How to Remove Muscular Cramps while Diving
Snorkeler in the Maldives
A muscular cramp is an irritating condition that you should take into consideration before and during scuba diving. Aside from the distraction and physical discomfort cramps can cause, they can also cause underwater anxiety which in turn leads to further underwater problems. However, if you do experience cramping while scuba diving, there are several things you can do.
What to Do in Case of Cramp?
First and foremost, as soon as you get a cramp, you need to alert your dive buddy about the situation. That way he or she can help you with your problem. Next, establish neutral buoyancy by breathing correctly or if possible, sit on the ocean floor. You will need to have practiced buoyancy beforehand in order to do this correctly. Third, stretch and massage the muscle that cramped to ease the pain. Continue to massage the cramped area until the pain disappears. If you’re experiencing cramps in your calf muscle, then it is best to grab the tip of your fin and pull it towards you and then start massaging the calf, or have your dive buddy massage it for you.
Safety Tips for Avoiding Muscular Cramps
As you can see, getting rid of muscle cramps underwater involves a certain amount of experience. So never forget that the basic diving techniques you’ve learned during that time. If you are diving close to the ocean floor, it is best to find an area where you can sit down, rest, massage your muscles. Remember to never sit on corals.
Muscle cramps occur from overexertion or poor physical condition. Be sure to pay attention to your body’s condition throughout your whole dive. It is really important that you are in good shape before starting to scuba dive.
There are inherent risks and dangers to scuba diving, and these may cause serious injuries – even death – if you do not train properly for it. Always make sure that your gear is well-maintained and don’t start diving until you have completed training at a certified dive centre. Remember, you are going SCUBA diving to have fun, not to put your welfare or the welfare of others in jeopardy.
More Safety Tips to Avoid Cramps
Of course, the best cure is prevention. So here are some more tips to avoid muscle cramps.
- Fitness. Get physically fit. Basic fitness reduces the risk of muscle cramps
- Alcohol. Avoid drinking alcohol 12 hours before scuba diving.
- Water. One of the greatest causes of cramps is dehydration. When scuba diving, you need to drink at least 3 litres of water a day, especially if you are in a hot country.
- Sleep. Before scuba diving, you should be well-rested. Don’t go scuba diving after a wild night’s party. You will feel a lot better scuba diving after a good night’s sleep.
- Bananas. If possible, try and eat a banana or two before the dive. Bananas contain high levels of potassium which neutralise salt levels in your blood, one of the major causes of cramps.