

I would be careful stretching a cramped muscle, it is an easy way to strain it, I would recommend massaging it until it releases.

Another great source of information regarding trigger points is the Trigger Point Therapy Workbook.

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I appreciate your responses. I have not seen a massage therapist since I was competing in college. I did however, recieve trigger point accupuncture for an achilles tear last year - definitely seemed to help out a lot.

Is there a particular type of specialist I should see in addition to the message therapist?
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Also, to answer your caffeine question-

My only caffeine intake is from about 2-3 cups of black tea a day.

Thanks
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I am not sure what a Message therapist can do for you... :P
if it is a trigger point or a spasm in your quad, you should be able to work on that yourself, a massage therapist can definitely help, especially if it is a problem stemming from another area (like your calves).
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I've also been told potassium can be a huge culprit in cramps. (bananas and the like could help)


just passin' thru...

Oh, and welcome aboard!! :wavey:

Definitely listen to RR and RB on this issue. They KNOW. They really do.
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Kiwi are a gold mine when it comes to potassium. Beats bananas by a mile.
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Kiwi are a gold mine when it comes to potassium. Beats bananas by a mile. not to hijack the thread, but according to the USDA 1 cup of kiwi has about 550mg of potassium, 1 cup of slice banana has 530mg. if you really want potassium, 1 cup pureed avocado has 880-1100 depending on where it grows.

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not to hijack the thread, but according to the USDA 1 cup of kiwi has about 550mg of potassium, 1 cup of slice banana has 530mg. if you really want potassium, 1 cup pureed avocado has 880-1100 depending on where it grows. Maybe that's what I was thinking of. I just really like kiwi. :P

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I appreciate all the great tips. A few more questions:

I do eat bananas and avacados. Is there a chance my body does not retain potassium as well?

Can magnesium and calcium deficiency lead to cramping?

Should I have blood samples taken to determine my deficiencies?

When I am doing intense exercises/training is there a vitamin/supplement combo I should take that could potentially help me with this problem?

Does anyone know of a good message therapist in San Francisco?
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Here is an interesting website regarding Mg and K (Potassium).

I appreciate all the great tips. A few more questions:

I do eat bananas and avacados. Is there a chance my body does not retain potassium as well? I wouldn't think so, just remember that an athlete needs more vitamins/minerals than a couch potato. If you are concerned you can ask your doctor to run a comprehensive panel blood test

Can magnesium and calcium deficiency lead to cramping? Yes, and calcium can actually deplete magnesium. I have read that a 2:1 Ca/Mg ratio is preferred, I take my Magnesium throughout the day and Ca at night.

Should I have blood samples taken to determine my deficiencies? see above

When I am doing intense exercises/training is there a vitamin/supplement combo I should take that could potentially help me with this problem? If you eat heathly and take a multivitamin you should be good

Does anyone know of a good message therapist in San Francisco?I don't know about SF but I would say the odds are in your favor, it is a big, popular city. If you have any runner/athletic friends in the area or know of a running group you could ask them for a recommendation. Becareful because there are a lot of quacks out there as well. Lot for someone that is specialized in Deep tissue, Myofascia, or trigger point therapy, but also you don't want someone that specializes in every method under the sun.


A list of problems associated with low magnesium

ADD/ADHD
Alzheimer's
Angina
Anxiety disorders
Arrhythmia
Arthritis- Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis
Asthma
Autism
Auto immune disorders- all types
Cavities
Cerebral Palsy- in children from magnesium deficient mothers
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Congestive Heart Disease
Constipation
Crooked teeth- narrow jaw- in children from magnesium deficient mothers
Depression
Diabetes- Type I and II
Eating disorders- Bulimia, Anorexia
Fibromyalgia
Gut disorders- including peptic ulcer, Crohn's disease, colitis, food allergy
Heart Disease- Arteriosclerosis, high cholesterol, high triglycerides
Heart Disease- in infants born to magnesium deficient mothers
High Blood Pressure
Hypoglycemia
Impaired athletic performance
Infantile Seizure- in children from magnesium deficient mothers
Insomnia
Kidney Stones
Lou Gehrig's Disease
Migraines- including cluster type
Mitral Valve Prolapse
Multiple Sclerosis
Muscle cramps
Muscle weakness, fatigue
Myopia- in children from magnesium deficient mothers
Obesity- especially obesity associated with high carbohydrate diets
Osteoporosis- just adding magnesium reversed bone loss
Parkinson's Disease
PMS- including menstrual pain and irregularities
PPH- Primary Pulmonary Hypertension
Raynaud's
SIDS- Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
Stroke
Syndrome X- insulin resistance
Thyroid disorders- low, high and auto-immune; low magnesium reduces T4

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A good remedial massage therapist who knows how to perform Deep tisssue remedial massage & knows how to perforn PNF properly. Just one question have you taken Creatine over the past two years if you have stop
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Lord22,

I'm having the very same problem. Curious how you're doing or what you've found out.
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Hi,

I've just found this forum and I was posting a bunch of answers to questions about various aches and pains. I saw yours and thought "it's either the iliopsoas (a low back muscle) pressing on the femoral nerve and causing the cramps (I've seen this happen several times in my hands-on practice) or it's that his/her nutrition is off-balance.


Then I saw that a bunch of people have suggested nutritional solutions, all of them good ideas.

It's been several years since you posted this problem, I would hope that you are back to normal by now. I was wondering if you found an answer to the problem and what it was that helped you.

Wishing you well,
Julie Donnelly
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