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Has anyone experienced calf cramps when riding DH? I injured my right calf last year when I went to a DH park in the middle of my cyclocross season. At the time I thought it was just an overuse injury, I chilled out, cut my CX and DH seasons short, switched to skiing for the winter, and it seemed to get better. But it's back this season! Calf started feeling like I had pulled it on my first DH run of the year.

It doesn't bother me at any other time, only when I'm standing up on the bike riding DH trails, and as soon as I sit on the saddle or the run is over the cramp goes away. I've tried riding with my other foot forward, alternating feet throughout the run, but it doesn't help. I'm using platform pedals with freeriders.

I'm stumped as to what to do. I drink plenty of fluids and get plenty of sodium, and I like to think I take good care of myself. Right now I'm just forcing myself through runs in agony, probably not the smartest thing to do...

Anyone else dealt with this?










 

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How has your calf managed the past year since posting?

Some thoughts about some possible causes.

1. You had a minor injury that "healed" but was weak after the injury. Because it is weak your calf fatigues easily and cramps.
- strengthen with calf raises and hopping drills so it can handle the abuse of a downhill run

2. If there is lots of pressure in your calf along with the pain, maybe accompanied by numbness you may be looking at a bigger problem called compartment syndrome.
- some times in person therapy can help, but a consult with a sport doc and/or ortho doc can help determine surgical vs non surgical management.

Hopefully you're doing well so you don't need the advice you sought by posting
 

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Has anyone experienced calf cramps when riding DH? I injured my right calf last year when I went to a DH park in the middle of my cyclocross season. At the time I thought it was just an overuse injury, I chilled out, cut my CX and DH seasons short, switched to skiing for the winter, and it seemed to get better. But it's back this season! Calf started feeling like I had pulled it on my first DH run of the year.

It doesn't bother me at any other time, only when I'm standing up on the bike riding DH trails, and as soon as I sit on the saddle or the run is over the cramp goes away. I've tried riding with my other foot forward, alternating feet throughout the run, but it doesn't help. I'm using platform pedals with freeriders.

I'm stumped as to what to do. I drink plenty of fluids and get plenty of sodium, and I like to think I take good care of myself. Right now I'm just forcing myself through runs in agony, probably not the smartest thing to do...

Anyone else dealt with this?
Muscle cramps are often caused by a deficiency in acetylcholine, and the acetic acid in mustard helps the body produce more acetylcholine. Vinegar and pickle juice also provide acetic acid, but mustard is the tastiest alternative. The mustard is consumed, not applied to the muscle and works instantly. Your muscle that was injured and is cramping most likely has nerve damage and is weakened meaning it is being overstressed.

"Mustard or pickle juice. Swallowing a teaspoon of mustard or an ounce of pickle juice before bedtime also has enthusiastic advocates. In fact, the pickle juice preventive has become a staple among athletes who want to avoid being sidelined by cramps. However, if you have gastroesophageal reflux disorder or are trying to cut back on salt, you might want to check with your doctor before trying this approach. Scientists think the foods might stimulate ion channels in the mouth, esophagus, and stomach to send signals to the central nervous system that inactivate overexcited neurons."
 

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^^Thissounds worth trying. Eating a banana has helped cramping for me.
I have taken apple cider vinegar in a little spray pump bottle with me on some longer tougher rides before now, it has worked for me. My riding buddy who got a cramp once. He looked at me like I was nuts when I said spray this in your mouth. He now puts a couple of drops of cider vinegar in his drink bottle every ride.
 
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