Preventing and Treating Foot Cramps
Cramps in the feet or anywhere in the body are caused by involuntary spasms of the muscles. They are usually brief, but extremely intense and painful. Recovery can take a few days. In the feet, cramps often occur in the arch, but they can happen in the toes and calf muscles as well.
Cramps occur at any time of the day or night. They are typically associated with fatigue and hormonal factors. Pregnant women often report experiencing painful cramps, especially during the last trimester. People over 80 are most vulnerable to foot cramps, but anyone is at risk.
To prevent foot cramps:
Warm up and stretch before any physical activity.
Eat a diet rich in potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Bananas and low-fat dairy foods are good sources of these minerals.
Stay well hydrated. Drink plenty of water each day.
Keep muscles warm. Try a bath before bed.
If a foot cramp occurs despite your efforts:
Stand up and walk on the affected foot if you can. Sometimes this is enough to stop the cramping.
Use a heating pad on the affected area, or soak it in warm water and Epsom salts.
Try an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication to relieve lingering discomfort.
If recurring cramps are a problem, you should see a board-certified podiatrist like Dr. Eric Kosofsky and Dr. Robert Rutstein to determine the cause of the issue. Your foot doctor will begin with a comprehensive examination of your feet, ankles, and lower legs in order to arrive at a specific and accurate diagnosis, then work with you to create an effective and individualized plan for treatment and ongoing care.