Also referred to as Charley horses, these foot cramps mostly occur at night, waking you from your sleep. Severe foot cramps during the night can even conduce to pain in the foot. This sudden severe pain in your foot can blow the wind off your sails and leave you writhing in pain all night.
These cramps are not dangerous or serious in any way. But, what causes these Charley horses? Overuse of the foot, too much exercise or holding the foot in a particular position can conduce to foot cramps.
A deficiency of minerals such as potassium, calcium or sodium can also result in cramps. Then again dehydration, improper footwear and poor circulation triggers foot cramps. Let's find out the different factors conducing to leg cramps and how to get rid of them!
How to Get Rid of Foot Cramps Fast
Flex and Stretching
If you've been awakened from your sound sleep by a searing pain in your foot, due to foot cramp attack, get out of bed and stand up. Try and stretch the cramping calf muscles forward and backward. Flexing and stretching one's feet loosens the joints and reduces the stiffness in them, which causes cramps.
When the cramping is severe and there is searing pain in one's leg, a hot compress salvages the situation. Apply a warm towel or heating pad on the aching foot and allow the warmth from the compress to relax the foot muscles and alleviate the pain. This is an effective feet cramps treatment.
Stand on Your Tiptoes
When a foot cramp attacks you, try standing on your tiptoes. This is one of the effective and easy ways of getting rid of cramps fast. Standing and trying to keep your feet flat on the ground is one effective way of how to get rid of leg cramps.
Wrap an ice pack in a towel and place it on the cramping foot. The low temperature will alleviate cramping and pain. After some time, take off the ice pack and place it back again after a few minutes.
How to Prevent Foot Cramps
Consuming calcium rich foods along with calcium supplements is important to prevent foot cramps. One should also take magnesium supplements because depleted magnesium levels can also result in cramping.
Drink Lots of Water
Dehydration conduces to foot cramps, thus, one should consume plenty of fluids. People who spend too much time exercising or in the sun need to drink extra amounts of fluids on a daily basis, because water plays an important role in contraction of muscles.
Before taking on any kind of heavy exercises, it is important to spend some initial time warming up. Stretching exercises should be done before and after a workout.
Get Right Footwear
Footwear with tight, pointed toe heels can conduce to foot cramps. It's important to wear footwear that provides ample room for your toes to wiggle around.
If your cramping is persistent, then it's important to consult your physician as soon as possible. It is important to find out the underlying causes of foot cramps. Conditions like diabetes, hypertension and fibromyalgia can conduce to foot cramps and need specific treatment. Thus, it's important to consult your health care provider.