Foot cramps are an irritating, sometimes debilitating, condition. They’re similar to the kind of cramp that athletes endure when a muscle in your foot suddenly tenses and won’t relax. This can last anywhere from seconds to fifteen minutes or more.
It varies, but foot cramp can also cause tenderness which lasts long after the initial strain is gone. This can last up to a day, and in severe cases, even make it difficult to walk. It’s no wonder people want to know how to stop foot cramps.
Table of Contents:
- 1 What Causes Feet to Cramp Up?
- 2 How to Stop Cramping in Feet
- 2.1 Basic Exercise (In Moderation!)
- 2.2 Stretching for Foot Cramp
- 2.3 Consider Alternative Footwear
- 2.4 Change Your Diet
- 2.5 Keep Hydrated
- 2.6 If You’re Pregnant
- 2.7 Foot Cramp Relief Products
- 2.8 Visit a Physiotherapist
- 2.9 Visit a Healthcare Professional
- 2.10 Other Related Articles:
What Causes Feet to Cramp Up?
Let’s take a look at the main reasons for cramping feet:
As you age, your muscles will naturally become weaker. This deterioration makes it far easier for our muscles to work too hard and become over-stressed. As you age, you may, therefore, suffer from cramp if you walk too much or put too much strain on your feet.
A weakening of the muscles is not irreversible. There are many things you could do to build up your foot muscles, whatever your age.
Nerve compression can cause cramp and pain in the foot, and elsewhere. This can be a symptom of diabetes or obesity, which can place excess pressure on the nerves and blood supply around the body. It may also be the result of lower back problems, which again puts a strain on the nervous system. Exercise and effort can exacerbate these effects.
Nerve damage has similar effects. You could sustain nerve damage after an accident, like a slip or a fall. Or, you could have more severe nerve damage from a serious accident, like a car crash. Either way, the point is that the damage and compression stop signals being sent from your brain to the muscles of the affected area.
Lack of Vitamins and Minerals
A lack of minerals can lead to increased frequency of cramps. If you are currently running low on minerals like calcium, potassium or magnesium, then this can cause cramps. This is why isotonic drinks and hypertonic drinks contain high concentrations of salts that provide the body with more of these minerals.
Anything that can exacerbate this lack of minerals will also make the problem worse. So, for example, the body loses both water and minerals through sweat during exercise. You may also be losing out on minerals because of a repetitive diet. Diuretics can also encourage a lack of minerals since they cause you to pass water more frequently. If you take statins, lithium, nifedipine, or penicillamine, these are all diuretics.
A lack of vitamins also makes the problem worse. So, for example, one of the benefits of Vitamin D is that it aids the absorption of calcium and magnesium. Vitamin E affects the circulation which causes cramps (which is a point we’ll get to later). Vitamin B6 is also vital for the general health of nerves and muscles. So, a diet lacking in any of the above vitamins and minerals may make your cramps worse.
As an extension of the section on ‘lack of minerals,’ pregnancy may also cause cramp. Instead of losing minerals and water through exercise or poor diet, a pregnant woman may experience a lack of minerals and salts due to the need to care for her unborn child.
This is why women experience strange cravings during pregnancy: they are the body’s response to minerals, vitamins, and nutrients that her child needs. Pregnant women may, therefore, experience cramps throughout the body, not just in the feet.
Poor Blood Supply
Finally, you may have an inadequate blood supply. There are many reasons why you may have this condition. For example, you could have narrowing of the arteries due to high levels of cholesterol (which also causes high blood pressure). This is an aspect of your general health since high levels of cholesterol are a result of overeating fatty food.
It may also be due to posture. For example, a particular way that you sit which cuts off blood supply to your feet. This is one reason why cramps are so common at night. Your body can shift and turn into awkward positions while you sleep. For example, your feet could be at a strange angle or hanging off the edge of the bed. This can cause an inadequate blood supply.
There are signs of reduced blood supply to the feet. Your feet may turn a light bluish color due to the lack of oxygen (oxygen-rich blood is bright red). You may also feel the same tingling sensation as when a part of your body is numb. If you notice either of these signs, poor circulation is the likely cause of your cramp.
There are many medical conditions which make it more likely to develop a cramp. Pregnancy, in a way, is one of them; most of the others also revolve around hormone imbalances. So, for example, diabetes and obesity are examples. Obesity causes an excess of estrogen in the body. Other thyroid problems can cause cramps, as can the menopause.
Medications can also cause cramps. Diuretics are an excellent example since they cause the body to be more dehydrated. Other examples include statins, which are a drug that lowers cholesterol levels. People who are susceptible to heart attack typically take statins.
How to Stop Cramping in Feet
Whichever of the above causes are affecting you, the key to tackling your foot cramp is to improve your health.
This is because while some people will be able to tell why they get foot cramps. For example, if they are pregnant or over-exercise, then the reason is relatively clear- others will have foot cramps because of a mixture of reasons. The best way to ‘tick all the boxes,’ so to speak, is therefore to improve your health and muscle tone more generally.
That being said, there are also many products that could help you. These will not improve your health or muscle tone. What they will do is tackle cramping at the source. They will help your muscles to relax and loosen when cramping starts, and in some cases can reduce the overall number of cramps you get.
Basic Exercise (In Moderation!)
As we all know, not enough exercise can lead to your muscles becoming weaker and decrease your circulation. If you’re a little too sedentary, then, you should get up and move around more. This is going to increase blood flow and prevent your cramps. Even aside from your cramps, exercise is a good idea. It’s going to increase your overall health dramatically.
What you might not also realize is that too much exercise can put unnecessary strain on your musculoskeletal system, and even cause cramps. This is for a couple of reasons. First, as we discussed above, you will lose vital minerals and water through sweating. If you don’t take care to, it can be difficult to replace what you lose. But over-exercise can also damage muscles in the short term, which again causes cramping.
Your best bet is to exercise in moderation. For those over 50, you won’t need to exercise as much, but it will help if you incorporate some strength training and cardio fitness into your daily routine. This will strengthen the muscles in your feet over time, preventing cramps altogether. Here are some basic exercises for you to consider including in your routine:
This is an excellent choice for treating foot cramp because it directly involves movement in the feet: kicking off from the side of the pool, kicking while swimming and even walking underwater all exercise the feet. This will strengthen the muscles of your feet, as well as boost blood supply around your body (as all exercise does).
The other aspect of swimming is aerobics. Aerobics is a good form of exercise when done ‘on land,’ but become even more strenuous when done in water. That’s because the natural resistance of the water makes it harder for you to move quickly. This makes your body have to work harder. You might, therefore, want to think of both swimming and water aerobics.
You can choose exactly how much of a strain you want to put on your body, and where you want to put it. That’s why it’s such a superb option for people who experience cramp. Yoga poses have been developed literally over hundreds of years to exercise every part of the body, so take a class and talk to your instructor. They can give you advice on exactly which exercises are best for the feet.
Dancing is one of the most fun forms of exercise. You can pick whatever form of dance you like. Older forms like ballroom dancing are still popular, and more exciting dances like the tango are too. You can choose which music you’d like to dance to, as well. Dancing emphasizes foot movement and balance, which makes it an excellent workout for your feet.
This is an excellent way of preventing cramps as well. It dramatically increases the strength of your feet, toes, calves, and thighs. After all, that’s what you’re exercising. Like dancing, it also requires exceptional balance, which further exercises your feet. Jogging is a better exercise for cramps than sprinting, although you should stop short of marathon training. If you already experience cramp, overworking your muscles that much is not good.
The same applies to all exercise. While it’s good to avoid being sedentary and to use under-utilized muscle groups, it doesn’t help to push yourself too hard. Find your limit and don’t try too hard to break it, at least until you have a reasonable amount of core strength and cardio built up.
Stretching for Foot Cramp
One of the best ways to prepare your body for exercise is undoubtedly stretching. You should stretch before and after every workout. But you should also incorporate stretching into your day if you have foot cramps. It can loosen your muscles and prepare them for exercise, but even if you’re not going to exercise, loosening your cramped muscles is an excellent idea.
That being said, don’t start stretching any which way. It might seem simple, but it’s quite complicated to stretch each muscle of the foot. To stretch this muscle rather than that muscle might require an entirely different stretch. Here are just a few that are guaranteed to help relieve sore, stiff and cramped muscles:
Our first recommendation is one that you can use both to prevent cramp and to ease it once it starts. After all, preventing cramp won’t work overnight, no matter how hard you try. So before you make dramatic lifestyle changes, learn to deal with the cramp that you already have.
Rather than randomly stretching, consider the following routine which is proven to work:
- Begin by standing up and placing weight on your cramped foot. This is effective for foot arch cramps, as it uses gravity and weight to pull the muscle outwards instead of inwards, which is what the cramp is doing.
- Alternately put weight on the front, and then the back of your foot. A rocking motion, backward and forwards, will help you to do so.
- If possible, rub your foot as you stretch the muscle. If you cannot reach your foot (and don’t worry, because most people can’t!), then take turns stretching it and massaging it. Be as forceful as possible without causing yourself any pain.
The great thing about this stretch is that you can do it anywhere: at home, at work, or even when you’re out and about.
This exercise is a good idea if you can’t reach your foot to rub, massage or stretch it. It’s easy to do while sat down, which makes it an excellent choice for anyone who isn’t already physically active.
Here’s how you do it:
- Sit down with the affected leg stretched out in front of you. Move it as far away from your body as you can.
- Point your toes directly upwards at the ceiling, again, as far as you possibly can. You should feel a mild stretch in your calf and your foot. Don’t worry if the cramp prevents you from doing so; stretch it as much as you can without hurting yourself.
- Take a towel (or similar) and wrap it around the top of your foot. Make sure to use a non-slippery material, and that you can hold onto it securely.
- Pull the towel gently back towards yourself to stretch the arch/sole of your foot. If you feel any pain, don’t force yourself to continue.
This stretch is best done at home. Keep a towel by your bedside so that if you wake up with a cramp, you can start your stretch as soon as possible.
Our next suggestion is one that works on cramp anywhere in the lower leg and foot. Give it a go if you alternately get a cramp in your leg and foot, or get a cramp in both at the same time.
- Stand in a starting position with your feet on a step. The front half of your feet should be on the step, whereas your heels should be hanging off the edge.
- Gently lower your heels, never going faster than you are comfortable moving so that they go below the level of the step.
- Hold the position for a few seconds.
- Lift your heels back up to the level of the step, and repeat as often as necessary.
As you can imagine (or feel, if you’re giving this exercise a try) this stretches out the muscles of your calf. It also serves to strengthen the arches of your feet, because they have to bear your weight throughout the exercise.
But exercise isn’t the be-all-and-end-all of preventing cramps. There are some other points that you have to think of.
Consider Alternative Footwear
One thing that may be causing poor blood supply in your feet is what you choose to wear. If your shoes are too tight, this can cause cramp over the course of the day. If this is the case, you should consider alternative footwear.
You may first want to start wearing looser, shorter socks. You could choose socks that are less tight or socks that don’t go all the way up past your ankle. This is something you should especially consider if you notice that your socks leave indents/imprints in your skin and that the skin underneath is pale and white. This indicates that your blood supply is being unnecessarily restricted.
That being said, socks are not going to be the sole culprit. Far more likely is that your shoes are cutting off circulation to your feet. This, of course, is going to be the case if your shoes are a size too small for you. You may also find that shoes can cause toe cramping and curling if they are big enough for your ankle and foot, but not your toes. This is especially the case with high heels.
The solution is an easy one: buy some larger sized shoes. It’s far better to have shoes that are one size too big, which you keep just tight enough by tying the laces tightly, than shoes which are a size too small.
Change Your Diet
As we mentioned above, missing out on crucial minerals is a likely cause of your cramping toes and feet.
A poor diet that lacks minerals and nutrients is likely to include the following:
- Plenty of fast food and takeout
- Too much soda/pop/cola
- Excessive alcohol intake
- Too much red meat, especially to the exclusion of other foods
- Too much frozen and ready-prepared food, rather than food made from scratch
A diet rich in nutrients, minerals, and healthy fats will keep your body in better shape. Changing your diet to be more varied and healthy can only be a good thing, and decreasing the number of cramps you suffer from will only be one side effect.
If you want a healthier diet, try to incorporate the following into your daily meal routine:
- More vegetables, especially a variety of vegetables (rather than just heaps and heaps of one or two)
- More fruit, which provides healthy rather than processed sugars, and critical vitamins
- Generally more variety: different meals each day
Drinking plenty of water goes hand in hand with eating a varied, healthy diet. The amount you will need to stay hydrated depends on many factors: your age, gender, your overall health and your level of activity. As a rule, it’s much better to have too much than too little, and most people don’t drink anywhere near enough pure water.
Drinking plenty of fluids helps your muscles to naturally contract and relax, and keeps all of your cells hydrated, which aids normal function. But what you might not know is that many common alternatives to pure water are diuretic- meaning that they cause your body to expel more water in urine than usual. These drinks include soda and alcohol, which are commonly drunk instead of water or juice.
This means that any time you drink soda or alcohol, your body is naturally expelling more water than it takes in. Overall, therefore, you’re doing the opposite of hydrating your body when you drink soda. Not only that, but the phosphoric acid of soda binds to the minerals discussed above, which your body gets rid of as well.
Just drink water. It’s all your body needs, not to mention that you’ll save money, improve your health and have stronger teeth and bones.
If You’re Pregnant
If your foot cramps are the result of your pregnancy, you can use any way you like to prevent them. However, your cramps are a sign that your body is trying to tell you something.
You should, therefore, consider the following solutions before any others:
- Diet. Are you getting enough potassium, calcium, and magnesium? If not, you should seek out more for your sake and the development of your baby.
- Activity. It’s only natural for your feet to be under more strain, considering the extra person you’re carrying around. A warm, relaxing foot bath could help if you have to move around too much.
- Stress. Stress can cause all sorts of strange things to happen, muscle cramps among them. Pregnancy is always going to be stressful, but taking time out can limit how much stress you feel. Doing so is a good idea whether you experience foot cramps or not.
Foot Cramp Relief Products
Of course, these lifestyle changes will help the majority of people. But we understand that not everybody has the time, energy or ability to commit to them. That’s where cramp relief products come in, which is what these next sections are all about.
Use Warming Pads
One of the best ways to relieve cramps is to warm your muscles, which is what stretching and flexing help you to do. If you’d like a shortcut, it’s always possible to use heating pads. These provide continuous heat for any part of your body where you need it. Over time, the heat will help to loosen your muscle, which is why a physiotherapist will use forceful massage to help athletes with cramp.
There are a great variety of warming pads, which have different features. Most have a variable temperature control so that you can stay comfortable. Others are literal pads, whereas others are designed to fit around an area like a sock or a glove. Some are microwavable while others are mains-powered.
Alternatives to warming pads are friction and warm water. You can always rub your foot continually if you can reach, which creates some heat. Or you could have warm foot baths, although that’s a lot more effort than using a warming pad. Warming up your muscles is also a good idea whether or not you currently have a cramp, because it can help prevent them too.
- Pros: They are cheap and easy to use. They’re also great for reducing pain.
- Cons: If your condition is due to underlying health or dietary problem, warming pads are only a ‘band-aid,’ so to speak.
One common home remedy for cramps is quinine. Quinine was initially developed to ward off mosquitos; they don’t like to drink blood with quinine in it, so they leave you alone. It’s also responsible for the flavoring of tonic water. Over the years, you may have heard that quinine is effective for treating cramps. People typically get their quinine from tonic water, but it’s now possible to buy supplements with it in.
Now: some people swear by quinine, whereas others claim it doesn’t work. Studies have yet to prove that it’s effective. But anecdotal evidence suggests that it might. Take a look at some reviews to see if they convince you, and give it a try.
- Pros: You can easily get quinine from tonic water, or if that’s not enough, supplements. Some people swear by it for restless leg syndrome as well as cramps.
- Cons: Excess quinine does have side effects such as a headache and ringing in the ears. You may also find that it doesn’t work.
Creams and Lotions
Next, we have topical creams, lotions, and foams. There’s a cream or lotion for almost anything these days, from fungal infections to skin tags. What you may not know is that there are creams for cramp, and they’re genuinely effective.
The first choice you have is between creams which are homeopathic and those that aren’t. However, they both work in the same way: you apply them to the area that cramps up. You can either do this during a cramp to provide relief or before.
If you apply it day after day, the creams are supposed to have a cumulative effect. This is especially the case for genuine medical creams which contain magnesium, which accrues in the muscle. This helps you to avoid a lack of minerals as discussed above.
Both kinds have good reviews, although the benefit of homeopathic remedies has yet to be proven. What matters most is to look for a cream that seems to work based on reviews and testimonials, and try out one or two kinds for yourself.
- Pros: Creams and lotions work just as well as warming pads. But what sets them apart is that they can address underlying concerns like a lack of minerals. They’re therefore great for relieving and preventing cramps.
- Cons: Homeopathy is still not proven. Even so, if you look at the reviews for these products, they do seem positive.
Ankle Braces and Sleeves
Another product idea you may like to try is to use ankle braces and sleeves. These are of special benefit to anybody who tends to experience foot cramps while walking around. The idea is simple: a relatively stiff brace or sleeve fits around the foot to provide it with extra support while walking. In other words, they help you to walk when walking might otherwise be difficult.
You can choose from a brace or sleeve. One kind fits around the foot, and one kind fits over the shoe. You won’t have to buy a special shoe or other kinds of footwear to use them, though. There are different kinds so that it’s easier for anyone to use them.
You can also use braces while sleeping if you tend to get foot cramp in the night. They keep your foot straight at all times. This might help if your cramps are ‘triggered’ by movement of the foot up, down or to the side. If that’s the case, keeping them still in a brace might help you avoid cramps in the future.
- Pros: Ankle braces work well both during the day and at night.
- Cons: They do nothing to relieve the pain of cramp. It’s best if you combine them with other products.
There are many different foot massager products which can help with cramp. They may not be specially made to combat cramp, but they work all the same. They use common massage techniques like shiatsu, the purpose of which is to increase circulation and relax muscles. Both of these factors can help you to stop cramp in its tracks.
There are foot cramp massage products to meet all budgets, too. Simple products include rollers, which you roll along the ground under your feet. They are covered with bumps or nodules which put pressure on your skin to increase circulation. There are similar products which you can stand on to achieve the same effect.
You may also be interested in more expensive products that have an even more significant effect. Foot baths are a good idea, as warmth can help to relax your muscles. Depending on the amount you’re willing to pay, expensive foot baths have all sorts of exciting features. They can use bubbles to massage your feet, some allow you to use bath salts, and others vibrate.
As mentioned above, shiatsu foot massagers are like foot baths which completely envelope your feet. They use motorized kneaders to rub your feet gently, or hard if you prefer. There are also models that warm your feet at the same time.
- Pros: Foot cramp massagers use both heat and physical movement to relieve the cramp. This makes them a great ‘all-round’ pain reliever.
- Cons: Most foot massage products are more expensive.
To go along with the massage products and foot baths above, Epsom salts are a great product to help relax your muscles and provide you with both magnesium and sulfur. Salts- real salts- contain useful minerals. Table salt can’t compare; it’s almost nothing but sodium chloride. Real, unprocessed salts contain dozens of different minerals that could help your cramps.
Epsom salts are a great example. They contain both magnesium and sulfur, which your body can absorb through the skin, directly applied to the affected area. The idea is to add them to your foot bath (or regular bath) so that your body can absorb them through the water. You can do this 2-3 times per week for maximum efficacy. They’re also great for regular old pain relief after a stressful workout.
Epsom salts are commonly found on Main Street, or online. There are different kinds of salt which you can use, some with more of one mineral or another. Picking one that’s high in magnesium is your best bet for cramps.
- Pros: Magnesium is one of the best curatives for cramp. The warmth of the water and the relative cheap value of Epsom salts, therefore, make them an excellent solution.
- Cons: Running 2-3 foot baths per week may be too much effort for you.
Supplements and Pills
Supplements are an effortless way to overcome your lack of vitamins and minerals. Strictly speaking, it’s best for you if you take them anyway. Of course, they’re not intended as a replacement or a varied diet. But if you don’t have the time to cook fresh food every night, supplements can be a good stop gap.
As you know, supplements can cover for all sorts of deficiencies. Your best bet is going to be a supplement: one that offers both vitamins and minerals. This is because vitamins aid the absorption of critical minerals like magnesium. In other words, your body isn’t wasting any spare minerals by getting rid of it through, for example, urine.
You have to make sure that whichever supplement you pick, it contains plenty of magnesium.
It has plenty of properties that help with cramps, like:
- It loosens the muscles by counteracting excess calcium, which can make cramps worse
- It helps you absorb potassium
- It counters inflammation in the muscles, which can cause cramp after overexertion
- It increases blood flow
All of these factors combined make magnesium a powerful anti-cramp mineral.
- Pros: Supplements are an excellent counter to a lack of minerals…
- Cons: But they won’t help with much else. Even so, supplements are a good idea anyway!
If you get foot cramps while sleeping, especially affecting the toes, YogaToes toe separators are a good idea. You might also know them as toe correctors, toe spreaders, or by some other name. But the mechanism remains the same: they fit between the toes and keep them separated. They’re typically made of plastic or some other firm but comfortable material.
You can purchase separators which sit between your big toe and first toe, which are also known as bunion correctors. Or, you can buy separators that separate every toe. Because of their size and firm material, you can’t typically use them while wearing shoes. They’re best for when you’re sleeping at night.
As you can probably guess, toe separators are best for people with toe spasm lock. That being said, for some people, the problem with toe cramps is that it already separates the toes. For anyone who feels their toes cramping and separating, it would probably be best to avoid using toe separators. While some are exceptionally cheap- only a few dollars- others are more expensive.
- Pros: Toe separators are one of the few products that specifically target cramp in the toes. You could combine them with another product, like an ankle brace, for maximum effect over the whole foot.
- Cons: Some toe separators seem needlessly expensive (upwards of $50). They are made from higher quality materials, however.
If All Else Fails…
Of course, products and lifestyle changes aren’t going to be for everyone. Perhaps you’ve had a bad experience in the past with products like those listed above. Or maybe you don’t have the time to change your entire lifestyle to combat foot cramps. That’s understandable.
If that sounds like you, there are still some options open to you- although not as many. It’s still definitely possible for you to get rid of cramps. Let’s take a look at how.
Visit a Physiotherapist
Treating cramps, strains and pains are what physiotherapists do for a living. It’s no wonder, then, that seeing one might be the one thing that treats your cramps. Physiotherapists utilize massage to treat problem areas directly. There are some that specialize in treating the feet, whereas others treat any part of the body. If you visit one, you could even use it as an excuse for a full-body massage.
Physiotherapists can also recommend certain stretches, exercises, and products that might help you. These are similar to the ones above. The difference is that they can show you exactly how to do them. They can guide you on which stretches are best for you, and tell you if you aren’t doing them right. That’s one of the problems with following guides online: you might think you’re doing them right when you aren’t.
Of course, regular visits to a physiotherapist are more expensive than some of the products listed above. You should check whether your insurance covers physiotherapy. Medicare doesn’t unless your doctor or healthcare team add it to your CDM (chronic disease management) treatment plan. Aside from that option, you may be able to get a rebate. Talk to your healthcare provider for more details.
- Pros: Guidance from a professional on how to treat your cramp will almost certainly help you recover, perhaps fully.
- Cons: If your cramp isn’t so much of a problem, physiotherapy may be too much effort and expense.
Visit a Healthcare Professional
If you’ve tried every product and every stretch, you should visit a healthcare professional. Your doctor will be able to give you advice, in the same way as a physiotherapist could. But crucially, they will be able to advise you on a wider range of issues than those that relate to your musculoskeletal system.
Take the list of foot cramp causes above. They relate to diet, weight, health issues like diabetes and poor circulation. Your physician will be able to advise you on these issues and more. This is something you may very well need: if you have a severe undiagnosed condition, cramp could be a sign of something worse. If that’s the case, it would be best to talk to your physician sooner rather than later.
Again, your physician may also be able to recommend exercises and pain relief products. They will also be able to prescribe you stronger medication if they can’t do anything about your cramps. At the very least, your cramps wouldn’t bother you as much.
- Pros: Whether you need pain relief or assistance with a wider problem, your physician can help.
- Cons: Again, visiting your physician could leave you out of pocket.
What Should I Do Now?
Before you try anything, you should consider whether it’s likely that you have an underlying condition. If you do- be it diabetes, obesity or something else- it would be best for you to talk to your healthcare provider before trying any of these fixes.
If you’re in good health already, your first step should be to try stretches and exercises. These are free for you to do, so you can try them and not waste a cent. If these don’t work, you should consider which pain relief product suits you. Would you like a shiatsu massage, or does that seem a little too expensive? Choose which one (or which ones) you’d like from the list above.
If the worst comes to the worst and nothing else works, you should consider pain relief medication. You can either find analgesic creams online or head to your doctor. Either way, you have plenty of options and ways to get rid of your foot cramp.