Nighttime Foot Cramps? Causes And Cures A foot cramp can strike out of nowhere, waking you from a sound sleep.

Nighttime Foot Cramps? Causes And Cures A foot cramp can strike out of nowhere, waking you from a sound sleep.

Nighttime Foot Cramps? Causes And Cures

A foot cramp can strike out of nowhere, waking you from a sound sleep.

Nighttime foot cramps are closely related to nocturnal leg cramps, so you may also feel these sensations in your calves or thighs.

Whatever the case, foot cramps at night are more common in people over the age of 50 and in women who are pregnant.

The good news is that these cramps aren’t usually a reason for concern. While they can be associated with certain medical conditions, like diabetes or hypothyroidism, stretches and lifestyle changes may help ease them fast or help them go away entirely.

Causes of nighttime foot cramps

There are a variety of causes for cramping. Spasms may happen just once in the night or result in repeat episodes that lead to insomnia and lingering pain.

Inactivity

Sitting for long periods of time or otherwise being inactive may make the muscles in your feet more apt to cramp.

Sitting with poor posture may also inhibit blood flow to your feet or lead to nerve compression — two risk factors for developing cramps.

Even your sleep position may be a factor in circulation and nerve issues. So, you may want to examine how you sleep to see if it might be contributing to nighttime cramping.

Overexertion of the muscles

On the other end of the spectrum, working the muscles in your feet too hard may make them vulnerable to cramping.

The muscle fibers in your feet continually contract and expand to allow movement. If you do too much of an activity too long it causes fatigue which allows waste products to build up throughout the day, and can produce cramping and spasms at night.

Improper footwear or hard surfaces

Wearing poorly fitted shoes or shoes without enough support throughout the day may tax foot muscles as well. Not only that, but standing or working on concrete floors or other hard surfaces can have a similar effect.

The foot muscles work extra hard to support the weight of your body. Improper footwear may also impair the foot’s circulation, cutting off blood and oxygen and producing painful spasms even when you’re off your feet.

Dehydration

Maybe you’re not drinking enough water or you have a bout of diarrhea or other illness that dehydrates you. Even exercising in hot weather can dehydrate you quickly, draining your body of precious fluids, salts, and minerals, like potassium, magnesium, and calcium.

You continue sweating and losing fluids while you sleep. This why your foot cramps may arise in the overnight hours.

Nutrient deficiency

Deficiencies in vitamins B-12, thiamin, folate, and other B vitamins may lead to nerve damage.

Magnesium and potassium deficiencies may lead to leg and foot cramps.

If you suspect you may have a nutritional deficiency, contact your doctor. A simple blood test can reveal your levels and indicate to your doctor if any supplementation or other treatment for underlying conditions is necessary.

Note that taking too many supplements may actually cause more harm than good.

Excessive alcohol use

Drinking too much alcohol may lead to nerve damage and a condition known as alcoholic neuropathy. Symptoms include anything from muscle cramping and weakness to numbness and tingling in the arms or legs.

Pregnancy

Women who are pregnant are more susceptible to leg and foot cramping at night, particularly in the second and third trimesters.

Health issues and medications

Medical conditions associated with nighttime foot cramping include:

Certain medications may also make you more susceptible to cramping. These include:

Treatment for nighttime foot cramps

There are no specific treatments doctors recommend to treat overnight foot cramping. Instead, it’s best to treat its underlying cause.

Move your body

If you exercise regularly, keep it up! Regular movement may help prevent leg and foot cramps in the day and night.

New to exercise? Speak with your doctor for recommendations on a plan that may work for you. Try brisk walks around your neighborhood (wearing supportive shoes) or other low-impact activities to start.

Some people have even reported a few minutes on an exercise bike or treadmill before bed helps with nocturnal leg and foot cramps.

Stretch and soothe your muscles

Be sure to stretch each day to keep foot muscles loose, especially before and after you get in a sweat session.

What if you’re having a cramp at night? Stretch your foot forcefully to relieve the cramp by flexing your foot and pressing down on your big toe.

Walking around and jiggling your leg may also help with both foot and leg cramps. Deep tissue massage may help in the long term.

Examine your shoes

Wear supportive shoes that are comfortable, especially if you often walk a lot on hard surfaces. Your shoes have a great affect on how your feet feel and function. Make sure your shoes are not worn out inside and out.

Make sure you get proper width for your feet!

No going up the length ladder to obtain that needed width. The longer you go the more you’ll out your bal width in the narrow part of the shoes .

The ball width need to set inside the ball curvature of the shoe to obtain a correct fit and balance, support to your feet.

Orthotics are a great way to help support your foot arch, and gain comfort for even everyday activities.

Find premium orthotics at www.dtfootwear.com

Stretch and soothe your muscles

Be sure to stretch each day to keep foot muscles loose, especially before and after you get in a sweat session.

What if you’re having a cramp at night? Stretch your foot forcefully to relieve the cramp by flexing your foot and pressing down on your big toe.

Walking around and jiggling your leg may also help with both foot and leg cramps. Taking a warm bath or shower or using ice may ease any lingering pain. Deep tissue massage may help in the long term.

Drink more water

Keeping your muscles hydrated can help prevent cramping.

A good rule of thumb is that your urine should be light yellow to clear. If it’s darker than that, consider drinking another glass of water.

Pregnant or breastfeeding women may need as many as 13 cups of fluid per day to meet their hydration needs.

Eat well and supplement

Eat a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of calcium, potassium, and magnesium. If you have a diagnosed deficiency, address it with your doctor’s supervision.

The Mayo Clinic says there’s some research to support magnesium supplementation as a means to help with cramping. Ask your doctor about dosage and brand suggestions. Supplements are available in your local grocery store, health food store, or online.

Foods rich in magnesium include:

  • whole grains
  • beans
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • unsweetened dried fruits

Lower your alcohol intake

Limit alcoholic beverages, like beer, wine, and mixed drinks, since these can dehydrate you.

In pregnancy

Let your doctor know if you’re experiencing nighttime foot cramping during pregnancy.

Stretch your foot when a cramp strikes and elevate your legs to keep cramps at bay. Staying active, getting a massage, and taking a warm (not hot) shower or bath may also help.

Conclusion

Foot cramps tend to go away on their own with home treatment, like stretching, or lifestyle changes, like drinking more water.

Call your doctor if your cramps are causing particularly severe discomfort or if you notice any swelling, redness, or other changes to the foot or surrounding structures.

View source at https://www.healthline.com/health/foot-cramps-at-night#treatment.

Thank you,
Ron Heinlein | President/Founder | Cell # 909-215-1622 | heinleinron@yahoo.com
DTFootwear.com Designer Therapeutic Footwear Co.
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