Foot cramps are a type of muscle cramp that most often occurs in the arch of the foot, near the toes, or on the top of the foot. People can try a variety of remedies and treatments to relieve foot cramps. Muscle cramps are the involuntary contractions of a muscle. These spasms can occur during daily activities or wake a person in the middle of the night.
Like other muscle cramps, foot cramps can cause mild to severe pain until the muscle relaxes and the cramps end. Gentle massage or stretching exercises can often help the muscle return to a relaxed state.
Foot cramps are common and rarely a cause for concern.
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People who have frequent or chronic foot cramps can talk to their doctor about their symptoms. There are many potential causes of this condition.
Most causes of foot cramps are harmless and temporary. These muscle cramps are often easy to treat and prevent. The following sections list the most likely causes of foot cramps.
Potassium is an electrolyte that helps control functions that are vital for the movement and maintenance of muscles. When potassium levels drop too low, a person can experience cramps in the feet and legs.
If a person’s potassium levels are often low, they may have a potassium deficiency, which doctors call hypokalemia. In cases of moderate to severe hypokalemia, a person may experience:
- Fatigue and weakness
- Abnormal heart beat
A doctor can diagnose hypokalemia by testing the potassium levels in the blood and urine.
People at all fitness levels, from beginners to top athletes, can experience muscle cramps if they push their muscles too far compared to their usual activity levels. According to an article, exercise-related muscle cramps are the condition that most commonly requires medical attention when people participate in sports. If a person exerts himself too hard during training or sports, the overworked muscles can spasm further and cause foot cramps.
When a person becomes dehydrated, his body lacks the necessary amount of water to help tissues and organs function properly. Dehydration can lead to muscle cramps throughout the body, including the feet. Dehydration can occur for a number of different reasons, including:
- Not drinking enough water
- Excessive heating.
Some people may not realize that they are not drinking enough water. If any of the following symptoms occur, a person may be dehydrated and require treatment:
- A cold.
- Dry mouth.
- Craving for sweets.
- Dry Skin.
- Concentrated urine, which will appear darker than usual.
- Chapped lips
- Bad breath.
- Lack of urination.
Very tight shoes
When a person’s shoes are too tight, they can reduce blood circulation to the foot. When the blood is no longer circulating as it should, the muscles of the foot can cramp.
Signs that a person’s shoes are too tight include the following:
- The feet begin to feel numb.
- An inability to move the toes.
- An uncomfortable rub against the heels or toes.
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- Shoes leave indentations in the feet.
By replacing their restrictive footwear with well-fitting shoes, people can prevent circulation problems.