As always, I approach any complaints of mine by first recognizing that I am generally fortunate and others have worse complaints. But mine are mine and they are the only ones *I* have ever experienced. And so many ailments are impossible to compare; a person with a constant itch, a person with occasional migraines, and a person with sciatica can never really compare how they feel.
Me, I get muscle cramps in my legs, my hands and my upper rib side. Not at the same time fortunately, but always by surprise and every few days or nights.
I understand the hand cramps, where all of a sudden my whole left hand will claw up. It happens about 2 hours after I've been doing yardwork. I'm technically right-handed, but I suspect I was a natural lefty as a child and was taught not to be. That used to be common. Regardless, I tend to do many things left-handed. Like pulling weeds and sometimes in tool use.
I try not to overdo it. But sometimes I'm fine working for hours and no problems; sometimes an hour work causes left-hand cramps. And the cramps always start as I'm preparing dinner. I like to prepare fresh food (lots of raw vegetable work), so there is a lot of knife-work involved. And that's when the cramps start.
I'm considering the possibility that I actually don't get enough salt... That may seem strange given modern eating habits, but I eat mostly fresh food and don't add much salt to my food. It's not especially deliberate, but I think I may start drinking more Gatorade (an electrolyte drink for anyone not familiar with it).
Then there are the ribside cramps. I originally thought "heart problem", but they occur on both sides randomly. Usually after I twist around too much. So its not a heart threat. Oddly, it used to occur mostly while I was kneeling on the floor cleaning the cat litter boxes. I have to pound on my afflicted side and do "wall push-ups" to stretch the rib muscles.
And I got a surprise the past few months. Because I twisted my right knee in April and kneeling became painful (a whole different problem) I started lifting the litter boxes onto my workbench
[Bizarre but true timing. I just had a leg cramp and had to walk around for 15 minutes and stretched the right leg each step. I took a small amount of salt and large glass of water. It helped.]
and cleaning them up there. It is actually MUCH easier that way and I will continue to do it that way even if/when my knee heals. Lets me sweep away loose litter from around them too.
Usually, the leg cramps happen while I am laying in bed. No reason I know; I'm just laying there motionless and it starts. Always the right quadricep. It feels like the muscle is going to tear loose from the bone.
I suppose it was because I was weeding and planting in some crowded space so I had to squat awkwardly, so it happened while I was still awake. But usually, I'll just be laying there in bed and it happens.
Speaking of the right knee, it has been 3 months since I originally injured it. I wish I had a good cause to blame but it is only stupid. All my life, I have tended to sit with one ankle up on the opposite knee (both ways). And I fidget! So I shake my on-the-knee foot. I have probably loosened my knee joints that way (though some thought says that OUGHT to strengthen the muscles there).
I can walk almost normally again, but I still can't put my right ankle on my left knee because it seems to twist the knee. It has happened before but healed after a couple weeks. I hope it is not permanent. To kneel while doing yardwork, I have to wear knee pads. You know those knee pads that carpet installers wear? I use them.
I'm used to injuring myself and healing fast. Or at least "eventually". Years ago, I threw a rock at a groundhog and strained my rotator cuff. Couldn't raise my arm above the shoulder for 2 months, but it healed just fine after that.
I think I had better start being more careful. And some preventative exercises might be in order. I have a bicycle, maybe I better start using it. Or at least walking a mile a few days a week.
I sure don't want to be using a walker in 10 years. Or taking medications either...