Monday, 04 August 2014 00:00

Thigh cramps in the middle of the night

Well, it wasn't exactly the most of pleasant and restful of nights for me last night, to say the least. Started off well enough actually, a few brewskies, part of what seems to be a good flick - - you know - - a typical Sunday night for most folks.

And what made it better was a great workout before the evening - - done in searingly hot and humid weather as usual, and with a few new exercises to boot. I've been concentrating on hanging leg raises these days (great, great exercise, and one which I detail in Fast and Furious Fitness extensively: -, and I did an interesting variation of this exercise yesterday.

For those that don't know (and you should!) - - the hanging leg raise is by far one of the BEST exercises you can do for your core, and the variation that I did involves pulling your legs up to your chest while you hang prone on the bar. It's supposed to be an easy variant - - in theory, that is - - in practice, do them the right way, and they're anything BUT easy.

Anyway, I went to bed a happy camper, and woke up around 5 A.M. or so, thirsty.

Ok, no big deal, happens a lot, and off I trundled off to the bedside table to grab some H20. . .

Well - - I really should say that I STARTED making my way over to said table - - and - - BAM! OUCH!

I suddenly discovered I was unable to stand on my right leg - - unable to put any pressure at all on that  leg - - and the left leg funnily enough was normal - - no problems on that leg.

But it's the pain I remember MOST vividly - - OUCH! It's not often that I scream out loud with pain, but merely standing on my right leg was causing me to do so (and if my neighbors woke up due to this - - and are reading this - - mea culpa, but at the same time, the pain was of a kind I'd never experienced before!).

It wouldn't go away no matter what I did, though it seemed to subside somewhat when I sat down in a certain position.

And finally, after much pummeling, screaming and "thumbing" deep into where the pain was coming from (the side of the inner right thigh), the pain died away - - somewhat.

I finally popped off to bed around 6:30 or so, and when I woke up, the leg seemed fairly normal - - at least compared to the night before when I could barely walk on it.

And my thoughts upon waking up were: - I CAN walk on it now - - but I CANNOT lift my leg off the floor without support - - so SOMETHING'S happened for sure.

Turns out I've got an "abductor muscle pull (or slight tear - - not sure which)" - - the muscle that runs along the SIDE of the thigh - - the inner thigh - - not the groin, but the part of the inner thighs which touch together when you bring your knees together.

Drat - - I don't need this, I thought. Lots and lots of walking to do in the next few days, and I sure don't need to be hobbling around while I do it!

Anyway, I decided to test the leg out with some simple walking on level ground and climbing a few flights of stairs, and strangely enough, I can do that without too much pain (or very little pain, actually). But try and lift the leg off the floor by itself - - and - - OUCH!

As to why this happened to an extremely active and conditioned person such as me (at least, conditioned in the things I do)?  

Well, for one, I've been exhausted for the past few weeks (hectic, hectic, you know how that goes!) - - and perhaps this is one way my body is telling me to back off a  bit?

Maybe - - but more importantly, I think the reason is the variant of the exercise I did. I know I was feeling a bit funny when I was drawing my legs up to my chest - - and holding - - the other afternoon, but I did not think much of it at the time.

Uh oh, mistake #2 right there (I'm sure you can guess #1?).  .  .

And the reason that I'm telling you this is simply to drive home the fact that you should - - ALWAYS - -  LISTEN TO YOUR BODY - - no matter how good of shape you might be in, or think you might be in. Something I keep emphasizing in all my books and writing, but something that we tend to ignore - - yours truly at times as well.

Anyway, I guess I'll be taking  a break today from my climb - - or if I do it, I'll be sure and take it easy today. Definitely no leg raises for the next week or so - - the nagging case of elbow tendonitis I'm dealing with is annoying but nothing to worry about - - but this could get a lot worse if I don't do the right things for it.

Sitting around is never the right thing to do, of course, and that isn't what I'm going to do. That is also why I went for a brisk walk on level ground this morning (along with a few stairs) just to "test" the leg out and see what sort of shape its in - - and so far, so good. I bet I'll be making a full recovery in a few days - - touchwood, of course!!

So, that's the update from here. If you work out today - - make it a great one - - and remember to listen to your body as well!

Best Regards,

P.S. : - This email isn't to encourage anyone with a thigh or elbow injury to go out and climb hills or do pull-ups - - remember, everyone is DIFFERENT - - and you should ALWAYS seek medical advice for any injury you might have! That said, some MILD activity "just to get the blood flowing" is usually always a good ideas as well.  .  .