Cramps is a popular topic of discussion. Some believe they come from a lack of magnesium, potassium, water, soap in the bed. But when water and magnesium and potassium are added to the body and the cramps still occur then common sense tells us, the cramps are caused by something else.
Here is one common sense explanation that might be true for you.
Consider the muscle anatomy of the leg. Most of the muscles are positioned vertically. Hams, calves tib anterior, quads, longitudinal arch of foot, muscles tendons to toes. The front and back of the leg muscles have equal length and tension to create optimal flexion and extension.
Picture ropes and pulleys. Vertical lines.
That creates optimal friction-free function.
Change the muscle balance at the hip and pelvis area (glutes become weak, hip flexors might be weak, outer and inner muscles of leg are too tight/too weak) now the femur drops inward making the knee closer to the other knee, the ankle sags to the floor in pronation you are no longer using all the hamstrings. No longer using both right AND left sides of the calf. The longitudinal arch of the foot isn't used fully now because the foot is riding along the inner arch not loading and rolling straight through the bottom
There is now a crazy unhealthy angle to each component of the entire leg. Some of the muscles are being used and overused. The other half are not and will atrophy. You may not even be aware this is happening.
Laying in bed you unconsciously move to straighten your leg, your foot stretches out a little straighter just at the right angle and now you just activated the very dense atrophied muscle in your foot or calf or hamstring. You just woke it up. It's so tight it's so dense it's so full of lactic acid from being dormant and not used properly, it's just like concrete. You just made your foot go into the precise angle -you've now engaged the part of the muscle that's been on vacation. There's your spasm and your cramp. Cramps are waking up dormant tight contracted atrophied muscles which is good!
Cramps are very overly contracted muscles being woken up and activated since they are already super tight they go into a spasm.
You are wondering "why are painful cramps good?" Any pain is a valuable message that something is not working right and should be corrected. Here's your opportunity to call and come in or send us your digital pictures. 772-559-1532
We are here to help you see and feel your muscle imbalances with our digital photos and gait video. There is no mystery or guesswork when you can see that the muscles are out of balance making the parts work unevenly. This is not permanent in most cases and take some effort to correct but can be improved so joints don't get damaged and injury does not result.
Catee Ingwersen is an Egoscue certified Posture Alignment Specialist and Licensed Massage Therapist.