The Most Common Causes Of Foot Cramps

Cramps are painful muscle spasms that can happen from anywhere, from your legs to your jawbone. The muscles tighten up, your mobility is limited, and you feel like something inside the infected body part might burst. These cramps though don’t last very long before the muscle loosens up, and recovering from them can take a few days at a time.

Foot cramps are also one of the many cramps that a person can suffer from. They are most commonly sensed in the arch of the foot, but toe cramps and calf cramps are also not uncommon.

What causes muscles to cramp?

To get a better understanding of how cramps work, we will start with the basics. Every muscle in your body has an accompanying muscle that works in tandem with it. For every agonist muscle, there is an antagonist muscle. The agonist muscle contracts while the antagonist muscle relaxes and these muscles can switch roles depending on your movements, such as the bicep and tricep.

Cramping occurs when either one of these muscles isn’t able to contract or relax as they are supposed to. Foot cramps often come with a major, sharp pain that makes the muscle feel like it is “knotted”. Also, when a muscle is cramped you have very little, if any, control over it.

What happens when my foot cramps?

When cramping happens in the toes, the muscles will tend to curl over one another. Then it happens in the arch, you’ll tend to lose balance, or you may not be able to get out of a chair or your bed if it occurs in either of these settings. Cramping in the foot can happen for a few seconds or even a few minutes. You’ll eventually feel the affected muscle relax again, but you will still feel sore from the cramping for a period of time.

Unfortunately, podiatrists in Houston can’t prescribe medication to treat, cure, or prevent cramping in the muscles, but there are many things that you can find out what might cause foot cramps to better avoid them in the future.

There are actually a number of different things that can contribute to the cause of foot cramps. Here are the most common according to professional podiatrists.

  • Lack of necessary vitamins and minerals.

In order for the body to function as normal, you require a significant balance of vitamins and minerals, and this list is rather lengthy in order to keep your muscles in check.

  • Calcium is needed to help muscle cells transfer nerve impulses so that muscles can relax and contract as normal.
  • Potassium is needed to help suppress the severity of foot cramps, so when they occur, they aren’t as painful as you would expect.
  • Magnesium is needed to help muscles relax. Without it, calcium and sodium are stuck inside the muscle and keep it from relaxing.
  • Vitamin B6 is needed to promote a healthy muscular and nervous system, and supplements the other minerals that prevent and treat cramps.
  • Vitamin D is needed to absorb magnesium and calcium. While you can get vitamin D in various foods, it can also be obtained with exposure in sunlight for at least 15 minutes per day.
  • Vitamin E is needed to promote the circulation of blood and for more red blood cells to be produced. With less oxygen in these muscles, more cramps can occur.
  1. Reduction of circulation

Circulation can be reduced in the feet if you stay in the same position for long periods of time, such as when you are sleeping. This means less oxygen is transferred to the muscles and will cause the foot to cramp.

  1. Medication

Believe it or not, but cramping can also be listed as a side effect in some medications. Diuretics or water pills are the most notable of medications, for they increase production of urine at the expense in losses of calcium and potassium.

  1. Inactivity/Lack of exercise

Without proper exercise, one can experience obesity and weaker muscles overall, both cases that increase the likelihood of cramps. For proper daily exercise, set up a daily regimen that lasts at least 30 minutes a day.

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