How to Get Rid of Foot Cramps
Foot cramps are caused due to the involuntary contraction of the muscles in the foot. Foot cramps can result in intense pain and inability to move the foot. The following are the reasons for foot cramps:
- Overuse of the foot
- Poor circulation
- Holding the foot in a position for a long time
- Lack of minerals in the body such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium etc
How to Get Rid of Foot Cramps:
Here are a some ways to get rid of foot cramps:
- Drink adequate water every day: One of the primary cause of foot cramp is dehydration. Drinking enough water helps muscles contract and relax
- Stretch and massage: Stretch your affected area in the opposite direction of the foot cramp. Now massage the cramped muscle with oil for about 5 to 10 minutes
- Warm and cold packs: For treating painful and tender muscles, apply a heating pad or a warm towel. For treating tense muscles due to activity, apply a cold pack to relax the muscles
- Stretch before and after activity: Stretching exercises are necessary before and after you exercise or take up heavy activity. Also remember to warm up before exercising and cool down after exercising to prevent foot cramps
- Diet: Eat a diet which has enough minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium which are important for the proper functioning of muscles
In some cases, conditions such as hypoglycemia, diabetes, anemia, thyroid disorder, nerve disorder can result in foot cramps. If foot cramps do not go away by home measures, it is recommended that you consult a doctor for the proper treatment of foot cramps.
Tips to Prevent Foot Cramps: Some of the tips which can be followed to prevent foot cramps are:
- Stretch your feet as much as you can. This will relax all the muscles right from the feet to the calves and hence prevent foot cramping
- Massage your feet with lavender, peppermint or chamomile oil regularly in a circular motion. This will provide relaxation to the tensed muscles thus reducing pain
- Give your body a hot water or a steam bath, this will also relax the tensed muscles and provide relaxation.
- While sleeping at night, make sure that you sleep in a relaxed position so that the circulation of blood is not hindered in the body while you sleep
- Intake of milk before sleeping will help in compensating the deficiency of calcium at night which could be a cause of foot cramping at night
Potassium and Foot Cramps
Potassium is an electrolyte and a mineral which is of utmost importance for the human body. The presence of potassium in a very small quantity in the body can result in a condition called as hypokalemia, which could result in several medical problems. High blood pressure and extreme cramping is one of them.
In order to avoid foot cramping which is caused due to low content of potassium in the body, it is advisable to take in potassium-rich food regularly or intake of some potassium supplement to maintain the proper levels of potassium in the body.
The natural food products which carry potassium in sufficient amount are cantaloupe, dairy foods, bananas, prunes, red meat, citrus fruits, chicken and some fishes like flounder and salmon carry potassium in sufficient amount. Apart from these, almost all the vegetables and legumes carry potassium in some amount. Salt is one of the greatest source of potassium. The more salt you will consume, more will be the amount of potassium you will get in your diet as well.