Friday, April 27, 2012
I ran today for the first time in about two weeks, and it felt great. But then hours after the run, I noticed that my rectus femoris (I think) muscle was twitching sporadically. It didn't hurt but it was very annoying.
The first thing I did was some massage, light at first and then deeper and harder, but it didn't help at all.
I did some online searching and one article said that sometimes a type of leg cramp will start off as small twitches for 20-30 minutes and then turn into a full-blown cramp. That kind of sent me into a panic.
I read that there were three hypotheses about leg cramps: dehydration, lack of sodium and/or potassium, and overdoing it, which included lack of stretching and lack of carbs.
So I decided to do an experiment.
I wasn't sold on dehydration because I'd been drinking lots of water all night, but I drank some water and waited. Nothing.
Then I took an electrolyte tab with water and waited. No difference.
Then I did some stretching. It seemed to help it a little bit, but the twitching didn't go away.
Under the whole "overdoing" it camp was the suggestion to walk, so I walked for a few minutes. That helped a little, too--the severity of the twitching lessened--but it didn't stop.
The "overdoing" it camp also said that it's sometimes because of low carbs. So then I looked at my SP nutrition tracker and realized I had forgotten to eat an apple I'd put in the tracker, intending to have it for my snack. So I ate the apple to see if lack of carbs (glycogen) was responsible for the twitching.
I rechecked my nutrion tracker and I'm within range on everything. So I don't know if it's because I'm lacking in any nutrient.
I did more stretching and walking and the twitching didn't change at all. But by that time it was also over two hours since the twitching first started, and I hadn't gotten a full blow leg cramp, so I wondered if maybe the twitching was even related to leg cramping.
If that's the case, then what the heck was it? And what caused it? And how can I prevent it from happening again???
I have to go to bed, so maybe it'll go away.
Update: It was driving me nuts so I got up and stretched my IT band again on the foam core roller, but this time I did it for a lot longer, and the twitching stopped for a few minutes, but then came back again. I did more stretching on the foam core roller, but I can't stretch all night long! I'm hoping it'll get better while I sleep.