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  1. #21
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
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    That's really not fun to have happen; I used to get muscle cramps in my lower back, on my right-hand side, when I worked due to dehydration, repetitive motions, and an overabundance of potassium. I inherited that last from my dad...go figure. I absorb potassium waaaay too easily, so...

    Still, the prescription for it cramps just about the same regardless: maintain your electrolytes at appropriate levels, make sure you're well hydrated, and stretch. This last one is something I tend to forget, but it's essential if you're going to have any sort of heavy-duty exercise during the day.

    I hope things get better for you. I remember one time when I had to get up and drain my bladder in the middle of the night and couldn't find the zipper...not fun. That's all it took for me to start putting the zipper next to the tie-out for my knee so I could find it regardless of anything else. I can't imagine what would've happened if I had a cramp I couldn't get rid of...

  2. #22
    Senior Member animalcontrol's Avatar
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    calf cramps can happen anywhere, beds, couches, and yes, hammocks.

    causes range from dehydration (my most common cause- lack of drinking enough while hiking) to low potassium and other vitamins.

    and oh, yea....does that HURT!! sometimes lingers on for an entire day! hate em
    "Every day is a new day to a better future"
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  3. #23
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    I really don't get cramps very often, and hardly ever in the calf (usually the foot). This just happened to be my first cramp in a hammock and I panicked. By no means do I blame it on the hammock, just on my own stupidity for panicking. In my groggy half-asleep state, I just couldn't tell where the pain was coming from initially. I also had the inevitable crumbs in the eyes when you first wake up and couldn't see very well.

    Once I freed myself from the hammock, stood up and relieved the cramp, I was just standing there muttering to myself, "What the hell just happened?" While the whole episode lasted probably less than 60 seconds, it seemed like it lasted for hours.

  4. #24
    MarshLaw303's Avatar
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    Hammocking has for sure increased my instances of calf cramps. The longer and wider hammock along with a pad under my legs have helped me but they still happen every time i hang(but in the last 3 years haven't had one outside the hammock) I believe my cramping was/is due to pressure on my legs from the hammock's side pulling up to the gathering bundle. A longer wider hammock has moved me away from the ends reducing the pressure on my legs. I am 300# and have been using a 1.1DL but want to try a 1.9DL because with less stretch i am hoping to even further reduce the pressure on my legs and with it the cramping. Also, the cramps always happen in the leg on the outside, the one being pushed on by the hammock.

    -Tim

  5. #25
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    When I posted this thread, my intention was only to provide a bit of humor about my first cramp in a hammock. However, the HF members turned it into an actual thought-provoking discussion of what causes cramping in hammocks.

    I think hammocks present a re-learning process for the body. After my 19-year-old son's first hammock hang, he said, "my heels really hurt." He was trying to compensate for god-knows-what he thought he was missing by pushing his heels into the fabric.

    Based on the comments, it seems like this might be a common reaction to laying in a hammock, and to me, it could certainly explain the calf cramping that many have mentioned. I can see how a longer, wider hammock might reduce this tendency.

    My own solution to this problem (if there is a problem)? I think I need to sleep in a hammock more often than I'm getting from camping and hanging in the back yard. That's the only way I can make an accurate evalution. I have too small a sample size right now; therefore, I'm gonna hang a hammock in the house, start sleeping there, and see what happens.
    Last edited by SilvrSurfr; 09-10-2011 at 19:11. Reason: typo

  6. #26
    BrianWillan's Avatar
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    One of the reasons that I switched to a bridge style hammock was that sleeping in a gathered end hammocks caused me knee and calf pain.

    Hopefully you can get this cramp issue sorted out with any of the several suggestions already mentioned in this thread.

    Cheers

    Brian

  7. #27
    Senior Member Fig's Avatar
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    Just about every time I have had a cramp in my calf I could feel it in the movement I made right before it hit. A few times I have been able to recognize the movement and the impending cramp, and relax the leg to keep it from happening. My worst cramp was when I was snorkeling a couple hundred feet offshore in Hawaii after following some scuba divers to check out the sea turtles in about 30 feet of water. All I can say is thank God I can float. I have had a couple in the hammocks before but you just have to remain calm and overpower the pain to get the leg to relax.

  8. #28
    Doctari's Avatar
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    I get it if I'm dehydrated. High(ish) potassium foods can reduce the severity, some. What I do, as usually reaching down to pull my toes up makes it worse (the reaching down part) I roll over to face down & push my toes up with the hammock; assume the position like you are going to do push-ups, & let your feet point towards your head. When the cramp goes away, Drink as much water as you can. Do try to not move your legs until you have re-hydrated as that can cause a recurrence of the "birthing pains"

    Note: multiple bee stings before bed time can prevent the cramps. I used Ground hornets last time* as they don't leave embedded stingers, 4 shots per leg was enough. Although I suppose any decent Neuro toxin would do.

    *Don't ask, it's a better "around the campfire story", yes It was on a hiking trip.
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  9. #29
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    Quick update - since I dumped integrated bugnets (and the zippers that accompany them) and moved to 11 ft. hammocks, I haven't had a calf cramp (or any cramp) since. Three years and counting without a single cramp.
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  10. #30
    silentorpheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilvrSurfr View Post
    Quick update - since I dumped integrated bugnets (and the zippers that accompany them) and moved to 11 ft. hammocks, I haven't had a calf cramp (or any cramp) since. Three years and counting without a single cramp.
    Must be the lack of zippers. Definitely.

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