We have all been gently slipping away into blissful sleep when suddenly we are hit with the worst pain in our calf or foot. It is obvious we are experiencing a cramp, and we jump out of bed with a yell, potentially waking up and scaring our spouse. We all go into the natural stance of putting all of our weight on the leg with the cramp, and eventually attempt to fall back asleep. Just what are foot cramps and what causes them? This blog is going to explain these two, as well as what all you can do when a cramp starts and how to treat and prevent them from happening in the future.
What Are Foot Cramps?
When your muscles stiffen, become painful, and immobilize you, you have foot cramps. Everyone experiences foot cramps and the most common muscle cramp for people to experience, making it more common than back or thigh cramps. The main reason for this is because our feet take on our entire weight, which can be exhausting if we spend quite a bit of time on our feet. When you get foot cramps, you, usually, get them in your arch and along your toes. You will feel a sharp, sudden pain, and you will notice that you often react almost as soon as the cramp starts. They happen suddenly and can disappear after a few short minutes, though some can last much longer.
What Causes Them?
Some of the causes are simple, but there are other causes that could mean that foot cramps are a symptom of an underlying condition. If you get frequent foot cramps, it is wise to contact your doctor to find out if there are any tests that you should get to make sure the cramps are not a sign of something more serious. A few things that can cause foot cramps are:
- Not stretching at all or not stretching adequately before working out.
- Muscle fatigue.
- Poor circulation.
- Nerve problems.
- Calcium deficiency, especially for pregnant women.
- Wearing improperly fitting shoes or socks.
You will also notice that you get more foot cramps if you are taking certain medications. You can look at the side effects of any drugs you are taking to see if cramps are a side effect or call your doctor or pharmacist to find out more information about medicine and side effects.
What Can You Do When You Have A Cramp?
The obvious thing you can do when you have foot cramps is to stand on the problem foot, placing all of your weight on it. This will help stretch out your foot, as well as ending the cramp. Sometimes you only have to stand on your foot for a few seconds, other times you will need to stand on it for several minutes. Once you have done this, you can take a few other steps:
- Take off shoes and socks if they are causing problems with the cramp.
- Massage foot and leg until the cramping stops or to ease the pain.
- Do some simple toe stretches if you still have pain.
- Use heat on your foot once the cramp has stopped to help relax your muscles further.
How Can You Treat Them And Prevent Them?
Once the cramp is over, the one thing you will want to know is just how to stop this from ever happening again. While there is not anything that will put a complete stop to future cramps, you can still lessen the chances of one. A few things to do are:
- Find better fitting shoes such as orthotic shoes. These can help your foot not cramp by giving you the support your feet need.
- Always make sure you are drinking plenty of water to avoid foot cramps.
- Wear compression socks if you have poor circulation.
- Eat vitamin rich foods and take supplements to make up for any deficiencies.
- Always stretch adequately before you exercise.
- See your doctor to make sure foot cramps are not a symptom of a larger problem.
If you are looking for shoes to help with your foot cramps, then The Orthotic Shop is for you. We provide you with a great selection of orthotic shoes, as well as compression socks. Take a look around our shop and feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding our services!