We tend to ignore our feet until they demand our urgent attention. Pain, discomfort, and cramping in the feet and toes can feel unbearable. Perhaps you get foot cramps while sleeping, after exercise, or simply when you’re sitting in your favorite chair?
If so, you already know how hard it is to do the simplest tasks. Even walking a short distance can become painful, but it’s hard to appreciate until it happens to you.
Many different factors can cause cramping and discomfort. Sometimes it has to do with lifestyle, and other times it could be related to another health condition. No matter the cause, it’s important to find a source of relief.
From over-the-counter products to foot circulation machines that can soothe pain, you no longer have to live with cramping feet and toes.
Let’s first take a look at some of the common causes of cramping. We’ll then discuss the different sources of relief that work.
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What Causes Foot and Toe Cramps?
The cramps you experience in your feet and toes can be mild, sometimes. Other times they can be so painful, they wake you up in the middle of the night. Most of the time, the culprit behind cramping can be easily found.
The first thing to look at is other possible signs from your body that something is going on. Some of the most common reasons for toe cramps are dehydration and lack of proper minerals/nutrition.
Cramps can also be caused by overexertion. If you go for a long run or walk, and find your feet and toes are in pain afterward, they could be telling you they need a break, or you’ve strained them too much. Some other common causes include:
- Improper fitting shoes
- Calcium deficiency (mostly in pregnant women)
- Poor circulation
- Nerves not working properly
Once you know some of the most causes, it’s easy to figure out which of them might be causing your discomfort. Sometimes, finding relief is as simple as reversing what caused the problem in the first place. On top of that, there are some effective relief options to consider.
How to Stop Foot Cramps Immediately
Give Your Feet a Massage
Fatigue and overexertion can cause your feet to cramp up quickly. If you feel cramped elsewhere on the body, you might turn to a massage to work out tense muscles. Your feet and toes are no different. Sometimes, a simple massage can ease away the cramped muscles in your feet.
You can either give yourself a massage by rubbing your feet or try a vibrating foot massager. If you’re prone to foot cramps, an electric vibrating massager or circulation booster can provide consistent relief, and you can use it as often as you’d like.
Apply a Heated Pad
Sometimes, a heating pad can work for overworked feet. The warmth can help to relax your muscles, especially if cramps are a result of overexertion (after a long workout, etc.). You can also start using a home foot spa machine. Adding things like Epsom salts and essential oils to a spa machine can not only give your feet heated relief but can help to relax and exfoliate them at the same time.
Apple Cider Vinegar
It is known as a cure-all for a lot of different conditions. When it comes to foot cramps, it’s useful because it contains acetic acid. That helps the body to produce a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. The amount of acetylcholine in your system directly affects how well your muscles work and can keep them from cramping up.
Apple cider vinegar can be difficult for some people to drink on its own. You can try mixing it with a bit of honey or diluting it with water. Pickle juice or even mustard also contains acetic acid. You can drink a bit during a cramp, and you should notice its effects lessening the pain and discomfort.
Simple Ways to Prevent Cramping in the Feet & Toes
There’s no way to prevent cramping anywhere in the body 100%. However, if you find that you’re prone to foot cramps, there are a few things you can do to lessen their frequency.
- Wear the right shoes. The cramps you’re feeling could be something as simple as your shoes being too tight. This is a common problem for runners and athletes if they’re not wearing the right shoes.
- Drink more water. Be aware of what you’re putting into your body and how it might affect your muscles. Cramps are often the result of dehydration, or a lack of certain vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes. Be sure to stay hydrated, even if you’re not extremely physically active. Your body may need more water intake than you realize. Eight glasses of water (eight ounces each) is ideal for your daily intake.
- Eat a banana each day. Cramps can be caused by electrolytes going off balance, or a lack of potassium. Bananas help with both, and they can also help to combat against too much sodium in the system. You can eat a banana during cramping to lessen the pain. Or, you can include them as a part of your daily diet to help prevent pain from suddenly shooting throughout your feet and toes.
- Stretch more often. Stretching out your feet with toe raises and curls will strengthen and oxygenate the muscles.
How to Get Fast Relief from Foot and Toe Cramps at Home
As you can see, many of the causes of cramping have to do with lifestyle. By making a few simple changes, or adding/taking things away from your daily habits, you can work toward eliminating foot cramps regularly.
If you do need to find relief from foot and toe cramps frequently, make those lifestyle changes, and consider using a foot spa system, or an electric vibrating foot massager. They offer the convenience and comfort of heat and focus on the pressure points of your feet. You can also use them as often as needed, making them great solutions for people who are prone to cramping.