Medical Monday Nov 4 2019

This idea was started on http://unchainedpreppers.org where I would post some basic but important medical ideas relevant to the prepared citizen in an austere environment. The idea was that I would publish a new post every Monday for everyone to read. This is much easier said than done when the only equipment you have regular access to is an Iphone SE and little to no free time to publish anything. I also wanted somewhere these could be easily stored and accessed, more so than just to the people on UP. Hence why I started this blog. I will be taking requests for topics, but only on UP.

This week the topic is Muscle Cramps. These can range from mild inconvenience all the way to bed rest. Muscle Cramps are simply an involuntary, painful muscle contraction. If you have ever worked out heavily you have probably gotten them the next day. Some people get them in their sleep. They can be caused by a myriad of issues ranging from ischemia (or tissue death) of the muscle, to dehydration, and electrolyte imbalance. Pregnancy, diabetes, blood pressure medication, and nerve damage can also cause muscle cramps. The biggest offenders for most though are dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.

Fluids (most of which is water) allow our bodies to function properly, including our muscles. If you’ve ever worked a long, hard day of physical labor outside only to awake in the middle of the night with near crippling leg pain, those were muscle cramps. They are happening because you do not have enough water in your body so your muscles are not able to work properly. Heat cramps are simply muscle cramps caused by dehydration. Removal from the heat, gradual re-hydration, and massaging the affected muscles will help to alleviate this issue. But prevention is always the best medicine. Try to incorporate a work/rest cycle and insure everyone is drinking enough water. You do not want your urine completely clear, you are wasting water at this point, but a light straw color is a sign of proper hydration. Stretching is also extremely important for exercise related cramps. Before and after the activity make sure you stretch. Yoga is great for general stretching and flexibility.

Another segment to heat cramps is electrolyte imbalance. You need to make sure you are taking in enough salt and other minerals. Calcium, magnesium, and potassium deficiencies can all cause muscle cramps. Make sure you are taking in the recommended amounts of these. One gymnast found that by simply adding milk and yogurt into her diet that her muscle cramps went away entirely. Bananas are great for this but would be hard to find in the case of a collapse. Supplements are great for this. But do not over do them, because too much potassium can cause heart issues. Most of these can be found in food. Another great reason to have a garden and eat from it, collapse or not. Pickle juice and mustard both have been proven to reduce muscle cramps. And ounce of pickle juice or a teaspoon of mustard have been found to relieve muscle cramps in 1-2 minutes.

Muscle cramps or most often relatively minor, but if you are doing more physical work than normal and are reliant on your ability to do that work, cramps can hinder your ability to do regular activities. Regular hydration, proper nutrition, and stretching are all key to help relieve and prevent muscle cramps.

Next week we will be going over cold weather injuries. If you would like a say in the topics go over to http://unchainedpreppers.org and look for the Medical Monday post. But don’t forget to check out the entire forum. There is a wealth of information there.

Don’t be left bleeding out like a stuck pig, learn medical skills!

About the blog

Stuck Pig Medical is something I have been thinking about for a while now. I have always been interested in blogging, but never really had much knowledge or experience in what my first blog was about to really get it off the ground. I will eventually give that blog more focus in a while, but for now this will be my baby that I can focus most of my blogging time into.

Proper medical information for preparedness minded individuals is in short supply. Too much info is either outdated, or beyond wrong. My hope is to use this blog as a way to give those individuals that are curious a starting point and reference for everything medical. Most, if not all, of my medical experience and knowledge is as a National Guard Combat Medic in a Combined Arms Battalion. Information will come from verified sources and all of it will be evidence based. But I’ll get into that in following blog posts.

Some of you following this blog will know me as Mech Medic from the Unchained Preppers forum. If you are not a member of that forum I recommend you remedy that immediately. It is an amazing group of people that have a wealth of information to share. A few of them have even taken a class from me (as of writing this post, the only class I have charged money to take). It was a TC3 basics course I put on with NC Scout of Brushbeater. The review is here: http://unchainedpreppers.com/forum/weapons/aar-tc3-class/
I do plan on doing more courses in the future, however at the current moment I am sitting overseas on a 9 month deployment. This will give me the time to fully set up this blog and get it running correctly with a regular posting schedule. It will also give me time to better my course in several ways and even work on more.

One of the things I do plan on doing is a “Medical Monday, it was something I brought up on Unchained Preppers and it was met with a lot of enthusiasm so I will be continuing it on here. So every Monday expect a post about something medical related to preparedness.

I look forward to seeing some of you at my courses or at some of NC Scout’s courses. I hope you enjoy this blog and can learn many things from it.