Patient discussion about muscle

!!! The questions and answers on this page are written by patients and are not reviewed by health professionals.

Q. What are muscle cramps caused from?

I am a 30 year old woman and am pregnant. I keep on getting a muscle cramps on the back on my lower leg. It really hurts! What is causing it and how can I prevent it?
A1You can get muscle cramps almost anywhere in your body during pregnancy, but the most common site is your calves. Although the spasms may only last a short time, they can be very severe.
No one knows for certain what causes leg cramps in pregnancy, though there are some theories: Deficiencies in salt, calcium, magnesium and vitamin C or changes in blood circulation.
To prevent it make sure to stretch your muscles before bed and if you do get a cramp, immediately stretch your calf muscles: Straighten your leg, heel first, and gently flex your toes back toward your shins. It might hurt at first, but it will ease the spasm and the pain will gradually go away.

A2No one really knows why women have leg cramps when they're pregnant but it is very common. It's possible that your leg muscles are tired from carrying around the extra weight. Or they may be aggravated by the pressure your expanding uterus puts on the blood vessels that return blood from your legs to your heart and the nerves that lead from your trunk to your legs. To prevent it Avoid standing or sitting with your legs crossed for long periods of time. Stretch your calf muscles regularly during the day and before bed.
Rotate your ankles and wiggle your toes when sitting.
Take daily walks, unless your midwife or doctor has advised you not to exercise. Lie down on your left side to improve circulation to and from your legs.
Stay hydrated during the day by drinking water regularly.


Q. Why do my muscles sometimes burn when I'm exercising?

I do exercise twice a day. Why do my muscles sometimes burn when I'm exercising?
A1The idea that lactic acid is what causes muscle burn during exercise is outdated and not supported by the most recent research. Lactic acid is actually a primary source of fuel during anaerobic exercise.

Muscle cells take up glucose (muscle glycogen) and convert them into lactic acid, which the mitrochondria in the cells then use for energy. The old theory was that lactic acid was a waste product that hindered performance. New scholarship on this actually shows that lactic acid is a SOURCE of fuel, not a "dead end as far as energy production is concerned."

Much of this new thinking has come from research performed by Dr. George Brooks at the University of California - Berkely. You can read more here: http://berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2006/04/19_lactate.shtml

Researchers also now believe that muscle acidosis (that burning sensation during exercise)is not caused by increases in lactate within the muscle, but rather by a completely separate reaction when ATP is h
A2The "burn" comes from the build-up of lactic acid, which forms as a by-product of energy production by muscle fibers. As the fibers convert glycogen to ATP, some of the reactions take place without oxygen. In this process, a compound called pyruvate is produced. Some of the pyruvate is absorbed into the muscle cell's mitochondria and converted into useful energy. But during strenuous exercise, the mitochondria can't handle all the pyruvate that's produced. The excess pyruvate becomes lactic acid, a dead end as far as energy production is concerned. As the concentration of lactic acid in the muscle fiber increases, the acidity of the cell changes, causing muscle fatigue and the all-too-familiar "burn." The best way to relieve lactic-acid-induced soreness is to continue to move around, but at a slower pace and without strain or with massage. Both stimulate blood circulation, which cleans out the built-up lactic acid from the muscles.

Q. What can I do to build muscle and develop immunity?

I'm Mickey, 21. My height is 5’5” and I weigh 176 lbs. I love out door games especially soccer. I have poor immunity that I get sick very often. What can I do to build muscle and develop immunity?
AYou must keep your GI tract healthy. Eat plenty of soluble and insoluble fiber every day minimum of 25 grams, but gradually shoot up to 35 grams. Include yogurt or encapsulated probiotics in your daily diet. The more robust your GI tract, the more available nutrients such as glutamine is for anabolic muscle metabolism. Another nutrient is ImmunoLin, a purified source of immunoglobin G (IgG), which fights off viruses that may enter the body through the GI tract. Research has shown that IgG not only improves get immune health, which helps you to stay healthy, but also helps people who suffer from various allergies. Do exercise regularly. If you follow the above tips, I am sure you will get the desired results.

Q. What is the best way to strengthen the low back muscles?

After having a low back strain I've been told I need to work better on the lower back muscles as too much stress is on them and they're not strong enough to handle it...any suggestions?
Ai have lower back strains but that is because i run. my back muscles are stronger then abdomen muscles and that causes an imbalance. the best way is starting swimming. the best sport for the body... and a thing to do for now (not instead of swimming just for the time being until you'll develop muscles)- lay on your stomach on a bed with your head sticking out for about 10-15 minutes every now and then. this will lengthen your back muscle and prevent strains for now.

Q. how to lose weight without losing muscles

AExercise, especially one that increase the muscle mass of your body (i.e. weight lifting). In addition to the (relatively small) caloric expenditure during the exercise time itself, it's main effect is an increase in the BMR - the energy your body expends regularly, so you actually burn more calories during your daily life, even when not exercising.

Paradoxically, this will result in gaining (or not losing) weight, but with decrease in the body fat percentage, which means that the body lose fat and build muscle.

This kind of exercise is more suitable for men, since due to the lack of androgens women have much less potential to increase the muscle mass.

And of course remember you should consult your doctor before you start any exercise plan.

Q. How can one with fibromyalgia build muscle strength?

What is the best way to build muscle (core and upper body, especially) when one has fibromyalgia and suffers from 24 to 48 hours of severe spasm and pain in the shoulders and neck whenever any lifting (with arms or of the upper torso against gravity) is done?
A1i found this site VERY useful:
http://ncpad.org/disability/fact_sheet.php?sheet=191
good luck!
A2I would suggest a physical therapist. They know about muscle "triggers" and what works. Maybe they can give you the advice you are looking for. I applaud you on wanting to keep up the momentum. I understand that a person with your condition actually profits from staying active(painful as it may be at times)
A3The best thing you can do is start physiotherapy in combination with building muscles. You don't necessarily have to lift weights at a gym, simple exercises that can be done at home are also ok for start- for example simple "sit-ups". Physiotherapy classes may help with dealing with muscle spasm and pain.

Q. I was looking up muscle pains, because for a while I’ve been having muscle pain and weight gain, and headaches

So I was looking up muscle pains, because for a while I’ve been having muscle pain and weight gain, and headaches, and joint stiffness, the pains been unbearable at times. But the symptoms fit, fatigue muscle pain, that is said to be throbbing aching, sharp pain, its all their. But can it cause short attention spans? If so that could be my mystery diagnosis that the doctors have been trying to figure out.
AFMS does cause cognitive issue--called fibro fog. But fibro itself does not cause weight gain--it could be thyroid--but be sure that you go to a thyroid expert--thyroid tests have gotten false negative.
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