exercise associated muscle cramps are defined as painful spasmodic and involuntary contractions of skeletal muscle that occur during or immediately after exercise and have no underlying metabolic neurological or endocrine pathology in a 12-year summary report of marathon medical issues cramping accounted for 6.1 percent of medical encounters with 1.2 cases per 1000 participants however it appears exercise associated muscle cramps are a problem in other vigorous sports too it has long been thought that cramps are resulting from dehydration or electrolyte imbalance the theory behind it is that the extracellular fluid compartment becomes increasingly contracted due to sweating leading to a loss of interstitial volume in addition excessive sweating can lead to concomitant sodium calcium magnesium chloride and potassium deficits both of these effects are reasons to lead to mechanical deformation of nerve endings and an increase in surrounding ionic and neurotransmitter concentrations which lead to hyper excitable motor nerve terminals and spontaneous discharge however all studies supporting these theories have not shown any cause and effect relation none of the participants in the supporting studies had cramps despite having either serum or sweat electrolyte losses and why is it that cramps only occur where they’re working muscle to them and that stretching can relieve cramps immediately wellness it all popularized the idea that cramps occur due to an altered reflex control mechanism in response to neuromuscular fatigue specifically muscle overload and fatigue and gender an imbalance of the exit to Tory drive from muscle spindles and the inhibitory drive to the alpha motor neuron which ultimately produces a localized crab this hypothesis has experimental support as skeletal muscle fatigue has been shown to reduce inhibitory input to alpha motor neurons from the Golgi tendon apparatus and to increase excitatory input from the muscle spindles in animal models it has also been shown that whence the little muscle contracts in a shortened position there is depressed signaling from the GTOs which explains while stretching is the best known and most effective treatment for a huge EI mcs so what are the risk factors for altered neuromuscular control it seems that athletes have different individual cram threshold frequencies which is the minimal electrical stimulation required to evoke a cramp unsurprisingly having a history of exercise associated cramps seems to be the highest risk factor for future cramps although research is equivocal it seems that a family history of cramp as well as a specific culligan gene might be contributing factors furthermore men seem to be more prone to exercise induced cramps than women which might be due to a higher ratio of fast twitch fibers in muscles of locomotion at last schwa Badal have proven that higher exercise intensity and duration lead to a higher risk of cramping and check it out found that cramp prone athletes were more likely to have a history of tendon or ligament injury when compared to non cramping athletes so how can we treat and prevent cramps due to the limitations of the electrolyte and hydration theory salt tablets and magnesium supplementation although commonly used lack evidence the use of ki9 has been shown to reduce the incidence of nocturnal and idiopathic cramps but is no longer allowed in the United States as it can lead to a decreased blood platelet level Nelson Adal reports several promising strategies for exercise associated muscle cramps although high quality trials yet have to prove their efficiency these are reaction of agonistic muscles like the gluteus maximus in cramp prone hamstrings kinesio taping and compression garments which are proposed to recreate convolutions in the skin which engenders an increase in local blood flow and reduced pressure on mechanoreceptors massage therapy has shown to alter neural excitability – furthermore hyperventilation is thought to prevent respiratory acidosis as a contributing factor to muscle cramping pickle juice of around one milliliter per kilogram body weight which contains high concentrations of salt along with acetic acid which is thought to trigger her reflux that increases inhibitory neurotransmitter activity and cramping muscles at last it appears that stretching is the most effective treatment in relieving acute fatigue induced muscular cramping as it is believed to increase tension in the Golgi tendon organ resulting in an increased afferent reflex inhibition to the alpha motor neuron feel free to experiment with several of those options and let us know what helped you you


  1. You can always count on your videos being excellent quality with good information and what I love is the information is always concise – never a 20 minute video with ads, only what is necessary!

  2. Thank you to refresh my old belief and physiology lesson.
    Just a question on the part about the treatments you present at the end : are the all in a prevention aspect? Or in a curative aspect?
    Because at the end you talk again about stretching, which I considered as the most effective curative technique, but not preventive.

  3. There is man who had a car accident a year ago, he broke his C4 and went under surgery. After surgery he was advised for Physiotherapy which he did took, and he was able to walk and use his arms (Not fully). The man is now getting cramps and complains pain. His whole leg gets in full extension with force including his toes, and when he tries to relax or a simple touch or little movement to his leg triggers that forced extension of leg and he feels pain because of that.

    So this is a considered as cramps as well, if so then why is he having that … ??
    Also what are the ways to get his cramps fixed … ??

    Thanks for providing such a great content through your videos! 🙂

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