This article is a transcribed edited summary of a video Bob and Brad recorded in May of 2022. For the original video go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULx0TJorq_Y&t=438s.
Brad: We've talked about this before, but this is the mother of them all. We're talking about leg cramps. Because they're the most common. Hamstrings and calves are probably prevalent. But, you know, you get toe cramps or thigh cramps as well. Typical causes of cramps, number one, night cramps. That's not a cause, but that's when they occur for a lot of people. And I don't know about you, Bob, would you say that's more in elderly people? Maybe 50 and over?
Bob: I would guess. Absolutely. I know myself, I get cramps when I stretch a certain way.
Brad: Ah, yeah, yeah. I've had a number of patients, in the middle of the night, they are awakened by this painful cramps in their legs. And of course we taught them how to get through that.
Brad: Also athletes, people who exercise a lot, maybe they exercise too much, too much intensity. We can have some ways to deal with that. And cramps associated with fatigue. This is like when you're maybe exercising or walking and all of a sudden you start to feel pain associated with that. But there's something you have to know that it may not be a cramp, and people get this confused. This pain, they think it's a cramp, and it's actually a circulation problem.
Bob: There is even a test, we could show you, that you could try.
Brad: Yep, absolutely. So we're going to start with number one. Now, this number one, I've kind of put a few of them together and I'm calling it under one. First of all, medications. If you're on medications or you started a new medication or you've changed something, that could lead to cramps.
Bob: There is always those side effects, Brad.
Bob: Yeah, exactly. So you need to check with your doctor to make sure that's not a problem.
Brad: Dehydration. How many glasses of water a day, Bob?
Bob: Right. Well, they say eight a day. But you might have to do more than that.
Brad: Right. It depends how big your glass is. I think it's eight, eight ounce glasses, right?
Bob: Right, it depends, how much you sweat that day and other factors.
Brad: There's a lot of variables. But many people, I know my mother she's in her eighties and she does not drink near enough. And you know, we're working on that.
Bob: As you get older, I think you have less thirst.
Brad: Yeah. I don't know? She's still drinks a lot of coffee, though.
Bob: Yeah, she does. That helps.
Brad: Yeah. There's some water in there. Electrolytes, your diet. Make sure you're getting enough vegetables, fruits, good things like that. Or what do you use?
Bob: Nuun tablets. I actually take them before I go out and golf. Because I often will get an imbalance. And so it helps.
Brad: A lot of perspiration.
Brad: Anything like that. That's always an option. There are a lot of other products out there that offer that electrolyte in tablet form. So, and again, blood flow issues in a little more detail, if you are walking and you get cramps in your calf or your feet. My father had this, he always felt like his feet were cramping up. It was a matter of blood flow circulation. They weren't cramping.
Brad: There you go. That could happen in the calf. And possibly even a DVT, deep vein thrombosis. Or blood clot.
Bob: So if you dorsiflex your ankle, or bring your foot up and squeeze on the calf and if there's pain that could be a blood clot. It could be a DVT.
Brad: It may not. That's not the best test. It's still something you should get checked out.
Brad: Exactly. All right. Let's go to number two. Let's look at those night cramps. Now, if you get a night cramp you need to stretch the muscle to stop it. So in other words, if I'm lying here and I get a cramp in my calf, what's going to happen is my toes are going to point down and it gets painful. So either just pull your toes up, sometimes you can. If it's a bad cramp, you actually have to get out of bed, point it down and then put weight down, and stretch, stretch, stretch.
Bob: It's not fun.
Brad: No. These things are very uncomfortable. Painful, uncomfortable doesn't even describe it.
Bob: It feels like you're going to tear the muscle.
Brad: Oh, gosh. Or if you get a hamstring cramp then your knee is going to want to bend. Then you have to try and straighten it out. And if you cannot do it in bed or even if your partner in bed can grab your leg and help straighten that out. Ah! There you go.
Brad: Or if you're by yourself and you get up and you try to go forward, when you flex forward that'll stretch that out.
Brad: So I've had a number of people, if they have calf cramps, I'll show them the wall stretch. Before you go to bed.
Brad: Some gentle stretching, it doesn't need to be too aggressive but stretch that muscle out, get relaxed. Do this one, the hamstring stretch you can do in bed, lying down.
Bob: Grab at the knee and try to straighten your leg. You really pull the heel toward forward.
Brad: And you'll feel those hamstrings stretch and loosen up. And hold that, that one's kind of hard to hold for 30 seconds, but try to get five to 15 seconds on each leg. Bob, do you want to talk about if you heat up the muscle to get circulation?
Bob: Before going to bed I think it's a great time, while you watch TV, to go ahead and put heat on. The Thermotex is what we prefer because it's deep heat.
Brad: Far-infrared heat.
Bob: Right. So, how deep?
Brad: 2.3 six inches, according to the studies. Versus if you just get a regular hot pack, they're going to just heat up the skin, essentially, but not get into the muscle. You can use a regular one, because these are quite a bit more expensive. But they do work well. So one way or another, get some heat on you.
Bob: Right. Good for your back, good for your legs.
Brad: Whatever muscle is the guilty one, if it's your hamstring, or the calf muscle, or maybe the quads, you're going to have it on there. If it's far infrared heat 30 minutes at least, maybe 45.
Bob: Well it takes 10 minutes to warm up. It's even heat, though.
Brad: Number four. Now this one's interesting, use apple cider vinegar. Now, this is a home remedy for the old fashioned type, but actually we have a video on this.
Bob: With Chris the pharmacist.
Brad: Yep. And he did extensive research on updated information. And if you go to our YouTube channel, the title is "Apple Cider Vinegar: Used for Leg Cramps, and More." And we not only have information from that, but also anecdotal evidence. Now, Chris cramps on a regular basis and he finds this to be useful. He was the last person to use it, you know, coming from a pharmacist and he starts using it and it works. So anyways, there's also other products that have apple cider vinegar as the base that claim they'll stop leg cramps or cramps.
Bob: And do they work?
Brad: Yeah! Actually, when he gets a cramp, as a matter of fact just last week he was getting leg cramps and he has to get out of bed and start to stretch it, then he takes one tablespoon of the apple cider vinegar in four ounces of water. You know, the pharmacist, you have to be exact. And he drinks it. He says, within a minute, it'll make that cramp relax. So, yeah, he's got it figured out. There's a whole thing with the nerve connection between the taste and how the cramp mechanism goes on. And it's a theory, but he swears by it. It works well for him. Again, that video will go through in detail. And number five, the last one. Bob, now, you actually found this originally.
Bob: Right, it was sent to us, actually. It comes over the counter. It's called Theraworx. And, you want to talk about the reviews?
Brad: Yeah. Over 3000 reviews. Four and a half stars, and it's for cramp relief or stopping cramps! I think it's Theraworx Relief.
Bob: It's helping a lot of people.
Brad: Yeah. So it seems to be working. We have not actually tried it Bob, you had it.
Bob: Oh, I had. But I don't have cramps.
Brad: Right. We should have given it to Chris but Chris wasn't with us at the time. But anyways, it's worth a try, I think, you know? It's got good reviews. It's a foam, you spray it on. You rub it in before you go to bed and there you go. I don't know, does it smell good?
Bob: It's all right.
Brad: So it's not going to be like one of those things that is going to be a problem.
Bob: Your wife will still lay by you.
Brad: All right, well, good luck with those cramps. They're very painful and we need to, as our motto says, help you feel healthy, fit, pain-free. Is that what is it?
Bob: Healthy, fit and pain-free..
Brad: Got it, after 10 years, you'd think I remember that. Take care!
Bob: Good luck.
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