T Nation

Forearm Cramping

I’ve been having more and more trouble with forearm cramping than ever
lately. I train every body part once a week but I’m starting to feel a
little unnerved when arm day arrives. I think it started off as an injury
about a year ago when I was doing barbell curls. I finished a set of curls
and when I put the bar on the ground I couldn’t move my hands - my forearms
were cramped and locked in the curl position. I took a break from the
barbell curls and started with the ez-bar curl and that helped for a while,
but now it gets real bad after preacher curls too. I know it’s not a cause
of underdeveloped forearms because they are as big or bigger than my upper
arms. It seems to be off and on, but when its bad I have deep cramping every time I spot my partner - pick up grocery bags or any kind of
clutching with my hands. I’m starting to worry about this becoming a chronic thing and I feel like a wimp when I wince in pain when I put down the grocery bags. Has anyone else had this problem? Help!

What do you do for a living? Your lifting, combined with your job (especially bad posture infront of a computer) my be part of it. Strech strech strech!!!

Hi Big Chief. I don’t want to sound any alarm bells, and it might be something else. As Michelle says, it might be a lack of flexibility, in which case ART and its stretching protocol may help. If not, then go to a very, very good ortho/neuro first and describe your symptoms to them and see what they say. You should ask the doc to look for a neurological aspect, possibly something like focal dystonia. Focal dystonia is a poorly understood syndrome where the muscles cramp when performing a certain movement pattern. This is not due to electrolyte imbalance or other in situ conditions, rather it is a mis-firing of the nerves at the motor plance in the brain. The muscles work fine doing other things, but when you go to perform a particular task or motion, the muscles seize up. Musicians are prone to this; flute players, for example, can get dystonia in their lips, pianists in their fingers. Court reporters can get it bilaterally. They can do other things with their hands, but the minute they sit down at the steno machine to take a statement, their hands turn into claws and the fingers stop working. One told me that she often asked her judge to unclench her hand when an episode came on.

Let’s hope it’s not that, but you’ll need a very good med eval to rule this out. You will need to see a top neurologist, probably someone at a teaching hospital who’s up on the latest to even know what focal dystonia is. If you need more info or contact resource, visit my company website @ www.rsictd.qpg.com, send me an email at the contact interface with your emial address, and I’ll forward some network/resource info to you.