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Posted : August 15, 2010
I keep getting the most vicious cramp in my left calf muscle at the end of a dive - usually when swimming back to the boat. I have tried eating a banana before hand (recommended by a friend) and also make sure that I am well hydrated. Nevertheless it gets me most times and hurts so much I cannot move my leg and it leaves me with a limp for a day. I am 57 years old and have been diving for a35 years. This only started about 5 years ago. I dive in warm water most of the time. What can I do to prevent this happening?

Posted : October 21, 2010
Thanks for the query, and apologies for the extremely delayed reply - for some reason this missed my inbox!

Dehydration and electrolyte imbalances can predispose people to cramp but clearly you've attempted to address these factors with no success. I'd recommend you trial some form of compression and thermal protection on your calves, perhaps a 3mm wetsuit that extends to your feet, as although you are diving in warm water it's possible that your muscles are getting cold and the sudden exercise causes cramping. Also, see if you can do some muscle strengthening work on your lower limbs to improve their bulk and blood flow - they're more likely to stay insulated, warm and therefore less likely to cramp.

Hope that helps

Regards, Dr O
Answer provided by Dr Oliver Firth
Dr Ollie Firth
The views expressed by Dr Firth & Dr Jules are their own and the publishers accept no liability for the advice and views expressed by Dr Firth , Dr Jules, or other users, which are provided as a general service to divers. Users are warned that secondary posts are the views of other users and may not be medically correct.
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