22 Jul Why does My Foot Keep Cramping?
Why Are My Feet Cramping?
Are your feet suffering from painful cramps? Learn more about this common condition and what you can do about it.
Why Is Your Foot Cramping?
A foot cramp is a muscle spasm that freezes your foot and stops it from moving. Cramps can happen while you’re exercising or walking, and they can happen when you’re relaxing at home. Foot cramps can last for minutes or for days.
Common Causes of Foot Cramps
Muscle fatigue: This is the most common reason for foot cramps. Overusing your feet to walk, run, dance, or play sports can wear out the muscles in your feet. Tired, overstressed muscles will respond by cramping
Vitamin deficiencies: Some people experience severe leg and foot cramps when they follow a strict low-carb diet. The food restrictions can lead to a loss of potassium and magnesium.
Sweating can also cause you to lose calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Diuretics, anti-cholesterol medications, and asthma treatments can do the same. Vitamin D deficiencies are very common, and they can lead to weak bones in your legs and feet.
Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions can make you more susceptible to foot and toe cramps. These include diabetes and liver disease.
Dehydration: Losing water can cause cramps if you don’t hydrate regularly when you exercise. In hot or dry weather, you should hydrate more often.
Poorly fitting shoes: You can trace most foot problems to wearing the wrong shoes. Years of wearing tight shoes, shoes without the support, and high heels can lead to worn-out foot muscles that regularly cramp.
Always look for shoes with supportive soles, a strong shank, and a wide toe box. If you’re an athlete or a dancer, it’s especially important to wear the right footwear.
Best Ways to Ease the Cramps
If you’re suffering from foot cramps, try these remedies.
Give Them a Rest
Start by stopping the activity that’s causing your cramps. Remove your shoes, and give your feet some tender loving care. Try a foot soak with salts or essential oils in the water.
Give your feet a massage to release the cramps. Giving yourself regular foot massages is a good way to keep your feet flexible and monitor their health.
Stretch Them Out
Stretching your toes and feet can help you stay limber. It’s important to stretch your foot and leg ligaments to keep them flexible. Here are three exercises to start you off.
Toe raises: Stand with your feet a few inches apart. Lift only your heels up while leaving the balls of your feet on the floor. Hold for 10 seconds. Lower your heels. Repeat 10 times.
Marble pickup: Place 20 marbles or other small objects on the floor. Using only your toes, pick up each marble and place it in a bowl.
Seated toe stretch: Sit with your feet flat on the floor. Place one foot on the opposite thigh. Hold your toes with one hand. Pull them toward your heel until you feel a stretch in the heel and sole of your foot. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds. Repeat with each foot 10 times.
If vitamin and mineral deficiencies are causing your cramps, increase your intake of these foods:
- Low-fat dairy products such as yogurt and cheese.
- Bananas and oranges.
- Spinach and broccoli.
If you have a vitamin D deficiency, spend about 10 minutes in the sun three times a week. If you prefer to avoid the sun, ask your doctor about supplements.
When Should You See a Doctor?
If massages, proper footwear, and rest haven’t eased your cramps, it’s time to call a podiatrist. Any foot condition that lasts several days could be a sign of something serious. At Shuman Podiatry & Sports Medicine, we’ll make sure nothing cramps your style.