All About Cramps

July 9th, 2011

By Anahad O’Connor for NYTimes: For many avid runners, side stitches can be a maddening problem: the cramplike spasms set in suddenly and can ruin a good workout. While no one knows their precise cause, many experts believe a side stitch occurs when the diaphragm — which is vital to breathing — is overworked during a vigorous run and begins to spasm. Runners who develop stitches are commonly advised to slow down and take deep, controlled breaths.

But a new theory suggests that it may not be the diaphragm that’s responsible for the pain, and that poor posture could be a culprit. In one recent study, researchers used a device to measure muscle activity as people were experiencing side stitches. They found no evidence of increased activity or spasms in the diaphragm area during the onset of stitches.

Last year, the same team published a separate study in The Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. They found that those who regularly slouched or hunched their backs were more likely to experience side stitches, and the poorer their posture, the more severe their stitches in exercise. Article

More Running Tips……

Nocturnal Leg Cramps from A reason why a person may get nocturnal leg cramps is because he or she isn’t drinking enough water. Water is important for transporting vitamins, minerals, and other substances throughout the body. Hydration is not the same when drinking caffeine or alcohol, since they are diuretics and end up dehydrating a person even further. Muscle needs hydration to function properly; without it cramping is more likely to occur. That is why athletes who do not replenish their water lost from sports and exercise end up with a charley-horse. Likewise, low water intake in an otherwise sedentary person can cause muscles twitches during sleep.

Another reason for nocturnal leg cramps is mineral deficiencies. Low levels of calcium, potassium, and magnesium are cited as causal factors of nocturnal leg cramps. While they can all be found in things we eat, some foods lose mineral levels when processed or refined. For example, nearly 85% of magnesium in grains is lost when finely milled.


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