Plea For Help!

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John Bailey

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I’ve just had a dreadful night, and the dread of being woken in the early hours is being realised with mounting frequency. I get cramp.

That might not sound much, but it comes with a tsunami of excruciating pain that takes an hour or more to subside. The real agony is the cramp that affects (mostly) my left thigh, knotting the muscle into a grinner of solid, pulsing convulsions. My face turns chalky white. I become a human sprinkling system. I feel sick to the point of being so at times. The night becomes a torment rather than a balm.

I’ve always suffered with cramp. It’s nothing new in my life ever since I was five, shrieking in horror in my first footie matches, struck down on one of my right wing raids! However, I have to accept that these last few years the affliction has got steadily worse.






Richard and Dave in action, along with a surprise guest!

I know what the root cause is of course, age and decrepitude apart. I simply cannot sit still. Yesterday is a case in point. I was guiding the very excellent Richard and Dave on the river and it was a slow day indeed. By 11.00am I knew I had my work cut out, and according to my phone health app (normally fairly reliable) I walked 5.6 miles, wading the river, searching both banks up and down, baiting swims as I went. And as you can imagine, this wasn’t easy walking, but much of it pushing through untrodden undergrowth, carrying a heavy bucket and wearing chest waders with their accompanying water-laden boots.

So, do I tone down my wandering, guiding, fishing life to a safer level, or is there a cure out there that you might know about? It would help here to run through what I have tried, generally as a result of wife Enoka’s tireless research, I have to say.

Magnesium tablets.

Hemp tablets.

Various rub-in potions.

A heat pad on which to rest my throbbing thigh.

Drinking a lot of tonic water… I owe Richard Jones that one.

Perhaps these remedies have worked to one degree or another, but as last night proved, not entirely. I love the way I fish. For me, mobility is all. Anyone who can come up with a fail-safe answer will earn my undying gratitude!


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steve2

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View attachment 16668

I’ve just had a dreadful night, and the dread of being woken in the early hours is being realised with mounting frequency. I get cramp.

That might not sound much, but it comes with a tsunami of excruciating pain that takes an hour or more to subside. The real agony is the cramp that affects (mostly) my left thigh, knotting the muscle into a grinner of solid, pulsing convulsions. My face turns chalky white. I become a human sprinkling system. I feel sick to the point of being so at times. The night becomes a torment rather than a balm.

I’ve always suffered with cramp. It’s nothing new in my life ever since I was five, shrieking in horror in my first footie matches, struck down on one of my right wing raids! However, I have to accept that these last few years the affliction has got steadily worse.






Richard and Dave in action, along with a surprise guest!

I know what the root cause is of course, age and decrepitude apart. I simply cannot sit still. Yesterday is a case in point. I was guiding the very excellent Richard and Dave on the river and it was a slow day indeed. By 11.00am I knew I had my work cut out, and according to my phone health app (normally fairly reliable) I walked 5.6 miles, wading the river, searching both banks up and down, baiting swims as I went. And as you can imagine, this wasn’t easy walking, but much of it pushing through untrodden undergrowth, carrying a heavy bucket and wearing chest waders with their accompanying water-laden boots.

So, do I tone down my wandering, guiding, fishing life to a safer level, or is there a cure out there that you might know about? It would help here to run through what I have tried, generally as a result of wife Enoka’s tireless research, I have to say.

Magnesium tablets.

Hemp tablets.

Various rub-in potions.

A heat pad on which to rest my throbbing thigh.

Drinking a lot of tonic water… I owe Richard Jones that one.

Perhaps these remedies have worked to one degree or another, but as last night proved, not entirely. I love the way I fish. For me, mobility is all. Anyone who can come up with a fail-safe answer will earn my undying gratitude!


The post Plea For Help! first appeared on FishingMagic Magazine.

Continue reading...
 

steve2

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I know the feeling only too well I have never yet found anything that works. I even get cramps when stretching to removing my boots. Like you I have tried all the pills,potions and drinks. Then there is the side affect of drinks, you have to get up for the toilet which gives you the cramp if you get out of bed too fast.
Good luck in your search if you find one I will try it.
 

mikench

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Quite why you would ask the members on here for medical advice is beyond me. We cannot agree on which mono. Beavers and a whole host of other things.😀😉

Having said that I feel sure that you have tried all the self help remedies such as stretching the muscle as in football, eating foods high in electrolytes and supplements. I occasionally have a cramp and by then the usual painkillers like ibuprofen are useless as they take too long to work. I would see a specialist if i were you, particularly if the incidence of such agonies are on the increase. You might be prescribed quinine to take regularly. I believe that sometimes self help can work. About a year ago I induced a bad bout of sciatica by being stupid and lifting things I shouldn't and , no doubt, in an inappropriate manner. The pain got so bad and lasted so long I had a telephone consultation. Some days I couldn't walk more than a couple of kilometres before my right leg felt sore and out of sinc with my movements ; I felt I was walking in flippers. Physio helped but most painkillers didn't. I tried Alka Seltzer original which worked and enabled me to get through the day. I took one tablet everyday for about a month and now only when I know I have overdone it. I also now take one 75mg aspirin a day for this and other known benefits. It is worth a try.

Mind you I'm just an ordinary bloke and angler with only vicarious medical knowledge through Er indoors. Good luck.
 

nottskev

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You have my sympathies there. I have similar problems, being woken up in the night and having to hop around until the spasm relaxes. It's generally lower leg - calves, insteps and even, especially painfully, shins. The problem comes and goes. I can be free of it for weeks, then afflicted every night for a week or more. I've tried to relate it to things that I do or don't do, but can't find a cause. I've taken the problem to two GP's, but they can't really help with cause or cure. A slightly uncanny side to it is the way I can come awake with a sense that the very next movement of a limb will trigger the spasm.

One GP suggested a folate/vitamin B12 deficiency - blood tests suggested I was a bit low - which can happen if your diet is low in fresh fruit, vegetables and cereals. I made a point of eating more of these, but I can't say this solved the problem.

I can't say I've found any clear correlations, but the balance of moving and sitting in a day can bring on night cramps. A session of 4 or 5 hours on a seatbox, especially if my feet are in water, is likely to bring on cramp later, the more so if I don't exercise after the fishing. I now make a point of walking for 15 mins sometime later in the evening.

Part of the misery is that when the cramp has struck once, not only is the area painful for some time, the cramp is likely to reoccur at any time, dealing you a mix of pain and insomnia. Helplessness to prevent it is distressing. I've found that heat can often help ward off subsequent spasms. I use a wheatpack microwaved for 90 secs on the afflicted area, and I'd recommend that.

Since getting these cramps seems only partly to stem from activity (or inactivity) in the day, I have to suspect that the combination of meds I use for sundry health problems may be disposing my nervous system to trigger muscle spasms independent of my activities. I did ask a GP if there might be some underlying disorder like MS going on, but they said such diseases don't present like my symptoms.

Anyway, do let us know if you come across anything helpful.
 

Steve King

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Tonic Water contains Quinine… A large Tonic Water with a splash of gin may help!

Are you on any medications? Cramp can be a side effect of some medication particularly Ventolin as I’ve found out to my cost!
 

nottskev

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Tonic Water contains Quinine… A large Tonic Water with a splash of gin may help!

Are you on any medications? Cramp can be a side effect of some medication particularly Ventolin as I’ve found out to my cost!

That's interesting. I use a steroid inhaler, Fostair, daily, and Ventolin only occasionally. I didn't know it had such sides.
 

Steve King

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That's interesting. I use a steroid inhaler, Fostair, daily, and Ventolin only occasionally. I didn't know it had such sides.
The worst inhaler for cramp is Serevent - a long lasting bronchial dilator similar to Ventolin. It is deadly stuff! I tried it for a few months, but couldn’t deal with the cramp!
 

mikench

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Tonic water contains very low levels of Quinine and thus is unlikely to help. Here is a link to an article( there are others) about its use. It's not approved in the US save for malaria. As with all drugs there are side effects.


It seems a common complaint and one without a known solution. This is on the NHS site.

 

Crystal Bend

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Sorry to hear of your struggles with cramp @John Bailey
I myself suffer from a degenerative and previously herniated l5 S1 disc in my lower back which lead to similar sudden cramp\sciatic pains at night.
Thankfully these episodes are rare now depending on what level of work I have been doing.
I'm no expert but I was given an exercise from an excellent physio woman Melanie in Ireland and it has served me very well.
I've set up a high bench\table in my garage. I climb up onto the bench and when lying down on it I can touch the roof joists.
I slide myself down to the end of the bench until my legs & backside are hanging\dangling over the side with my arms holding the joist above to stop me sliding off the bench.
Now pull one leg back to your body and straighten\lift the other up and down and out to the side.
You'll feel a pull on your stomach muscles and your hip might click and\or lower back joint(s).
Repeat the process with the other leg. Then try dangle both legs over the side and try lift them together at the same time towards your stomach with both hands on the joist\bar above.
When you've had enough, slide back onto the bench and relax for a minute and then climb down from the bench.
You'll feel taller, freer and more mobile afterwards.
This exercise can be done with your backside hanging off the end of a bed but not as effective but also useful.
This process frees up the tight muscles in your back that can touch your nerves that travel down your leg, it activates your glutes & frees up your hip flexors.
Hope this helps.
Regards
John
 

mikench

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My favourite mineral water and much cheaper in France; here's why;

Badoit is a naturally carbonated water obtained from natural sources in Saint-Galmier, France.

It is named after Auguste Badoit, who first bottled the water in 1883.

The popularity of Badoit is due to it’s digestive-aid qualities owing to the high levels of Bicarbonates, in fact it was only sold in pharmacies until 1954.

About Badoit: Rising at Saint Galmier in the Loire region in France, Badoit is a gift of nature.

It emerges from its spring naturally sparkling, with light bubbles that will tickle your palate.

Badoit’s bicarbonate content make it the perfect accompaniment for your dining experience.

Composition in mg/litre​

  • pH (at source) 6
  • Total Dissolved Solids 1200
  • Calcium 190
  • Magnesium 85
  • Sodium 150
  • Potassium 10
  • Bicarbonates 1300
  • Sulphates 40
  • Chlorides 40
  • Nitrates 0
  • Silica 35


Alka Seltzer contains aspirin, sodium hydrogen carbonate and citric acid. I would try anything save for the absurd or downright dangerous. Whatever new potential remedies you try do try them one at a time and for say seven days at least to evaluate their effect.
 

xenon

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But by her own admission, in her younger years she was a total pisshead. Don't think John drinks that much.
 

john step

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I was told that lack of salt can cause cramps.
We are told too much salt is very bad for us.
We can't win can we?
 

sam vimes

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I'm fortunate that I've rarely suffered from cramp in my daily life. However, once in a while, a yawning stretch, with toes pointed, could induce painful cramp in my calves. The obvious answer would be to avoid such stretching. However, it invariably happens in that half conscious period that comes as you wake from sleep. Not doing it is easier said than done. Much to my amusement, someone suggested having a bar of soap tucked under the bed sheets somewhere. I initially dismissed it as a load of rubbish. However, after another painful wake up, I thought "what have I got to lose?". I'm not going to pretend that there's any good reason for it to work. Perhaps it's all psychological, but I couldn't care less, I've not had an attack since.
 

bullet

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When I used to Scuba Dive regularly, we always used to eat a Banana before each dive as it was said to prevent Cramp.
I have to say I never had one whilst diving, but then I rarely get them anyway......
 

theartist

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Sorry to hear of your cramp issue John but is there any additional input you have to your Passion For Clean Rivers Thread? It's been a while since you last posted on there and there has since been significant input from a broad range of anglers here on FM.

Not to poo poo any heatlth issues but I feel it would be more beneficial to us all if such an important issue as the Wye pollution thread was run through thoroughly before any new articles are published.
 

grayson

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Another victim here. Always happens between 4 and 6 am and is excruciatingly painful - usually left calf , sometimes both and almost comically painful . I had a chat with my GP about it and the only good news was that is harmless , if painful. He said some patients had found eating bananas and ensuring they were very well hydrated reduced its incidence . It doesn't for me.

Only once has it happened when fishing - ad that was the only time it was in the thigh. I was returning a barbel - 8-4 if memory serves - and ouch ouch ouch , my leg was locked solid ...
 
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