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.
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?
Mike McKenney – email
Dr. Kevin Miller – email
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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