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Spasms in leg muscles

Old 09-26-19, 10:32 AM
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mynewnchome
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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?
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Old 09-26-19, 10:39 AM
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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.
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Old 09-26-19, 10:50 AM
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mynewnchome
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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.
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Old 09-26-19, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by mynewnchome View Post
That's where they are, just freaks my wife out....lol.
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Old 09-26-19, 11:38 AM
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indyfabz
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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.
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Old 09-26-19, 11:50 AM
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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.
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Old 09-26-19, 11:51 AM
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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.
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Old 09-26-19, 12:56 PM
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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.
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Old 09-26-19, 02:02 PM
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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.
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Old 09-26-19, 02:06 PM
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Clem von Jones
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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.
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Old 09-26-19, 02:10 PM
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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.
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Old 09-26-19, 02:14 PM
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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.
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Old 09-26-19, 02:33 PM
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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.
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Old 09-26-19, 05:43 PM
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For leg cramps and other aches I apply Celadrin cream topically and that helps.
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Old 09-26-19, 06:06 PM
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I used to get them in my quads after a night of track races. My legs would be twitching like mad.
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Old 09-26-19, 06:30 PM
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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.
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Old 09-27-19, 04:49 AM
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I have had them bad enough where I could only coast to a road sign and stop and lean on it, I couldnt even get off the bike.
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Old 09-27-19, 05:46 AM
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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.
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Old 09-27-19, 04:08 PM
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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.
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Old 09-27-19, 05:40 PM
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Do not eat grapes right after ingesting mag lact. Omfg the ibs & gassing. Goodlord!
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