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NOCTURNAL  MUSCLE  CRAMP

Central Washington State

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Ever get a muscle cramp when you're sleeping? Do you know how to uncramp it to gain instant relief? Well it's pretty easy, you just stretch the muscle and the involuntarily contracted muscle relaxes. That's all fine and dandy, that'll take care of your garden variety cramps. But what happens if opposing muscles severely cramp at the same time?

That happened to me on the second night of my trip after a day of mountain biking a hard 25 miles down then up 1800 feet of elevation. In my left leg my calf muscle and the muscle next to your shin bone (the muscle that hurts when you go rollerblading, skiing or skating for the first time in a long time) where fighting for my attention.

So what do you do in such a situation? Relieving one muscle by stretching it only further aggrevates the other. Well in my case I ended up picking a muscle to stretch and turned my back on the other. I chose the shin muscle to stretch. Luckily my calf was not upset with its inattention and I ended up quieting the pair by falling out of bed and sitting on my shins with my feet pointed backwards. I was concerned I would be sore the next day but as luck would have it I was good to go, my muscles were back to task and making nice with their owner.


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