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How to Get Rid of Foot Cramps

5 March 2018

There's nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night due to a sharp pain in your foot, toe or calf. Whether they happen while you're sound asleep, sitting down or resting on the couch, foot cramps can disrupt what you're doing and quickly ruin your day.

If you're suffering from frequent foot cramps, know that you are not alone, with as many as 60% of adults suffering from cramping. This, however, probably doesn't stop you from wondering what causes these unpleasant episodes and what you can do to stop them.

Painful Foot Areas

What Causes Foot Cramps?

There is a number of possible reasons for why you might be suffering from foot cramps, so it's important you examine your daily routine and consider each of the possible causes for foot cramps. The most common ones include:

Uncomfortable Shoes

As with any kind of foot pain or discomfort, it all begins with comfortable footwear. If you spend a lot of time on your feet, it is especially important to find shoes that offer proper arch support, and are neither too stiff nor too flexible.

Lack of Hydration

Even mild dehydration can cause your muscles to cramp, so if you are experiencing frequent cramps, increasing your water intake might be one of the simplest ways to get rid of the problem. According to NHS Choices, in climates such as the UK's, adults should drink about 1.2 litres (six to eight glasses) of fluid every day to prevent hydration, while in hotter climates the body needs even more than this.

Poor Nutrition

A diet that lacks in minerals such as calcium, magnesium or potassium can have an effect on your overall well-being, including muscle cramps. Moreover, a healthy balance of electrolytes is essential for the contraction and relaxation of muscles, and a diet that is deficient in electrolytes can very well be the cause behind your cramps.

Too Little or Too Much Exercise

A healthy body will rarely cramp, so make sure to include moderate exercise into your daily routine. On the other hand, if you are already hitting the gym every single day, foot cramps might be a way of your body letting you know you are overdoing it. Make sure to stretch and warm up before working out.

Foot Cramp while Exercising

How to Relieve a Foot Cramp

A foot cramp can strike in the middle of activity, as well as when you are resting or sleeping. To alleviate the pain and relax the muscle, try one of the following techniques:

Standing up and putting weight on the cramping foot can be a quick and efficient way to stretch the muscle and get rid of the cramp. If this sounds too painful, try gently stretching the muscle by flexing your foot. Keep it flexed until the pain goes away, then slowly release and massage the affected area.

Giving your foot a gentle massage is probably your most instinctive reaction, and you're absolutely right. Relax and do whatever you feel works best for your body.

Using a warm towel or heating pad to put heat on the cramped muscle can help out with more severe cramps that last even up to ten minutes. Once the pain disappears, hold the pad in place for another ten minutes or so to soothe the muscle.

Getting Rid of Foot Cramps for Good

Getting rid of foot cramps for good is as simple as finding the leading cause for your problem and resolving the issue. If you feel you might not be drinking enough water, increase your daily intake and make sure you stay well hydrated.

Introduce light, full-body stretching into your everyday routine. Daily yoga is a great way to strengthen your muscles, stretch your joints and increase your flexibility. If you are an athlete, try increasing your warm-up time and stretching after particularly strenuous workouts.

Proper Footwear

Most often, though, foot cramping occurs as the result of muscle imbalance, which is caused by wearing shoes with elevated heels and toe springs, which prop up the ends of the toes above the ball of the foot, tightening the surrounding muscles. This is true for both women's and men's modern-day footwear, so the best solution for fighting foot cramps is replacing your uncomfortable shoes with flats that offer proper arch support, allowing your muscles to stretch and contract naturally.

Changing into Comfortable Shoes

We do, however, know how difficult that can sometimes be. Certain occasions often call for a specific pair of stylish shoes, and replacing all of your footwear with sensible alternatives might be downright impossible. Luckily, the right shoe insoles can provide the comfort and support you need to get rid of foot pain and cramps. 

Do you just love your high heels and can't imagine a night out in flats? These Powerstep Slenderfit Fashion Orthotic Insoles provide excellent arch support and extra cushioning. while they are able to fit in most women's fashion shoes and high heels.

Poor arch support can lead to some of the muscles in your feet to overstrain, which can cause pain and cramping. If you feel your favourite pair of shoes might not be offering the support your arches need, these Powerstep Original Full Length Orthotic Insoles can help you out. Their semi-rigid arch support offers superb support and stability, and they are designed to fit in most shoe types.

Metatarsal Pad

Metatarsal pads can easily be inserted into any shoe to help restore the natural shape of a foot after it has been malformed from years of wearing shoes with toes pointing upward. They are a great path to long-term recovery.

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