How to Stop Foot Cramps With a Few Lifestyle Changes
Do You Often Get Foot Cramps at Night ?
Foot cramps can happen at any moment, even while you are sleeping or walking. They are common while running or exercising. It starts as a sudden and intense pain, then you feel as if your feet are knotted.
Sometimes cramps can be very painful. To stop foot cramps, follow the suggestions put forward in this article. We guarantee that you will feel much better afterwards.
In general, foot cramps may last from a few minutes to about an hour. However, if the condition is severe, it may continue over the next few days. People above the age of 60 are more prone to foot cramps. If the cramp persists for more than a few hours, it is highly recommended to seek your physician's help.
Causes of Foot Cramps
Foot cramps happen when an involuntary contraction occurs in a muscle. This muscular contraction may happen to just one muscle or a group of muscles located in the foot region.
Although a cramp may occur in any part of the body, feet are highly prone to this condition since they carry the entire weight of the body.
The major factors that lead to foot cramps are:
- Fatigue and obesity
- Exposure to intense cold
- Deficiency of certain minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium
- Lack of vitamins E and D
- Damage to the nerve that transmits the brain signals for contracting and relaxing the muscles
- Diabetes, thyroid, and anaemia
- Improper footwear
- Side effects of certain medications
- Anxiety and poor blood circulation in the lower body parts
7 Ways to Stop Foot Cramps
If treated early, a foot cramp is not a serious issue. It is easy for the muscles to recover from it.
But if you do not seek treatment as soon as possible, you will start experiencing unbearable pain that will be much more difficult to completely recover from.
Sometimes, surgery is the only way to get rid of a bad foot cramp. Hence, consult your physician at the earliest time possible if you get one. Some severe consequences of a foot cramp include:
- Unbearable pain
- Hardening of the muscles, which impairs foot flexibility
- Painful swelling in the feet
Here are the top 7 ways to put a stop to foot cramps!
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There are several ways to treat and cure foot cramps, from home remedies to medical treatments. Let’s discuss them all in detail:
This is the easiest method, and anyone can do it at home.
Just massage the affected area with gentle hand movements. To increase the impact of the massage, use an oil or a soothing balm.
If you're not sure what type of balm to use, ask your doctor to prescribe you one.
Heat expands muscles. As a result, the blood circulation to a particular muscle also increases. This greatly reduces the pain and swelling.
The increased blood circulation dilates the area and helps restore it to its original state.
It is recommended to use a heating pad. For best results, place the heating pad on the affected area for at least 10 minutes. If the pain persists, repeat the process with breaks in between for at least 20 minutes.
Acupressure is another very effective method to relieve cramped muscles. Press gently on the corresponding points for some minutes a few times a day.
Consult an acupressure expert or your doctor to accurately determine the pressure points.
In a nutshell, this is another method to stretch the muscle so that blood circulation increases and the contraction is eventually mitigated. Stretching
Stand straight or sit on a chair, then bend your foot downward as much as you can without straining it too much. Then bend it upward as much as you can.
If you have a cramped muscle, you will not be able to bend your foot too far, but you can try to push your limit slowly and gently.
As mentioned earlier, anxiety and stress may cause foot cramps, so you can drink chamomile tea which aids in muscle relaxation.
You can also purchase cramp bark tea from health food stores. This tea contains valerianic acid, which acts as a muscle relaxant.
Apply ice or a cold pack to your foot at least three times a day for several days to help the area recover from overwork, injury, or poor fitting footwear.
- Always keep a cloth or thin towel between your skin and the cold pack or ice in order to avoid damaging your skin.
- Press the ice or cold pack firmly to the bottom of your foot and heel area.
- Do not apply ice for longer than 15 to 20 minutes at a time, and do not fall asleep with the ice on your skin.
On the Way to Prevent Foot Cramps
There is no doubt that prevention is better than cure. Here are some suggestions that will help you avoid or, at least, reduce the severity and occurrence of foot cramps.
- Stay well-hydrated
- Do daily stretching exercises
- Have a nutritious diet plan that provides the necessary vitamins and minerals
- Avoid drugs and alcohol
- Lose excess weight
- Wear a thick pair of socks that will keep your feet warm
- Wear cushioned and comfortable footwear
- Practice yoga or meditation daily to keep your stress level down
The main takeaway here is that a foot cramp is not a severe disease, and almost everybody encounters it. However, if it keeps happening again and again, then it might become chronic and really painful.
Also, nothing can replace professional help. You can follow home remedies to cure or prevent the condition, but it is always best to consult your healthcare provider. Hopefully, after reading this article, you now know more about how to stop foot cramps.