Why are My Feet Cramping?

A foot cramp is a sudden contraction of a muscle in your foot or leg that causes an uncontrolled tightening that feels like it will never release. Foot and leg cramps can be extremely painful and debilitating but they usually subside after several minutes.

You can help avoid cramping by staying properly hydrated through consuming sufficient healthy liquids before, during, and after working out or playing sports. Foot cramps can also be exacerbated by other foot conditions like plantar fasciitis, so be sure to see your podiatrist for the right treatment.

Foot and leg cramping is usually caused by one of the following problems:

  • Nerve compression—It’s possible that nerves in your spine can become pinched from a slipped disc causing pain and discomfort and cramping in the feet and ankles. This is called lumbar stenosis and it can often be alleviated by bending over at the waist to decrease the pressure on the nerve.
  • Vitamin and mineral depletion—If you are not getting enough calcium, magnesium, and potassium in your diet, it can cause problems with the functioning of your muscles, which require these minerals for proper movement. Side effects from medications for treating high blood pressure and other diseases can cause dehydration and vitamin depletion that can lead to muscle cramps in the feet and legs.
  • Blood circulation problems—As your blood flow decreases with age due to artery and vein problems, it causes fluid retention in the extremities and possible cramping in the feet and leg muscles.

If you are experiencing repeated foot cramping or cramping that doesn’t dissipate after a little while, you should see your podiatrist for the proper diagnosis. At Your Next Step, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies, along with years of experience, to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including sports injuries, joint pain, toe deformities, nail fungus, chronic tendon pain, and skin problems. Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen provide high-quality foot and ankle care to patients in the greater Philadelphia area at our offices conveniently located in Ardmore, Paoli, Woodlyn, and Downingtown. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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