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The Lowdown on Foot Cramps

Learn how they’re caused and what to do about them

It’s a fact of life that all of us will inevitably suffer aches, pains, and other ailments. Hopefully they will only be minor, but even the small issues can be irritating. Cramps, for example, may not be serious, but they are still painful and, if you get them often, frustrating. 

Foot cramps are especially annoying, and if you’ve gotten them while working out, walking, or even sleeping, you know this firsthand. So, why do we get them and – more importantly – how can we get rid of them?

The main causes of foot cramps


Dehydration is often one of the main issues when it comes to a variety of health issues, and this includes cramping in any part of the body. It is always a good idea to drink plenty of water, particularly on hot days or when exercising.


A lack of certain minerals like potassium, magnesium, and calcium can lead to more foot cramps. If you’re not getting enough sodium, that can also be a contributing factor. Supplements can be a big help, or you can add more vitamin-rich foods to your diet.

Medication side effects

If you’re getting foot cramps suddenly, it could have to do with the medication you’re taking. Cramping can be a side effect of beta-blockers, diuretics, fibrates, and other medications.

Lack of activity

Consistent exercise can cure a lot of health problems, and you can add foot cramps to that list. With a more active lifestyle, you’ll be much less likely to suffer from them.

Bad shoes

Often when there’s an issue with your feet, it comes down to the shoes you wear. If you frequently wear tight shoes that limit circulation, you’re putting yourself at risk for foot cramps. Your shoes need to be comfortable and provide good arch support.

What to do about foot cramps

There are different things you can do when your feet start cramping up, including:

Massaging your feet

Rubbing the spot on your foot that’s cramping can be helpful. You can also try an acupressure point. On your feet, this is the area between your big toe and second toe. Pressing this spot firmly for a minute can provide relief.

Applying a heating pad

A hot – but not too hot – pad placed on the cramping area can often take away the pain in a matter of minutes.


Getting your blood flowing is a good way to get rid of a cramp, and you can do this by stretching your foot. Extend your leg in front of you, point your toes up, and then straight ahead. Repeat this for a minute or so, and that cramp should disappear.

Drinking tea

Cramping can sometimes be caused by stress, and a cup of chamomile tea can help you relax. You could also try cramp bark tea, which contains the muscle relaxant valeric acid.

While effective, these tactics are only temporary. If you’re constantly getting foot cramps, you need to see a doctor to figure out the root of the problem. Before you take another painful step, make an appointment to see Dr. Nina Coletta. She’ll determine the source of the trouble and come up with the best solution. Call our office at 954-452-4590 or just fill out our online contact form.

Nina L. Coletta, DPM, PA

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