Take Home Points
Braulick had thirteen men (~24.4 years) without previous leg
injury in the last twelve months, who did experience leg cramps within the past twelve months first undergo a familiarization session. This session consisted of using surface electrodes on the FHB (flexor hallucis brevis), then performed twenty repetitions of 2 second isometric contractions of the FHB with the foot being angled at 120 degrees. EMG was also measured of the FHB, to ensure activity was greater than 8 mV. A muscle cramp was defined as an involuntary contraction of the FHB immediately following the end of the electrical stimuli. EMG amplitude needed to be greater than 50% and the subject needed to verify a cramp.
Instead, cramps appear to be the result of neuromuscular changes. Some have proposed cramping is the combination of increased excitation from the Ia and decreased inhibition from Ib afferents altering the alpha-motor neuron activity.
Next, a study must look at exercise induced (not electronically induced) cramping.
- Braulick KW, Miller KC, Albrecht JM, Tucker JM, Deal JE. Significant and serious dehydration does not affect skeletal muscle cramp threshold frequency. Br J Sports Med. 2013 Jul;47(11):710-4. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2012-091501. Epub 2012 Dec 6.