Foot cramps happen when a muscle in your foot suddenly squeezes and can’t relax. The feeling you get ranges from a slight tic to an intense spasm that causes a lot of pain.
Foot cramps are usually harmless. Often, you can take care of the pain yourself at home.
Cramps are an unwanted guest. In fact, an unwanted nuisance! Foot cramps develop suddenly during the day – sometimes there are foot cramps at night.
Whenever they happen, they can lead to a sharp and intense pain that lasts for a few minutes. You and I know how our feet carry the weight of our body all day long, whether we are moving, walking or standing.
Can we quickly treat the leg and foot cramps? Are we clueless about how to get rid of foot cramps? Wait, don’t hit the panic button yet! Just read this post to know more about the causes and cures for foot cramps.
What Leads To Foot Cramps?
Let us go step by step and find out what causes leg cramps are in the first place. Here they are:
1. Physical Activity:
Over-exertion and dehydration are the common causes of cramps during exercise. When your body is dehydrated, then there is a drop in the electrolyte levels in your body which leads to muscular cramps.
While ageing, people tend to lose muscle mass. This means the remaining muscle has to work harder. If in your early 40s, you are leading a sedentary life, chances are your muscles will bear the brunt of it as they will get stressed easily. This leads to leg and foot cramps.
3. Medical Conditions:
Those down with diabetes or liver disease are likely to face more of muscle cramps and pain. If the liver is not working properly, sadly enough it can’t filter toxins from the blood. It means the pileup of toxins will lead to spasms and muscle cramps.
4. Side-Effect Of Medications:
In certain people (not all), medications such as cholesterol-lowering drugs and diuretics (increased production of urine) can cause side-effects like muscle cramps.
5. Mineral Deficiency:
If you are not having enough doses of calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium in your diet, it can cause cramps.
Pamela Cole, a physical therapist in Hopkins, MN is of the view “Yes, a period of a lot of exercises, like running, can cause the muscles in the foot to cramp up, but foot cramps are more likely due to nutritional deficiencies – particularly an imbalance of water and electrolytes in your body.”
Remedies For Foot Cramps:
Here are some remedies you can try to learn about how to get rid of foot cramps.
1. Getting Immediate Relief:
This is what you have to do when you are wondering about how to get rid of foot cramps:
- Stop your activity: If you are doing exercises which cause or trigger the cramp, then stop the activity right there. Also, put a stop to doing exercises that you think will aggravate foot cramps.
- Stretch the cramped muscle: As you know, muscle cramps are sudden and unexpected. To stop the cramp quickly, you need to stretch the cramp muscles. Doing so will prevent it from remaining in the cramped position and will ease the stiffness and pain.
- Put weight on the cramped foot: When you do this, it will help stretch the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that are cramping and contracted.
- Do some walking when the pain subsides: Walk around so that the foot cramp doesn’t happen again. When you feel the pain is better, do some stretching until you feel the muscles are relaxed.
- Massage your foot: Apart from doing the above, massage the area where you got the cramps using your thumb. But, remember to remove your shoes and socks before that.
- Apply heat: If the foot muscle is still cramping, apply some heat therapy to the strained muscles by using a heating pad.
- Apply ice: Once the foot cramp subsides, and there is still some lingering pain, then do some cold fomentation. This will help relieve sore and tender muscles. Do not do ice application on the skin directly. Put a thin towel between the cold pack and your skin to avoid any discomfort.
- Rest your foot: You know what causes leg cramps? Either an injury or overworking/overusing of your tendons, ligaments, muscles. This explains why you need to rest your feet from time to time.
2. Preventing Cramps:
This one is important when it comes to How to get rid of foot cramps. Prevention is better than cure, after all.
- Exercise regularly: When you do routine exercises, it helps keep your muscles in good condition. Before and after you exercise, do some stretching to enhance the flexibility of your muscles. If you are regular in doing exercise, then evaluate your workout routines so as to know if any of the exercises you are doing is triggering foot cramps. Swimming is a great exercise – aerobic one – which helps treat muscular problems like leg and foot cramps.
- Wear the right shoes: Select shoes that fit well and have built-in shanks and solid heel counters. What’s a shank? It is a supportive strip (not visible) that runs along the bottom of the shoe. If the shoe is flimsy and easy-to-bend in the middle, then in all probability it doesn’t have a shank.
- Similarly, the heel counter is not visible but you can confirm its presence by pressing inward on the middle and upper area of the back part of the shoe. If it collapses inwards, then the heel counter is not very strong.
- Throw away worn soles: Why because worn soles and heels can cause heel pain and plantar fasciitis. Also, high-heeled shoes can be the cause of repeated leg and foot cramps.
- Walk barefoot in the sand: When you do that, it helps in strengthening the muscles of the foot and ankle. Plus it also provides a gentle foot massage.
- Keep yourself hydrated: Most of you will be shocked to know that dehydration is a common cause of foot and toe cramps. So, drink water before and after exercise. Also, have 8-12 glasses of water throughout the day so that your body gets enough fluids.
- Eat a balanced diet: Our body needs essential minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium. So it is important to have a diet rich in bananas, dairy products, fresh vegetables, beans, and nuts.
3. Seeking Medical Attention:
Got severe pain or swelling in the foot and toes as a result of cramps? Seek medical help ASAP if you are unable to walk or put weight on your foot.
Watch out for symptoms related to swelling, redness, numbness, tingling or a burning sensation as well. Immediately consult a doctor if you think that your foot cramps are getting worse in terms of duration, frequency, and intensity.
Hope you liked this blog on how to get rid of foot cramps. Do follow the instructions and advice to bid goodbye to your cramp woes.