We have all had that moment when we feel the niggle of an invisible hand about to clamp down with a vice like grip on our legs or arms. This grip can bring us to a grinding halt. It can leave us feeling beaten and exhausted.
I have found there are three main causes, all of them have their impact starting with the nervous system and normally it is one of the three causing the nerves to over fire or fatigue.
This is assuming there are no other underlying pathologies.
1. Muscle fatigue, caused by to much exercise too soon, going harder than normal or going longer than normal. Easy fix, drop back in intensity and recover better.
2. A spine issue, be it muscle or bone structure. These are harder to solve and normally require some form of medical intervention.
3. Lack of electrolyte. normally magnesium. Not necessarily hydration.
There is new research bring to light the role the CNS plays in causing cramp. Most of it is coming from the increase in ultra and super ultra marathons.
What should I do?
I am a multi-sports person, how do a reduce the load on my CNS?
- Your equipment and fit can be a great start. A good bike set up should limit the degree of Central Nervous System (CNS) fatigue.
- Shoes that fit well and support your body correctly.
- Regular massage allowing the CNS to calm down, using clothing or tape that influences the proprioceptors will also allow you to regain some control to over stimulation or fatigue.
A reason for magnesium supplements normally working is due to the minerals affect on the CNS not the muscle.
The key is calming the nerves
Calm the nerve and the muscle will follow, calm the muscle and that will only last as long as the nerve is happy. This is part of the pathway with massage and Keniso tape. It is stimulating in a positive way, the proptioceptors in the skin.
To many of us are short on time this means we cram to much in and go to hard when we finally get out. What ever you do, do a little and often, the regularity that build form.
Push the body hard enough and it will achieve something, do it too often and it breaks down.
Recover with a massage.
Enjoy the weekend, get outside and do something awesome!