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Subject:Re: How muscle fibers contract From:Williams Diane <Williams_Diane -at- DOTE -dot- OSD -dot- MIL> Date:Wed, 9 Oct 1996 14:24:46 -0400
From my kinesiology studies in Physical Education, I know that an exchange
of sodium (Na) and potassium (K) across the muscle cell membrane (called
the "sodium pump") is what causes a muscle cell to contract. If FMS
includes problems with muscles or muscle fibers not performing in accord
with each other, then could the underlying problem be in the transmission
of the signal to contract from the brain to the muscle or an imbalance or
improper transfer of sodium and potassium?
Mike Whitmarsh, one of the USA men's Olympic silver medalists in beach
volleyball this year, has a severe problem with muscle cramps and
dehydration in hot, humid weather. He takes sodium tablets each time he
takes a break in a match, either during a time out or a side change. During
one international tournament in Portugal in September, he ran out of salt
tablets and had to drink salt water! He also often needs to have saline
administered intravenously after some matches on particularly hot days.
Another volleyball-playing friend of mine used to cramp during indoor
matches in the winter when it was cold. He required extra potassium for his
So, do PWFMS need to have their electrolyte levels examined? Or do we need
to take some other mineral or vitamin to aid in the proper transmission of
neurotransmitters to facilitate the proper exchange of the "sodium pump"?