Painful muscle cramps are usually caused by dehydration, so be sure to drink plenty of healthy fluids whenever you are doing vigorous work or exercise to help avoid them. Cramping can often radiate pain or be confused with other conditions like ankle sprains and arch problems including plantar fasciitis, so be sure to see your podiatrist for the correct diagnosis and treatment.
3 additional causes of foot and leg cramping include the following:
- Nerve problems—Pinched nerves in the back can contribute to cramping in the muscles of the lower legs and feet. Peripheral nerve damage from systemic diseases like diabetes can also contribute to the sensation of cramping in the feet and legs.
- Mineral deficiencies—Your muscles need sufficient minerals including magnesium, calcium, and potassium to operate properly. Supplements may be necessary. Keep in mind that certain medications such as those used for treating high blood pressure can deplete mineral levels.
- Circulatory system problems—Peripheral artery disease and other conditions that affect blood circulation will reduce blood flow and can contribute to muscle cramping, especially during exercise. Keeping properly hydrated will help increase circulation and prevent cramps.
If you are experiencing repeated foot and leg cramping, or if it doesn’t subside after resting, see your foot doctor to find out the cause. 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, and Downingtown. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.