Foot cramps can happen at any moment – while you’re exercising, walking across the room, or sleeping. They are caused by involuntary spasms in the foot muscles, which result in intense and sudden pain. Most foot cramps happen in the arch of the foot, but some experience them in the toes as well. While cramps usually only last for a little while, some can be stubborn and can require several days to recover.
If you experience persistent or severe cramping in your feet, please contact our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Carl Ingrassia of Fords Food and Ankle Care. He will work with you to manage and/or reduce your pain.
Why do I get cramps in my feet?
Muscle cramps can happen in any part of your body, but may be especially focused in your feet when you’ve been on your feet for long periods of time or have been doing a lot of exercise. There are many factors that can contribute to cramping muscles, which include:
- Dehydration – Without proper hydration, the lack of fluids in your body can prevent the body’s muscles from contracting and relaxing properly.
- Nutritional Deficiencies – Calcium, Vitamins (B, D, and E), Magnesium, and Potassium all play vital roles in proper muscle function.
- Nerve Damage – If you have nerve damage in the feet, the brain and the muscles may not properly communicate, causing prolonged contraction of the muscles.
- Overexertion or Fatigue – When feet muscles have been overused or become tired, they are more prone to cramping and injury. Make sure you stretch your feet with warm-ups before you work out.
- Poor circulation – When blood flow is restricted from reaching your feet, due to posture or position, the pain can feel like cramping.
- Lack of support in shoes – Toe cramps can happen from shoes that cramp the front part of the feet. Also, for those who have high arches, improper support can lead to exertion of the arch muscles.
- Medication side effects – Some medications can have side effects such as dehydration, which can increase risk of cramps.
- Pregnancy – Hormonal changes can cause swelling in the feet and physical changes can constrict blood flow to and from the feet.
- Other health issues – Cramping in the feet may be a sign of other health issues, including diabetes, poor circulation, and thyroid, kidney, or liver issues.
How to stop foot cramps
When your foot starts to cramp, it can be a debilitating pain. Beyond paying attention to the above causes to prevent foot cramps, you can also try some other remedies. Sometimes, the quickest way to get rid of foot cramps is to flex and stretch the foot. If it continues, you can also massage the foot and use heating pads to relax the muscles.
If you have any questions or concerns about foot cramps, please schedule an appointment at our office located in Fords, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to prevent and treat your foot and ankle needs.