Foot Cramp: Overview, Causes, and Treatment

Sonali Kapoor

, Health A2Z

Foot cramps are produced by an uneasy, painful jerk of the muscles in your feet. They frequently begin in the arches of the feet, on top of your feet, or around your toes. Random foot cramps usually aren’t a cause for concern, and they go away with light stretching and massage. In this article, we discuss the common causes of foot cramps as well as how to prevent and treat them in a good way.


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What is Foot Cramps?



Foot cramps are a kind of muscle cramp which usually happens most frequently either in the arch of the foot, near the toes, or on the upper part of the foot. Foot cramps are the involuntary contractions of a muscle. These jerks can begin during daily activities or wake a person in the middle of the night.


Like other muscle cramps, foot cramps can cause mild-to-intense pain until the muscle relaxes and the cramping ends. A gentle massage or stretching exercises can often help the muscle return to a relaxed state.


Foot cramps are a common occurrence and rarely a cause of concern. People who have frequent or long term foot cramps can speak to their doctor about their symptoms. There are many possible causes for this condition.




What are the Causes of Foot Cramp?



1. Inactivity


When you are not doing any physical activity then you frequently experience foot cramps.



2. Overexertion


People at all fitness levels, from beginners to top athletes, can experience muscle cramps if they push their muscles too far compared with their usual activity levels.




3. Dehydration


When a person becomes dehydrated, their body lacks the necessary amount of water to help the tissues and organs function correctly. Dehydration can lead to muscle cramping throughout the body, including the feet.




4. Excessive intake of alcohol



Consuming alcohol on excessive amounts makes the higher risk of foot cramps.




What are the Risk Factors of Foot Cramp?



Factors which might increase the risk of muscle cramps include:






Aged people may lose muscle mass so the remaining muscle can get overstressed more easily.






The sportsperson who become fatigued and dehydrated while participating in warm-weather sports frequently develop muscle cramps.






Muscle cramps also are common during pregnancy.




Medical conditions


You might be at higher risk of muscle cramps if you have diabetes, or nerve, liver or thyroid disorders.



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How to Prevent Foot Cramp?



There are a few ways to prevent foot cramp :




Avoid Dehydration


Drink plenty of liquids every day. The amount depends on what you eat, your sex, your level of activity, the weather, your health, your age and the medications you take. Liquid helps your muscles contract and relax and keep muscle cells hydrated and less irritable. Through the activity, replenish fluids at regular intervals, and continue drinking water or other fluids after you’re finished.




Stretch your Muscles


Stretching before and after you use any muscle for an extended period. If you tend to have leg cramps at night, stretch before bedtime. Light exercise, like riding a stationary bicycle for a few minutes before bedtime, also may help prevent cramps while you’re sleeping.





What are the lifestyle and home remedies?



1. Stretch and massage


Smoothly stretch the cramped muscle and gently rub it to help it relax. For a calf cramp, put the weight on your cramped leg and bend the knee slightly. If cannot stand or sit on the floor or in a chair with your affected leg extended.


Try to pull the top of your foot on the affected side toward your head while your leg remains in a straightened position. This will also help to ease a back thigh cramp. For a front thigh cramp, use a chair to steady yourself and try pulling your foot on the affected side up toward your buttock.




2. Apply Heat or Cold


Use a heating pad on tense or tight muscles. Immediately take a warm bath or directing the stream of a hot shower onto the cramped muscle also can help. Massaging the cramped muscle with ice may relieve pain.







In a normal day to day life Foot cramps are really normal to have but in some cases, it can get worse. It usually happens when you stretch your muscles suddenly or not doing any physical activity. In case if you feel that it happens frequently so consult a doctor as earlier as you can.


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