Tag Archives: dr. Miller

Cramping Neurology – 573

In Cramping Science interview #1 with Dr. Kevin Miller, we did not even get to Cramping Neurology. We spent about 90 packed minutes discussing your questions and the role hydration plays in cramping.

Dr. Miller and Mike McKenney knew there was no way to do justice to cramping science without addressing the neurology component.

Cramp – an involuntary painful contraction of skeletal muscle brought on by a variety of factors. This podcast focuses on cramps related to the exercise of healthy individuals.

There is a teeter-totter between excitation and inhibition of the muscles from the nerves.

Cramping Neurology, nerve cell, axon, dendrite, Dr. Kevin Miller

What is Cramping Neurology?

Most basic definition: the role of the nervous system in cramping

About 8 minutes in Dr. Miller discusses the 3 main nerve cramp theories:

Central Theory –

This is the best supported through research stating the cramp occurs at the nerve cell body

There are two threshold levels for the cell body to cause a contraction known as a “bipolar state.”

Peripheral Theory –

Happens along the axon or end of the motor neuron.

We can stop a cramp from occurring by blocking the afferent activity with a nerve block to the tendon…but it is not always true.

Muscle Fiber Level Theory –

Least favorable among researchers but says that it happens at the muscle fiber level

Does the brain adjust and make the cramp easier?

Around minute 15 Mike asks if cramps can become a learned response from the brain

Of course, Dr. Kevin Miller has an answer that is helpful but not definitive

He does remind us:

  • each cramp is unique
  • there are many factors
  • frequent crampers need to know their triggers

Prefer to watch on Facebook Live?

Contact us:

Jeremy Jackson

Mike McKenney – email

Dr. Kevin Miller – email

These people LOVE ATs and help the SMB pay the bills:


Frio Hydration – Superior Hydration products.

MioTech – meeting all of your sports medicine supply needs

PhysicalTherapy.com – use promo code “1FREECOURSE” to start for free

DragonflyMax – one-stop EMR

HOIST – no matter your reason for dehydration DRINK HOIST

MedBridge Education – Use “TheSMB” to save some, be entered in a drawing for a second-year free and support the podcast.

Medbridge, Medbridge Ed, Medbridge education, Cramping Neurology, Dr. Kevin Miller

Want to see the rest of our cramping science podcasts?

Cramping Science with Dr. Kevin Miller

Cramping Science with Dr. Sandra Fowkes-Godek

NASA Engineered formula – The Right Stuff

Isotonic Drinks with Kari Beltran

Cramping Science Research with Dr. Sandra Fowkes-Godek

Neurology of a Cramp with Dr. Kevin Miller

Cramping Science with Kevin Miller – 570

What do you know about Cramping Science?

I do not know a whole lot about Cramping Science, but luckily Mike McKenney and Dr. Kevin Miller are here to share tons of knowledge.

Who is Kevin Miller?

Dr. Kevin Miller is a Full Professor in the Athletic Training Program at Central Michigan University.  His research interests include the causes, treatments, and prevention of exertional heat illness with a specific emphasis on exercise-associated muscle cramping. 

He has published over 50 peer-reviewed manuscripts in medical journals and presented over 90 international, national, or regional presentations on topics related to heat illness. 

He has co-authored several national and international position statements including the NATA Position Statement on Exertional Heat Illness; the Statement of the Third International Exercise-Associated Hyponatremia Consensus Development Conference; and the NATA round table on Malignant Hyperthermia in Physically-Active Populations. 

Dr. Miller is a member of the Korey Stringer Institute’s Medical and Science Advisory Board; a member of the Editorial Boards for the Journal of Athletic Training; Exercise Physiology; Sport and Exercise Nutrition; and Athletic Training and Sports Health Care

He is Chair of the Michigan Athletic Trainers Society Research Assistance Committee; NATA liaison to the Canadian Athletic Therapists Association; and member of the NATA’s International Committee.

Did you get lost in all of those titles?

Like I said, I do not know a whole lot of TRUTH about cramping. So I am here to keep it simple and not too nerdy.

What to do when you are cramping:

The fastest way to “fix” a cramp is static stretching. If we prevent the muscle from shortening then we are preventing it from cramping.

Anything ingested is going to take about 10 minutes to provide relief…

Except small volumes of pickle juice seem to make them relax after about 90 seconds. So stretch and give pickle juice right away.

When a cramp starts, will it go away?

For about an hour after a cramp the threshold for cramping is decreased even if the muscle is no longer cramping, it is still standing on the edge.

Recommendations for preventing a cramp?

  • ask good questions
  • know that each patient and cramp is unique
  • look for trends
  • have them keep a cramp journal
  • start early in the day with fluid and sodium replacements
  • drink through out the day when thirsty

Want to see the rest of our cramping science podcasts?

Cramping Science with Dr. Sandra Fowkes-Godek

NASA Engineered formula – The Right Stuff

Isotonic Drinks with Kari Beltran

Cramping Science Research with Dr. Sandra Fowkes-Godek

Neurology of a Cramp with Dr. Kevin Miller

Contact Us

Dr. Kevin Miller – email – mille5k@cmich.edu

Mike McKenney – m.mckenney@neu.edu

Jeremy Jackson

These people LOVE ATs and help the SMB pay the bills:


Frio Hydration – Superior Hydration products.

MioTech – meeting all of your sports medicine supply needs

PhysicalTherapy.com – use promo code “1FREECOURSE” to start for free

DragonflyMax – one-stop EMR

HOIST – no matter your reason for dehydration DRINK HOIST

MedBridge Education – Use “TheSMB” to save some, be entered in a drawing for a second-year free and support the podcast.

Watch the Facebook Live

Cramping Science with Kevin Miller

Mike McKenney studied under Kevin Miller. Both are making an impact in the way we understand hydration.Kevin has a long list of hydration and cramping related articles and committee involvement.Join the conversation as part of a series on Cramping Science on the Sports Medicine Broadcast

Posted by Sports Medicine Broadcast on Tuesday, April 9, 2019