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Leg Cramps & Fear of Drowning

Discussion in 'On the Water' started by 2sweed, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    Have you ever been swimming and got a bad leg cramp? It can be really scary the first time it happens and your far from shore. The best thing to do is flip over on your back and head for shore or back to your boat.
    Often times I have read stories about people drowning because they panic when a leg cramp hits them. Even scuba drivers are prone to have to fight the fear of wanting to come up from deep water faster than is safe when a leg cramp overcomes them. Of course for scuba drivers the panic is different than for someone who is a surface swimmer, but the results can be the same if one can not control the fear and panic, of drowning.
    What are your thoughts on this subject? Have you ever come close to drowning or gotten a leg cramp while swimming? :(
  2. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    This is one of the reasons why you should never swim alone and stay within reach of shore.

    However I am a pretty strong swimmer and can't imagine a leg cramp that painful that I wouldn't be able to stay afloat. I can normally do that without even using my legs to kick.
  3. AurelioLeo

    AurelioLeo Newbie

    I recommend to people that they should stretch before going out for that swim. It can help you minimize that cramping while engaging in any physical activity. A lot of people panic in the water and that's what gets them killed.
  4. Esperahol

    Esperahol Newbie

    Cramping isn't much of an issue - you just roll over and rest while gently stretching your leg. As soon as you feel able you slowly start to back paddle to the shore. The worse thing that could happen is a back cramp, because that is nothing to play with.
  5. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    I spoke with a friend who has gone swimming in some of Pennsylvania's cold spring-fed lakes and he said when the water is cold it is sometimes harder to work that cramp out of a leg. More than once he had to help a friend back to shore when a cramp struck and laying on ones back to paddle and kick to shore was not working.
    As children we were always told not to go swimming right after eating. I think that was in due to stomach cramps. I never went in after eating, so I don't know if it was true or not.
  6. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    That makes sense, whenever you get a cramp or muscle soreness the recommendation is a hot shower, not a cold one!

    I guess I've always been very comfortable in the water and don't usually swim so far out that I would be unable to get back with just my arms if my legs cramped up (or vice versa).
  7. Esperahol

    Esperahol Newbie

    The pain and hindering of a cramp tends to linger even after the immediate pain is gone, but you can make it regardless of the surroundings. Of course, if you're going to swim in cold water (why I don't know) you need to warm up properly before getting in to minimize the chances of something unfortunate.

    As far as eating and then going for a swim goes... I've yet to see anything unfortunate happen to me or any of my associates. I honestly don't know why people say that? Oh, well.
  8. bigteeth96

    bigteeth96 Newbie

    I've never heard of that happening, but now that I have, that seems so scary. I think I would try to push through it. Also, the buddy system! Or swim in 4ft water. That still isn't totally safe, but you can stand up in most circumstances.
  9. whnuien

    whnuien Newbie

    Actually one and a half month after I gave birth I started swimming again. I was fine for the first few times but I got a leg cramp with the last swimming session. I was lucky because there was somebody else around who helped me to get out of the swimming pool! Otherwise I would not know what to do because I was already panicking :(
  10. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    That must have been an extremely painful cramp if you were unable to help yourself out of the pool. Fortunately I have never gotten anything that bad, except sometimes -- I'm not sure if anyone else ever gets this but when it feels like you are flexing your calf and then all a sudden it goes into incredible painful spasms. I'm still not sure what causes these, but they don't happen too often.

    If anyone is suffering from typical athletic related cramps the day after strenuous activity. I've found Advil quite useful for this because it helps the muscles relax and relieves a lot of the pain.
  11. Esperahol

    Esperahol Newbie

    Those are called Charlie Horses Erik and you can allieve them by drinking salt water and having a banana. I get them alot because I do alot of activity without the usage of things like gatorade or whatever. Proabably because I'm cheap and prefer Powerade.
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