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By Crofton Podiatry
May 23, 2018
Category: Foot Pain
Tags: Diabetes   shoes   stretch   orthotic inserts  

When a foot cramp strikes, it can certainly cause a lot of pain. The pain can come about suddenly and last for a while, depending on how you treat it when it happens.

Why it happens is another story. The specific cause of foot cramps is not known, but there seem to be some factors that trigger the cramping:

  • Dehydration or electrolyte imbalance - The muscles in your body need water to function and rehabilitate properly. Specific minerals and salts are required to send the correct nerve impulses that control your muscles.
  • Overworking your foot muscles - Standing, walking, and/or working your feet for long periods of time can cause muscle fatigue and sudden cramping.
  • Shoes that are not supportive - When your shoes are not supportive, it can cause your feet to overly strain. This can overwork the muscles, ligaments, and tendons. 
  • Poor circulation - Those with diseases that cause poor circulation, like diabetes, can lead to cramps because necessary nutrients are not getting to the foot muscles.

So what do you do when your foot cramps?

  • While it seems counterintuitive, stand and put weight on your cramping foot to stretch it.
  • If you are sitting, flex your foot and pull your toes toward you to stretch out the muscles and tendons along the bottom of the feet. If you can’t reach your toes, use a towel or strap to keep your feet flexed until the cramping goes away.
  • Gently massage the foot while it is flexed to help the cramp to relax.
  • If the pain is severe initially, you can apply ice to find relief. However, if the cramp continues, use heat to relax the cramping feet.

The best defense against foot cramps is prevention! Try some or all of the following to reduce your chances of experiencing painful foot cramps:

  • Stay hydrated and eat plenty of nutritious foods. If you seem to experience cramps after overexertion from working out, try drinks with electrolytes to help.
  • Remember to stretch before and after workouts or long walks.
  • Treat any diseases or conditions that might be causing the cramping as a side effect. Some medications can also cause cramping as a side effect, so it’s best to speak to your physician if you think this is the case.
  • Wear shoes that are supportive, especially if you stand or walk a lot during the day.

If you need orthotic inserts or custom orthoses to help you prevent foot strain, we can help you. To get an assessment for your chronic foot cramps, make an appointment at our Crofton, MD office to see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll. At Crofton Podiatry, we will use the latest treatment options to take care of your foot and ankle care needs. Our team is ready to assist you at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD areas.

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2411 Crofton Lane, Suite 25
Crofton, MD 21114

Podiatrist - Crofton, Crofton Podiatry, 2411 Crofton Lane, Suite 25, Crofton MD, 21114 (410) 721-4505