Avatar universal

leg cramps whilst driving

I jst got my licence & am still getting use to b'ng in d road. My problem comes when I get into stressful situations like traffic jams; I get these intense cramps on my legs around calves, 1st my right then my left. It gets so bad that I jst cant carry on and lit ast 4 quite sumtym. Help!
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547368 tn?1440541785
Good to know that you have had a decrease in your symptoms. I hope you will continue doing well.

Sometimes it just takes awhile for our bodies to adapt to new regimes. You placed yourself in totally unfamiliar surrounding. Your legs may just be rebelling...they want some exercise. :)

I would try to avoid a lot of caffeine. It can make matters worse.

Thanks for the update.
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Avatar universal
I am glad to know that I am not abnormal and this happens to others as well. I haven't had the cramps in two days since I have started playing calming music whilst driving.

I will be trying bananas as well to see if they help. I must say, I am guilty for not taking enough fluids in a day as I am not a fan of water and I like my coffee too.
Thank you for the responses, I will try your suggestions and keep you posted on what happens.
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549511 tn?1271775930
I havent read all the comments but magesium tablets or powder do work so well on cramps and muscle spasms.It really works so you have nothing to lose by trying it.
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547368 tn?1440541785
Hello TP,

Welcome! You have received some good suggestions.

I would not "guess" as to the source of the cramps or spasms. I beleive you should be seen by a physician. Just some simply blood draws could provide you important information on your vitamins, minerals, and electrolyte levels.

A single bottle of an electrolyte replacement drink like Gatorade would not be harmful however you can also "over do" on these popular and often not needed supplements. An average person has little need for electrolyte replacement or these other popular energy drinks. Your body does very well on it's own.

However when we place our bodies under extreme physical stress or repeatedly fail to provide it the proper amounts of fluids than a bottle of an electrolyte replacement can be beneficial. A healthy body participating in the daily routines of life does not require all these new "drinks" that the media ads are literally shoving down our throats. In America's quest for a quick fix we are buying them by the millions. Okay I am off my soap box. :)

The exercises that Jaybay suggested as well as many others can be effective. Anyone that is in a sedentary position for the better part of a day can benefit from daily stretching and walking activities. You do not even have to follow a specific exercise to the T. Let's face it most ppl find an exercise routine boring. Because of that fact even those with the best of intentions soon give it up. So just remembering to move and stretch is important. You may find something physical that you enjoy doing on a regular basis just as effective as a regimented exercise routine. Participating in an enjoyable sports activity several times a week in addition to daily walking or stretching is often enough to keep your blood flowing to all your "parts" when it comes to issues such as yours.  

But again I encourage you to have some testing done and discuss your symptoms with your physician. Don't assume that because muscle cramps or spasms are usually related to this or that factor that it is true for you.

I hope you will keep in touch and let us know how you are doing. We will look forward to hearing from you again.

Take Care,
Helpful - 0
82861 tn?1333453911
Even mild dehydration can also contribute to muscle cramping.  If you're drinking a lot of caffeinated beverages while you're on the road, you can actually lose more fluids than you're putting in.  Try to opt more in favor of water or sports drinks like Gatorade.  Other than that, it's probably just going to take time build up your leg muscles so you can stand on the clutch and brake pedals for long periods of time without cramping.  You can speed up that process a bit by walking for 30 minutes or so a day.  A dragging saunter won't help much.  You need to stand up straight and really pay attention to rolling through each step from your heels to your toes - like a race walker does.  It's that foot rolling action that causes the calf muscles to work harder and make them contract and stretch.  

One way to get rid of a particularly unrelenting calf cramp is to force the muscle to stretch.  I can't see how you can do it while operating a vehicle, so pull over first!  Pull your knee up to your chest and grab your foot by the toes and ball of the foot.  Pull your toes slowly toward your body while pushing the heel away from your body.  Hold it for a few seconds until the cramp is over.  That technique also works great for an inner-arch foot cramp.  

You can achieve the same calf stretch when standing.  Place the balls of your feet on a board or even a door threshhold.  You only need a couple inches of height, and the higher the object is that you stand on, the more of a stretch you'll get.  Balance yourself on the balls of your feet and slowly lower your heels to the ground.  Maintain for a few seconds until the cramp stops.  This is also a great warmup for any cardio exercise like walking or running.

Hang in there.  It shouldn't be long before you're riding that clutch without even noticing.  :-)
Helpful - 0
230262 tn?1316645934
EAT lots of bananas! muscle cramps are usually a sign of low potassium! In your case you are likely getting the symptoms when under stress/new situation. I get low potassium often (my dr. checked in routine bloodtests so I know for a fact its low) but when i start getting leg cramps bad, i eat a bunch of bananas and the cramps go away. So I would suggest you try this.
PS next time you get bad leg cramps while driving- pull over somewhere safe and walk them off, dont keep trying to drive like that, especially being a new driver! Dont want you to get in an accident!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hi, When I started driving nearly 28 years ago, I had the same problem, I found the more I got used to driving, and more confident the cramps came less frequently, and finally stopped. Try to persevere, it can only get better.
Helpful - 0
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