I’ve recently gone back to work on a part time basis to ease myself back in gently. My job is pretty much 90% computer based and as I’m right handed and my affected arm is my right arm, using a mouse has proved to be a bit tricky. I had no real problems on my first full day back, until the following morning when my arm practically seized up. As you can imagine, this was a bit of a concern.
I mentioned it to my local lymphatic specialist and after reassuring me that what I was feeling wasn’t the onset of lymphoedema but simply a case of the muscles becoming tired having been out of action for a while, he went on to tell me to eat more bananas to get my potassium levels up.
Apparently muscle cramps can be due to an imbalance in the body’s electrolytes – magnesium, calcium and potassium and/or a deficiency of vitamin E. To remedy this I need to consume either 200ml of milk, a small pot of yoghurt or a matchbox-sized piece of cheese, leafy green vegetables, small-boned fish such as sardines, orange juice, cereals and nuts. I also need to eat more bananas, pulses, garlic and onions, and fruit and vegetables in general, making sure my diet is rich in vitamin E by including things such as vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, avocados and sweet potatoes.
The other piece of advice he gave me was to get myself two physiotherapy balls, one for each hand of the same resistance – medium to low. I then need to hold one in each hand and squeeze them alternatively as slowly as I can, to about 60% of my ability, and then release just as slowly. I should repeat this 30-50 times in each hand every day. In doing this I am causing the muscles in my forearm and hand to contract but not be put under any strain, this will simply allow them to regain strength gradually.
Source: The Daily Mail