Okay, so this entry is a bit "off-topic", but it's driving me CRAZY!
Have you ever had a Charley Horse? You know, a muscle cramp (usually in the legs) that seizes up so tight that you end up with a minor muscle pull that stays with you for a week or more? No. Okay. Nevermind.
But, if you said "YES, I've had those! They suck!", then read on...
Since 1998, when I ran my first , and, unfortunately, only triathlon, I've had calf cramps. They might be attributed to my training or to my sprained ankle shortly thereafter, or something totally unrelated... I may never know. I've seen doctors, physical trainers, I've had acupuncture, massage, lymph drainage, I stretch, I drink plenty of water, eat at least one banana a day, take vitamins and mineral supplements, and I've even tried shoe inserts. No dice. I still have the cramps. And I need help treating them.
Let me tell you what they're like...
They can occur in two ways: 1) The can come on suddenly, like a sneak attack, or 2) They can begin as a muscle twitch in the calf or Achilles tendon. They can occur anywhere in the lower leg, and are seemingly random in their location. The twitch then becomes a tight muscle with intense soreness. Then that part of the muscle seizes up into a full-on cramp. And, unlike normal cramps, these "charley horses" stick around for a while. Though the worst of the cramp dies down within a few minutes, the soreness and "pulled muscle" feeling remains for up to two weeks.
These charley horse cramps can come on at any time during the day or night. They can attack when I'm walking, running, jumping rope, or just sitting still. However, exercise does seem to aggravate them more than sitting still.
It sounds inconvenient, and it is, but for a person as active as I am (I LOVE to run, bike, jump rope, hike, etc.), it's damn near debilitating. I can't run anymore. I can't jump rope. I can bike and hike, but I have to take it easy. It's very difficult for me, now that I'm on my road trip, to stay in top physical condition aerobically without being able to run.
I guess the reason I'm writing this is in hopes of coming across someone who has had a similar problem, or knows how to treat the problem. Remember, I've tried doctors, PT, acupuncture, Quinine, salt tabs, potassium supplements, mineral supplements, bananas, water, stretching, etc., and nothing helps. Well, one thing seems to be helping a tiny bit: a supplement called Spaz-Out. It's just a collection of minerals to help prevent muscle spasms. I do better on Spaz-Out than I do without it, but I still get the charley horses (just not as often).
As I said in the beginning of this entry, I'm going crazy! I know there is a reason for my condition (if it can be called a "condition"), but I don't know what that reason is. Nobody does.