Leg cramps that occur while you are diving can have two effects neither of which is desirable. One is that they can make you that lonely diver who sits in the boat or on the shore while his/her buddies are having fun. Two, they can actually create a danger for you when they prevent you from swimming against a strong current or from getting back into your boat. So, how do you prevent this constant threat that is so common that PADI’s entry-level Open Water Dive Certification courses teach people how to deal with leg cramp? Here is some information about leg cramps and how to prevent and treat them.
Why do Leg Cramps Happen?
Cramps can happen to anyone and at anytime. However, diver’s cramps may occur when the muscles they are using cease to get enough oxygen and nutrition to keep working efficiently. Other reasons cramping occurs among divers range from overuse to deficiencies in potassium or magnesium to dehydration, fatigued muscles and poor blood circulation. The important thing is not to ignore cramp when they do occur. Doing so could put you or your co-divers in danger.
How to Prevent Leg and Toe Cramps
Of course the best way to deal with cramps is to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Here are some recognized ways to prevent diver’s cramps.
- Stay Hydrated – Drink plenty of water before and during your dive.
- Wear Fins That Fit Properly – Make sure that none of your clothing restricts movement and blood circulation.
- Stretch – Stretch your lower leg muscles and feet.
- Eat properly – Make sure that you get enough potassium and magnesium before a dive.
- Exercise – Strengthen the muscles that will most likely be engaged during your dives.
How To Fix The Leg Cramp Underwater
After you are in the water and begin to cramp do these things:
- Stay focused and do not panic.
- Massage the calf with your other hand.
- Let other divers know you are in pain
If you have experienced leg cramps during your dives, what did you do to stop the pain? Were you able to resume diving? If you have any dive stories you would like to share or advice on how to stop cramps from occurring contact us. Also contact us when you are ready for a guided dive tour in Maui. Our tours expose you to some truly stunning undersea life. Plus, our scuba diving lessons in Maui are conducted by PADI certified instructors.