Do you often find your foot is in pain with cramp? For some, it’s a normal occurrence if they’ve been on their feet all day. Others will find the way up in the middle of the night in excruciating pain. The pain can suddenly shoot up the whole foot and leg, leaving you unable to move until it subsides. Even then, you can be left with the niggling reminder that there was a pain in the muscle. Almost as if you’ve been left with a scar.
It’s time to alleviate foot cramps and stop them affecting you. This could be easier than you think. In some cases, you don’t need to completely change your lifestyle or diet. You just need to add a few daily things in and you’ll find your muscles relax and avoid pain.
These seven methods have all be proven to alleviate foot cramps. You can use some them during the pain and others when you think your muscles are relaxed. Not only do you stop the pain when you feel it, but you prevent cramps occurring on your feet.
Start Using a Foot Roller Daily
Remedies don’t have to involve medications if you don’t want. Most of the best cramp remedies are natural. They’ve been developed through Easter practices and proven to be far more effective than taking medication, if you’re an average healthy adult.
Foot rollers are considered one of the best remedies to alleviate foot cramps. This shouldn’t be that surprising since massages are effective for getting rid of all types of cramps. The foot rollers will help you get into all the muscles in your feet quickly and effectively. It’s more than just a simple massage, too. It uses reflex therapy to help relax all the muscles in the foot.
Use the roller daily, especially if you tend to be on your feet a lot. The daily use will not just help to relax the muscles while you suffer cramps but keep the muscles relaxed to prevent cramps from coming back!
There are two types of foot rollers, and both have proven to offer excellent alleviation effects. The first is a physical roller. It has a few bumps that will get into the muscles. You just place your foot on the roller and roll yourself backward and forwards. Concentrate on getting the bumps into all the muscles, including those in the toes and heels. This is a great roller for traveling, as this is a time that you’ll get more cramps due to being confined and a poorer diet.
The second option is larger and more like a block. It may remind you of many Chinese homeopathic remedies. The block has grooves and sections to help work each of the muscles in your foot. You can easily use it in front of the TV and even work on both feet at the same time!
Either method is cost effective and good for the feet. Just 10 minutes a day is a good start, but you can benefit greatly from 20 minutes per foot daily.
Stretch Your Legs and Feet Regularly
Cramps often occur when we allow our muscles to contract into a small space. While people on their feet all day can feel some pain, those who sit down a lot will experience more excruciating foot cramps. You need to reduce the amount of time your legs and feet are exposed to small spaces.
While you can’t change your job (and you may not want to), you can do a few simple exercises to reduce the risk of foot cramps. Studies show that regular stretches will help to alleviate foot cramps. These stretches can be done anywhere, whether at your desk while watching TV, or even in your bed.
Make sure you’re sitting comfortably when carrying out the stretches. Use a towel or yoga sling to place around the arch of your foot and then hold onto both ends. Pull the towel or sling towards you, keeping your toes pointed towards the ceiling. You can then lift your leg slightly from the ground and held in place for a few seconds. Repeat these three times on each foot.
Try to do the stretching exercises twice a day. Doing them when you wake up and before you go to bed will help avoid the pain waking you in the middle of the night and get the blood flowing into the feet first thing on a morning. You’ll also boost the muscle strength within the ankles and feet, so you have more stability during the day!
Boost the Blood Flow to the Feet
Sometimes cramping is a sign that your blood flow is poor. When the blood doesn’t reach the feet properly, your feet can be left swollen and stiff. It’s not surprising that the muscles seize and cramp up. You need to improve the blood flow to the bottom of your legs and feet.
One of the biggest issues is being seated all day. While your feet ache when you stand, you’re getting the blood and oxygen flowing through the body. When you sit down for too long, the blood pools in the legs and starts to encourage water retention. So, moving more is one of the best ways to boost the amount of blood flowing through your body.
If you have a desk job, make sure you stand for five minutes every hour. Doing a few desk workouts or walking around the office can help to further boost the flow. It’s also worth getting out on your breaks and walking around for a while. You’ll not just alleviate foot cramps, but you can also reduce weight gain and improve overall health.
When you do have to sit down for long periods of time (some bosses just aren’t reasonable when it comes to self-care) then opt for stretching your legs under your desk. Every now and then pick them off the floor and stretch them in front of you. This is something you can do without anyone noticing at all!
If you have poor overall circulation, it’s something you’ll want to talk to your doctor about. Poor circulation isn’t just due to lack of exercise or long periods of being seated. It can be a sign of poor nutrition, age, and poor overall health.
Get the Right Type of Footwear
The shoes you wear will also affect the foot cramps you experience. Studies have shown that ill-fitting shoes lead to more blisters and foot problems. It’s time to make sure your shoes are just right.
While there is a focus on women wearing heels, they are not good for your feet. Any employer who demands that their female workers wear heels is being unreasonable and it’s worth arguing about your health on the matter. High heels do more than just hurt the balls of your feet. They restrict the blood flow and change your center of gravity. They’re also to blame for poor posture and hip and back aches.
Ditch your heels and opt for flatter shoes. A small kitten heel can be beneficial to avoid overstretching your Achilles tendon, especially if you’re used to wearing heels.
But it’s certainly not just about the heels. You need to make sure the footwear fits your feet properly. Poor fitting shoes, whether too small or too big, will lead to health problems. Your feet become restricted in tight shoes, leading to poor blood flow. Meanwhile wearing shoes that are too big make you work the muscles throughout the day to keep them on your feet.
Watch out for shoes that restrict your toes. Getting points at the front of your heel can look good, but you’re forcing your toes inwards at the tips. This restricts the blood flow and can lead to cramping and discomfort during and after wearing.
You can also be at risk of other feet problems, including bunions, blisters, and badly shaped toes. It’s not worth the damage for the sake of fashion. There are some beautiful shoes with low heels that fit your feet well.
Improve Your Diet
While you don’t really want to hear that your diet is the cause of your cramps, it certainly can be. This doesn’t mean you need to do a full overhaul of your meal plan. It just means you need to focus on a few nutrients to make sure you support your whole body.
Cramping is linked to a lack of sodium, potassium, magnesium, and other electrolytes in the body. The electrolytes help to keep your vital functions normal, including your heart rate and the contraction of muscles. When your body doesn’t have enough, the muscles will contract more than they should and start to spasm. This can lead to restless leg and cramp in the lower limbs. You can also increase the pain in joints and tendons. Foot cramps are especially common in those with a poor diet.
Don’t reach for the energy drinks and supplements. You want to get the nutrients in their natural forms. This will help to improve the amount you get to your organs and limbs while helping to reduce negative side effects of the supplements. Too many supplements and drinks have a lot of added sugar, counteracting the nutrients you’re putting into your body.
You can get all the electrolytes you need from your diet. Stock up on sweet potatoes, bananas, dark leafy greens, and bell peppers. You can also get some sodium through naturally salted foods, such as anchovies. Avoid the table salt daily, as there are other additives. However, it can be good as a temporary quick fix if you know your sodium levels are low.
Avoid processed foods for the sodium. While they do have a mineral you need, they are full of other additives that are bad for the body. The best way to get your nutrients is naturally.
Add More Water to Your Diet
Dehydration can be a major cause of muscle cramps. While your body needs electrolytes, it also needs water. When the muscles don’t get water, they will contract and spasm. You end up with cramping throughout your body, but especially in your feet since the blood circulation is also affected.
Experts recommend that you drink at least eight glasses of water a day for good hydration. If you do a lot of exercises or live in a hot climate, you will want to add more water to your diet. However, it’s worth pointing out that water doesn’t just come from plain water out of your tap!
You can get liquids from other sources. Smoothies, milk, tea, and coffee can all be good sources. You can also get some of the liquid through your cooking, especially if you boil or steam a lot of your ingredients. If you roast and bake you will remove the water content, so it’s worth being aware of that.
While exercise is important, it is possible to exercise too much. You can end up dehydrating your body further and there are high chances that you won’t replenish it. Also, watch out for swimming. Many people don’t think about the sweating they do in the pool because they don’t feel it. Just because you’re surrounded by water doesn’t mean you don’t sweat! Have a capped water bottle with you to top up your liquids when swimming.
Get Your Medical Problems Checked
Muscles cramps can occur due to other medical problems. Having liver disease, heart disease, or diabetes can lead to poor circulation around the body. While the above tips will help to reduce your foot cramps, you do need to make sure your doctor diagnoses your condition properly. It’s essential that you get help to treat the problem, so you can alleviate the symptoms.
Those with diabetes can find they get peripheral neuropathy. This condition causes the nerves in the toes and fingers to become damaged, so you can’t get the right feelings. You can experience more pain than you’re in and the muscles cramp because the nerves aren’t working properly.
Liver and heart disease can lead to a buildup of toxins in the body. When you don’t get rid of the toxins, your muscles start to spasm.
Some medications can also cause dehydration and other health problems. Talk to your doctor if you start experiencing muscle cramps after starting medication. This will help to alleviate the symptoms and side effects.
Take Steps to Alleviate Foot Cramps Today
You may be surprised to hear that most steps to alleviate foot cramps don’t require a huge overhaul of your lifestyle. There’s no need to change your diet just yet, as you may get enough electrolytes. It could be other problems that are causing your muscles to spasm and cramp.
Some of the best things to do involve improving your blood flow and massage the muscles. These are things that you can do in front of your TV or behind your desk at work. Experts have found that people who care for their feet don’t suffer as many foot cramps and you can get rid of the pain quickly when you do get them!