17 Nov About Foot Cramps
Causes of Foot Cramps
If you’ve ever had a sudden, gripping pain in your foot, you know what a foot cramp feels like. This happens when your foot goes into an involuntary spasm and feels like it’s frozen up. What’s causing your cramps, and what’s the best way to deal with them?
What Causes Cramps?
Dehydration: This is one of the most common causes of all muscle cramps. When your body doesn’t get enough fluids, your joints and muscles lose lubrication. Cramping is a sign that you should drink more water. Always hydrate well during exercise and in hot weather.
Overuse: Vigorous exercise can sometimes cause cramping. Running, dancing, and gymnastics are especially likely to cause foot cramps because they put a lot of stress on your feet. To avoid overuse, warm up carefully before you exercise, and stretch thoroughly after you finish.
Sedentary lifestyle: Getting no exercise can leave your muscles weak and damage your circulation. That leads to muscles too weak to function that start cramping. Moderate exercise is good for everyone, so start walking, dancing, or engaging in any exercise you enjoy.
Pregnancy: Many pregnant women experience frequent foot cramps caused by the extra weight and the strain on their legs. Regular, gentle exercise during pregnancy, especially during the last months, will help prevent this.
Low potassium levels: Loss of potassium from illness can cause painful leg cramps known as Charley horses. Low levels of calcium and magnesium can have the same effect. Some people on high-protein diets experience frequent leg and foot cramps because they don’t get enough potassium.
Nerve damage: Peripheral neuropathy can cause pain that you mistake for foot cramping. Diabetes is a leading cause of peripheral neuropathy. If you have diabetes, it’s important to see a foot care professional regularly.
Other causes: Poorly fitting shoes, cold temperatures, and certain medications can all lead to cramping in your feet.
When Cramps Attack: How to Heal
If you have cramping, take these steps to soothe the pain and stiffness.
• Use your foot: If you’re lying or sitting down when your foot cramps, try to stand on your foot. Putting weight on it and moving it may be enough to warm up the muscle and release the cramp.
• Warmth: For cramps that linger or leave lasting pain, use a heating pad, or soak your foot in a tub of warm water. Adding Epsom salts will reduce pain and swelling.
• Stretches: Gentle stretching can ease your foot cramp. Start with a gentle foot stretch or a calf stretch to loosen the muscle stiffness.
When should you see a podiatrist? If you have recurring cramps, fatigue, constipation, or an abnormal heart rate, contact a doctor. Your cramps could be a symptom of a serious condition.
Keep Your Feet Moving Freely
If you’ve experienced foot cramps or other foot conditions, contact Shuman Podiatry & Sports Medicine. We can keep your feet pain-free and move freely.