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Old 04-19-2019, 09:29 AM   #1
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Long drives - leg cramps - any tricks

I'm writing to see is any one has dealt with (or has a solution for) leg cramps on long drives. I'm only good for a couple of hours (even just sitting in a plane or at a desk) before my legs start to get antsy. It's sort of like the start of a RLS episode (which I suffer from too).

Other than pulling over and walking around for a bit, are there any tips or remedies that I can use so I can get a few more hours of driving in before needed to stop for the night?
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Old 04-19-2019, 09:48 AM   #2
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Have you had your potassium levels checked?

Have you tried taking potassium supplements?

Quinine pills will take the cramp away in a couple minutes, however you now have to have a prescription to get those pills.
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Old 04-19-2019, 09:50 AM   #3
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Lots and lots of water.....
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Old 04-19-2019, 09:59 AM   #4
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For me it helps to flex the muscles in my legs, and move them around as much as possible while driving. Blood/fluids will accumulate in the lower legs/ankles from sitting with them down and muscles flexing is the only way to move it back toward the heart. My ankles will be swollen at the end of a long days drive, but generally recover before morning. We try to take a short walk each time we stop for anything else.

Not quite like it was when we were younger.

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Old 04-19-2019, 10:11 AM   #5
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Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated which of course will make you want to stop more often where you can also stretch your legs. Really stretch, not just walk around. Like bananas? Eat them as they are better for you than potassium pills, and taste good too. Reduce the hours on the road you travel.
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Old 04-19-2019, 10:11 AM   #6
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Nothing is quite like it was when we were younger.
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Old 04-19-2019, 10:18 AM   #7
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Nothing is quite like it was when we were younger.
That's the truth! "Over the hill".. I don't remember any hill
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Old 04-19-2019, 11:02 AM   #8
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And I thought I was the only one with this dilemma. Heck, I get that same sort of thing just watching TV in the evenings. But, I think that's RLS. This is one of the many reasons I was glad to teach my wife to drive the RV decades ago. When I get this scenario coming on, I just do a quick switch with her and, I'm free to walk, move around, take a different position in the passengers seat, put my feet up on the dash (with a dash pad of course) and anything else that get's me out of the drivers positioning.

Usually, after anywhere from about 20 minutes to an hour, I'm ready to jump back into the drivers seat, especially if I can get a few winks in.
Scott
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Old 04-19-2019, 12:20 PM   #9
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Leg cramps are the least of your problems, DVT's are the real danger. Stop and walk for 10 minutes every couple hrs, it will alleviate your leg cramps and may prevent a DVT from forming in a leg, and if it travels to your lungs your significant other may have to use the medical assist program.
The only trick I know of is to drink lots of water, which itself may cause you to stop every 2 hrs anyway.
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Old 04-19-2019, 12:24 PM   #10
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Thanks for the tip on the potassium. I'll look at getting some OTC supplements. Can't hurt.

On the water - yes. That's a good ideal too - and then I will need to stop every couple of hours for that... - and get in some walking.
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Old 04-19-2019, 12:25 PM   #11
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Hydrate, stop & exercise, buy the small pony bottles of tonic water from Walmart & use those in addition to water for liquids. 1-1.5 hours ideally should be the parameter.
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Old 04-19-2019, 12:28 PM   #12
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Eat a banana each morning... also adjust the drivers seat to where you are "sitting up" like in a kitchen chair so your legs are not stretched out/ extended in front of you.
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Old 04-19-2019, 01:54 PM   #13
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I get leg cramps at night bad enough to wake me up. A few years back I tried a suggestion from a friend to drink some pickle juice. I used to drink tonic water when this happened and the cramps would be gone in about 5 minutes. The pickle juice works in much less than a minute, almost instant relief. I kept a dedicated jar of pickles in the fridge for this until I discovered I could buy pickle juice by the bottle at the liquor store, meant for bartenders.

Frequent breaks and walking around is better advice by far for those afflicted while on extended drives, but the juice might be helpful if it is not convenient or safe to stop. This assumes you have a co-pilot that can fetch it for you. Or, it could ride in a cupholder within reach.

Good for your breath? Nope. Yummy? Nope. Effective? Yes, at least for me.

For whatever reason, I do not get my cramps while driving, even on extremely long drives.
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Old 04-19-2019, 02:32 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Arch Hoagland View Post
Have you had your potassium levels checked?

Have you tried taking potassium supplements?

Quinine pills will take the cramp away in a couple minutes, however you now have to have a prescription to get those pills.
Potassium and magnesium and the more water you drink the more minerals you need
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