Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Nocturnal Leg Cramp

Tonight, I had a Nocturnal Leg Cramp. Normally you would have them at night while sleeping. I didn't. Instead, I had it during my Pilates class. Oh what fun.

For anyone whose had these leg cramps before, they can tell you how painful they are. They are insanely painful. Having had them since I was a teenager, I was able to see the signs of one coming on right away. Normally they are isolated to one part of my calf, and I tend to tough it out and massage as best I could. Tonight, however, was the worst one I've ever had in my life.

My Pilates instructor and the lady beside me (who was a nurse thank goodness!) watched my leg muscles cramp up in into a huge knot. My whole right calf was on fire, and there was definitely pain shooting up my leg, something that never happened before. It took a while for my leg to calm down.

No one knows how or why this happens to people, and it seems that different things trigger it for different people. I remember in my 3rd year Physiology class, we were discussing how muscles worked. One of my classmates asked about the leg cramps. My prof at the time never heard of it, but he did turn to the class and asked how many people experienced it. Out of a class of 200+ people, about a third of us raised our hands.

Anyways, tonight after class, people were throwing out all sorts of theories as to why it happened to me. Lack of calcium, lack of potassium, dehydration, more Vitamin D, blah, blah, blah. I think it was a lack of calcium, because I had recently cut back a bit on my calcium due to my iron deficiency. I guess I have to increase the suppliment taking again. Bah.

It was a little dicey driving home, but I didn't live too far from the studio. I managed to get home in one piece while driving like a little old lady, and frantically praying that I wouldn't get another attack (This has also happened to me once when I was driving, but I managed to massage it out before it got too bad).

Some other info that I found:

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