Foot cramps are a type of muscle cramps which occurs most often either near the toes, in the arch of the foot, or on the upper part of the foot. Muscle cramps are the involuntary contractions of the muscle, and like other muscle cramps, foot cramps can lead to mild to intense pain, until the muscles get relaxed and the cramp ends.
Foot cramps are a very common occurrence in people and are rarely a matter of concern. But people who get these cramps frequently can definitely speak to their doctor about the possible symptoms. There are also many potential causes of this particular condition, and so if you want to know about what causes foot cramps, then we will discuss everything related to it in this article below.
As you scroll down, you will find out complete details about foot cramps, such as what causes them to happen, how to treat them and much more. So just continue to read below to check out all the info.
What causes foot cramps?
Most of the causes of foot cramps are considered to be temporary and harmless. Even these muscle cramps are easy to prevent and treat. But to know better about what exactly causes these cramps, below are the possible options-
- Low potassium level- Potassium is basically an electrolyte which helps to control the functions that are important for the movement of muscles and their maintenance. And so when the potassium levels go down, a person might start to experience pain and cramps in their feet. And if these levels are frequently low, then they might also have the deficiency of potassium, which is also referred to as hypokalemia.
When the hypokalemia is of low to moderate level, then a person might start to experience-
- Weakness and fatigue
- Heart beating at abnormal rate
Thus, doctors can help by diagnosing it through testing the potassium levels in blood and urine.
- Dehydration- When a person becomes too dehydrated, the body simply lacks the required amount of water which helps the organs and tissues to function properly. And so this can lead to muscle cramping, including the feet. Now, dehydration in body can occur for many reasons, like-
- Not drinking adequate amount of water
And so a lot of people might not even realise that they are drinking enough water. So if to help figure it out whether a person is dehydrated and require treatment or not, check for any of the following symptoms-
- Dry mouth and chills
- Drying out of skin
- Chapped lips and fever
- Craving of sweets
- Concentrated urine, which is darker than usual
- Bad breath and headaches
- Lack of urination
- Over tight shoes- Another reason for what causes foot cramps is this. When a person wears a shoe which is too tight, it can reduce the circulation of blood to the foot. And when the blood no longer circulates the way it should, the muscles in the foot get a cramp. So a few signs that tells a person’s footwear is tight are as follows-
- Shoes which leaves indentation in the feet
- Feet starts to feel numb
- You are not able to wiggle or movie the toe in the shoes
- Feeling of uncomfortable rubbing against the toe or heels
And so by replacing the footwears which are restrictive with the ones that are quite comfortable and well-fitted, people can easily prevent the blood circulation problem and so that of foot cramps.
- Side effects of medications- There are some type of medications which can result in muscle cramping as a side effect, including-
- Statin drugs and diuretics
- Medications for blood pressure
- Asthma and neostigmine medicines
- Medicines for Parkinson and Alzheimer’s disease
- Osteoporosis drugs
However, it is not mandatory that everyone who takes these medications will experience muscle cramps.
What are the best remedies and treatments for foot cramps?
As you read above about what causes foot cramps, let us now find out about the best treatment options for it. So the treatments & remedies totally depend on what exactly causes a person to experience foot cramps.
In most of the cases, people can easily get relief from the cramps with some gentle massages and light stretching. And to treat the different causes of it, below are the ways-
- If the lower level of potassium is causing the muscle cramps, then you can try to take the supplements of it. Another option is by increasing the dietary intake by consuming foods which are rich in potassium, like bananas and potatoes.
- When tight shoes are causing the problem, people can get relief from cramps by changing the footwear. A lot of stores have the foot measuring devices, which helps to find the shoes that fit perfectly fine.
- In case medications are causing foot cramps, a person should make the doctor aware about this side effect. And so the doctor will suggest you a different medication or treatment method to get rid of the cramps.
- As dehydration is also the cause of foot cramps in some cases, most people might be able to treat it by taking enough water or drinks that contain electrolytes in them. And if the person is not able to keep the fluids down, then it might require medical help.
How to prevent foot cramps?
As you know now what causes foot cramps and best treatments for it, you can also prevent it in the first place. And so people can prevent it by using any of the following methods-
- Taking a diet which is rich in essential nutrients, such as potassium.
- Wearing shoes that are well-fitted.
- Changing medications which might be causing muscle cramps under the doctor’s recommendation, if there is any.
- Drinking a lot of water or fluids to keep the body hydrated.
- Exercising regularly within your limits and wearing regular sports shoes while doing it.
Thus, this is complete information on what causes foot cramps, what are the best treatments and remedies for it and how to prevent them. So if you ever experience these cramps, then try out these treatment options and you will feel relieved and much better!