Foot Cramps

The Many Causes of Foot Cramps

Foot cramps can come in many forms and the causes of foot cramps are as diverse as the way or the time a cramp can strike. Foot cramps are painful; coming with little notice in muscular knots anytime of the day or night. Sometimes described as erratic, these spasms come involuntarily anywhere on the foot be it inner arch, upper foot (between foot and ankle) or toes-especially the big one. Often they strike then are gone within fifteen or twenty minutes, but can strike in succession over a day or two.

The immobilizing pain of a foot cramp is caused because of a muscle contraction without the muscle having the necessary time to shorten adequately. There is a higher frequency of foot cramps in those involved is sports or in aging individuals, and take place in the feet most often because they are the primary weight bearing portions of the body. Spasms can and generally do leave the muscle sore after the pain has subsided.

There are a few common causes of foot cramps. The first is simple fatigue occurring when the feet get tired from walking or even standing in one place for long periods of time-especially true on surfaces such as concrete. A lack of essential vitamins (such as D) and/or minerals (such as potassium which can easily disturb the balance of magnesium and calcium, which controls muscle contractions) is another common reason for foot cramps. Poor hydration is also being pegged as a reason. Drinking more water will often help but not as much for those who smoke excessively or regularly drink alcohol as both of these habits delete the body of water.

Though there are simple fixes for common causes of foot cramps due to a sedentary lifestyle which can lead to obesity, muscle weakness and subsequent foot cramps there are other more complex reasons for cramping which may require a visit to see a doctor. Flat feet, for instance can cause foot fatigue leading to foot cramping as well as injury due to repetitive motion (perhaps a sudden increase in the leg, ankle or foot workout), poor circulation, hormonal or electrolyte imbalance, foot conditions such as tendonitis or plantar fasciitis or worn out shoes/boots.

If the causes of foot cramps are due to nutritional deficiencies it can be reversed in no time at all. Once the body starts receiving the correct balance of vitamins/minerals again with a diet adjustment or supplementation you will notice the decrease in foot cramps.
A tired foot can be rested or protected with an ace bandage. If it is a circulation problem wearing different socks, or shoes could greatly improve any cramping. Sometimes just adding a pair of cushioned inserts to the shoes helps minimize the stress placed on the feet thus helping to eliminate frequent cramping.

Diseases such as Parkinson's, Huntington's, or problems with the nervous system, multiple sclerosis, or the more common ailments like diabetes or thyroid problems can cause foot cramps as well as the hormonal displacement of pregnancy, taking birth control pills or post-partum recovery. Chemical changes in the bloodstream of those taking a prescription drug can cause the foot to cramp as well.