Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

Spasms in leg muscles

Notices
General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

Spasms in leg muscles

Old 09-26-19, 10:32 AM
  #1  
mynewnchome
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 207

Bikes: Cannondale CAAD8 Raleigh Revenio 1.0

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 69 Post(s)
Liked 26 Times in 11 Posts
Spasms in leg muscles

So, I've noticed from time to time, particularly after a long ride that my calf muscles spasm. I can't feel it, but you can see it moving. It doesn't hurt and my potassium levels are good at last doc check. In addition I take a potassium supplement daily as bananas aren't many favorite, lol.

My wife says after I ride its like an alien movie, like something is alive and moving inside my leg. Anyone ever experience this phenomenon?
mynewnchome is offline  
Old 09-26-19, 10:39 AM
  #2  
MoAlpha
• —
 
MoAlpha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Land of Pleasant Living
Posts: 3,546

Bikes: Occasionally

Mentioned: 41 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2137 Post(s)
Liked 351 Times in 214 Posts
If they are brief, twitchy, movements of a small part of the muscle, they are “benign” fasciculations. These are very common and can be triggered by exercise. I certainly have them and they are nothing to worry about. If you have them in any muscles other than the posterior calf (gastroc and soleus), see your doctor

Last edited by MoAlpha; 09-26-19 at 10:44 AM.
MoAlpha is offline  
Likes For MoAlpha:
Old 09-26-19, 10:50 AM
  #3  
mynewnchome
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 207

Bikes: Cannondale CAAD8 Raleigh Revenio 1.0

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 69 Post(s)
Liked 26 Times in 11 Posts
Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
If they are brief, twitchy, movements of a small part of the muscle, they are “benign” fasciculations. These are very common and can be triggered by exercise. I certainly have them and they are nothing to worry about. If you have them in any muscles other than the posterior calf (gastroc and soleus), see your doctor
That's where they are, just freaks my wife out....lol.
mynewnchome is offline  
Old 09-26-19, 11:00 AM
  #4  
MoAlpha
• —
 
MoAlpha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Land of Pleasant Living
Posts: 3,546

Bikes: Occasionally

Mentioned: 41 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2137 Post(s)
Liked 351 Times in 214 Posts
Originally Posted by mynewnchome View Post
That's where they are, just freaks my wife out....lol.
MoAlpha is offline  
Old 09-26-19, 11:38 AM
  #5  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 24,048
Mentioned: 183 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9593 Post(s)
Liked 1,088 Times in 674 Posts
Originally Posted by mynewnchome View Post
That's where they are, just freaks my wife out....lol.
Tell her to stop looking at your legs. Problem solved.
indyfabz is offline  
Old 09-26-19, 11:50 AM
  #6  
delbiker1 
Senior Member
 
delbiker1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Sussex County, Delaware
Posts: 1,086

Bikes: 2003 Lemond Poprad, 1991 Ochsner steel frame, 2002 Airborne Zeppelin titanium, Schwinn DBX SS aluminum, Orbea MD 40 carbon fiber

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 294 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 81 Posts
I have had them for years. No problem. I also used to get terrible night cramps in my both my upper and lower legs. I quit drinking alcohol 5 years ago and have not had one in all this time.
delbiker1 is offline  
Old 09-26-19, 11:51 AM
  #7  
guachi
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 133
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 58 Post(s)
Liked 35 Times in 28 Posts
I get them if I'm fatigued and increase my power output from already high to higher. I recently had this happen on a 40 km Zwift race and I attempted to power up a short hill. Easing off the pedals and a quick stretch on the downhill and I was good.
guachi is offline  
Old 09-26-19, 12:56 PM
  #8  
livedarklions
Cyclesomatic
 
livedarklions's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New England
Posts: 5,228

Bikes: Trek FX 3; 1994 Specialized Allez Pro; Motobecane Fantom CX; Giant OCR A1

Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2687 Post(s)
Liked 1,042 Times in 640 Posts
Back in the Stone Age when I took my physiology courses, I was taught that this was the perfect example of a phenomenon so benign that its causes would likely never be known because no one will bother to study it.
livedarklions is offline  
Old 09-26-19, 02:02 PM
  #9  
MoAlpha
• —
 
MoAlpha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Land of Pleasant Living
Posts: 3,546

Bikes: Occasionally

Mentioned: 41 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2137 Post(s)
Liked 351 Times in 214 Posts
Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
If they are brief, twitchy, movements of a small part of the muscle, they are “benign” fasciculations. These are very common and can be triggered by exercise. I certainly have them and they are nothing to worry about. If you have them in any muscles other than the posterior calf (gastroc and soleus), see your doctor
Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Back in the Stone Age when I took my physiology courses, I was taught that this was the perfect example of a phenomenon so benign that its causes would likely never be known because no one will bother to study it.
There is actually quite a bit of work on the mechanism of fasciculations because they occur when the nerve supply to a muscle is damaged and understanding the changes at the neuromuscular junction after nerve damage could lead to a way of preventing muscle atrophy while waiting for nerves to regenerate. Despite this interest, the story is not complete.
MoAlpha is offline  
Likes For MoAlpha:
Old 09-26-19, 02:06 PM
  #10  
Clem von Jones
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 639
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 144 Post(s)
Liked 10 Times in 9 Posts
I've heard these leg muscle spasms are more likely to be caused by a magnesium deficiency and that many common forms of magnesium supplements aren't readily absorbable, so you have look at chelated magnesium of which there are several varieties.
Clem von Jones is offline  
Old 09-26-19, 02:10 PM
  #11  
livedarklions
Cyclesomatic
 
livedarklions's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New England
Posts: 5,228

Bikes: Trek FX 3; 1994 Specialized Allez Pro; Motobecane Fantom CX; Giant OCR A1

Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2687 Post(s)
Liked 1,042 Times in 640 Posts
Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
There is actually quite a bit of work on the mechanism of fasciculations because they occur when the nerve supply to a muscle is damaged and understanding the changes at the neuromuscular junction after nerve damage could lead to a way of preventing muscle atrophy while waiting for nerves to regenerate. Despite this interest, the story is not complete.
I suspected something may have changed which is why I specified how long ago this coursework was. They don't just happen after damage, do they? Most of them are so transient that it doesn't seem like any sort of structural cause would be likely.
livedarklions is offline  
Old 09-26-19, 02:14 PM
  #12  
livedarklions
Cyclesomatic
 
livedarklions's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New England
Posts: 5,228

Bikes: Trek FX 3; 1994 Specialized Allez Pro; Motobecane Fantom CX; Giant OCR A1

Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2687 Post(s)
Liked 1,042 Times in 640 Posts
Originally Posted by Clem von Jones View Post
I've heard these leg muscle spasms are more likely to be caused by a magnesium deficiency and that many common forms of magnesium supplements aren't readily absorbable, so you have look at chelated magnesium of which there are several varieties.
From what I've seen, magnesium deficiency is mostly the imaginary malaise du juor. It's somewhat ideal for the snake oil salespeople as it's really hard to test for, and you can ascribe a whole bunch of symptoms to it.
livedarklions is offline  
Old 09-26-19, 02:33 PM
  #13  
MoAlpha
• —
 
MoAlpha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Land of Pleasant Living
Posts: 3,546

Bikes: Occasionally

Mentioned: 41 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2137 Post(s)
Liked 351 Times in 214 Posts
Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I suspected something may have changed which is why I specified how long ago this coursework was. They don't just happen after damage, do they? Most of them are so transient that it doesn't seem like any sort of structural cause would be likely.
As noted, they are normal in the gastroc-soleus and, rarely, throughout the body in the syndrome of benign fasciculation. However, they are the hallmark of motor nerve damage from trauma, disc herniation, rapidly progressive neuropathies, etc. When they occur "out of the blue" everyone's first thought is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
MoAlpha is offline  
Old 09-26-19, 05:43 PM
  #14  
thumpism 
Bikes are okay, I guess.
 
thumpism's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Posts: 5,015

Bikes: Waterford Paramount Touring, Bridgestone RB-T, Trek 510 city build, Giant CFM-2, Raleigh Sports 3-speeds in M23 & L23, Schwinn Cimarron oddball build, Marin Palisades Trail dropbar conversion

Mentioned: 42 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1367 Post(s)
Liked 124 Times in 95 Posts
For leg cramps and other aches I apply Celadrin cream topically and that helps.
thumpism is offline  
Old 09-26-19, 06:06 PM
  #15  
big chainring 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Wilmette, IL
Posts: 6,588
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 446 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 59 Times in 42 Posts
I used to get them in my quads after a night of track races. My legs would be twitching like mad.
big chainring is online now  
Old 09-26-19, 06:30 PM
  #16  
MoAlpha
• —
 
MoAlpha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Land of Pleasant Living
Posts: 3,546

Bikes: Occasionally

Mentioned: 41 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2137 Post(s)
Liked 351 Times in 214 Posts
Originally Posted by big chainring View Post
I used to get them in my quads after a night of track races. My legs would be twitching like mad.
We will infer that it was benign in your case too. I get them in my left vastus medialis, but the L3 root got mooshed by a disc fragment a few years ago.
MoAlpha is offline  
Old 09-27-19, 04:49 AM
  #17  
FlMTNdude
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 446

Bikes: 1988 Panasonic

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 94 Post(s)
Liked 23 Times in 20 Posts
I have had them bad enough where I could only coast to a road sign and stop and lean on it, I couldn’t even get off the bike.
FlMTNdude is offline  
Old 09-27-19, 05:46 AM
  #18  
bakerjw
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: NE Tennessee
Posts: 890

Bikes: Giant TCR/Surly Karate Monkey/Foundry FireTower/Curtlo Tandem

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 161 Post(s)
Liked 75 Times in 54 Posts
I have heart rhythm issues that are closely tied to the electrolyte levels in my body. If I get really dehydrated, I'll get PVCs. which are a form of spasm.
I do occasionally get muscle twitches as described but not too often. Leg cramps? Never.

But never say never. My wife and I were on our tandem mountain bike up in Alberta/B.C. back at the end of August. It was a looonnnggg day and I got dehydrated a bit and I started getting leg cramps like crazy. Since I never have any issues like that, I didn't have any mustard packets along. So I drank as much water as I could and things evened out eventually. The next 4 days (another 200+ miles) and didn't have any more issues.
bakerjw is offline  
Old 09-27-19, 04:08 PM
  #19  
canklecat
Me duelen las nalgas
 
canklecat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 9,862

Bikes: Centurion Ironman, Trek 5900, Univega Via Carisma, Globe Carmel

Mentioned: 176 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3055 Post(s)
Liked 408 Times in 289 Posts
I get those jittery but painless muscle quivers too, thighs and calves. I also get painful cramps, usually right after a hard workout ride and while I'm sitting or sleeping.

Magnesium lactate seems to work better for me than the more common magnesium oxide. It's also in Sportlegs supplement but kinda pricey. I buy it in capsule form, open the gel cap and pour it into an energy drink of my own concoction, which I drink before and after rides. Magnesium lactate can make some folks gassy so watch out the first time you try it, especially if you're lactose intolerant. I take it with digestive enzymes so there's no problem.
canklecat is offline  
Old 09-27-19, 05:40 PM
  #20  
Troul
:D
 
Troul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Mich
Posts: 1,652
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 42 Times in 28 Posts
Do not eat grapes right after ingesting mag lact. Omfg the ibs & gassing. Goodlord!
Troul is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.