A cramp is an involuntary spasm of any muscle, anywhere in the body. With more than 100 muscles, the feet are particularly vulnerable to cramps. The arch, the toes, and the calf are common sites.
Cramps can happen to anyone – men, women, or children – of any age, but people over 80 are at increased risk. Fatigue can lead to cramps. Additionally, because hormones can be a factor in cramps, pregnant women tend to experience cramps, especially in the last trimester.
Most cramps are usually brief but intensely painful. Recovery can take a few days.
Cramps occur at any time of the day or night. They are typically associated with fatigue and hormonal factors. Pregnant women often report experiencing painful cramps, especially during the last trimester. People over 80 are most vulnerable to foot cramps, but anyone is at risk.
You can take steps to reduce your risk of foot cramps:
Drink plenty of water each day. You are more likely to experience cramps when you are dehydrated.
Eat a sensible diet high in minerals, including potassium, which can prevent cramps. You can find potassium in bananas.
Get plenty of rest.
Keep your muscles warm. A bath before bed may help reduce nighttime cramping.
Stretch well before running or engaging in physical activity.
Sometimes, despite your efforts, a cramp may occur. If one does, stand up and walk around the room. Often, just a change in position and a bit of movement is enough to stop a cramp. Warm the area with a heating pad or a soak with some Epsom salts. If there is lingering discomfort, try an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication.
If recurring cramps are a problem, or if you have any concerns about the health and wellness of your feet, ankles, or lower legs, it’s time to see a board-certified podiatrist like James M. McKee, DPM, FACFAS. Your foot doctor will begin with a thorough examination, then arrive at a specific and accurate diagnosis and work with you to create an effective and individualized plan for treatment and ongoing care.
Schedule a convenient visit in Podiatry Group of Annapolis, P.A.’s modern, comfortable office on Solomons Island Road today. Call our friendly staff at 410-224-4448 or click here to get started today.