Preventing Cramps..... a 16 year Struggle
****Before I start this article, I want to make it clear even though we sell VeinoPlus Sport on our website, that this is not a sales pitch, and I would recommend you buy another kind of EMS Device if you choose.****
This sounds like an AA meeting, but I need to make a confession, I suffer from cramps in my calf muscles,and I have been suffering for nearly 20 years.
If any of my direct opponents had known this, they could have taken advantage of it, but luckily I could disguise the fact most of the time by not making any supporting runs at the end of matches,and hoped that my opponent hadn't the energy to go past me one on one. Looking back, It was a risky strategy.
The problem started during my first ever inter county championship match V Derry in 1997. With 5 minutes to go, I got a severe tightening in my left calf muscle, even though I did not feel fatigued or tired. In fact, I felt great. The manager at the time was Eamon Mc Enaney, and he simply put a sub on. I thought nothing more about it, and just put it down to the fact I had finished my Finals at College on the friday before the match.
But, the problem would re-emerge time and time again over the next 16 years, and it got to the point where I could tell that there were about 5 minutes to go in a match, as my calf muscles would begin to cramp.
I tired every possible solution:
Fully hydrated: Check; Add salt to water: Check; Add Baking Soda to water: Check; Drink a Sports drink before and during: Check;Drink Milk: Check; Massage at half time: Check; Try Special Oils: Check.....
You name it, I tried it.
The problem got that bad, that the cramps even started to appear 5 minutes before the end of club matches, even though they were only 60 minutes long.... Maybe it was all in my head.
I talked to the the physios....some said it was way I pushed off on my toes, some said it was just not being fit, but I knew that was not the case.
Towards the end of my inter county days, I just accepted that this was part of how things were and it needed to be managed. Some people get cramps in their calf muscles, most don't.
Last January I attended a trade show, and by chance I came across a company called VeinoPlus - They develop EMS ( Electro Muscle Stimulation) devices, one of which is called Veino Plus Sport. I had heard of EMS a few years previous, but to be honest, at that stage I had given up on finding a solution.
The company gave me a free device to try out, so I started using the device before and at half time in matches this year( I am 37 ). The results have been outstanding.
Not only have the cramps disappeared, but my legs now feel fresher and lighter than ever before, especially at the start of matches, where it used to sometimes feel that I hadn't trained for years.
According to the company - "Using Veinoplus® Sport on calves activates your Peripheral Heart and will provide you with a unique and totally innovative "whole body" or "global" recovery. It has the same effects as an active recovery, in a resting situation (passive recovery).
Using Veinoplus® Sport on other muscles (quadriceps, hamstrings, upper limbs...), will provide you a targeted "local recovery" on the muscles which have been involved in exercise (prevention of soreness and cramps)."
So if you suffer from cramps in your calf muscles, I would recommend that you try an EMS device, and do your own research on it. I can only tell you about my personal experience, which are very positive.
Use it five minutes before your match, during the team talk, and 10 minutes at half time. It will work wonders for you.
You can then use it for 15 minutes after the match.
I wish I had known about this 16 years ago