What Causes Painful Foot Cramps?

Muscle contractions in the lower leg and foot muscle spasms can come on suddenly and be extremely debilitating. You often can relieve foot cramps by pulling hard on the toes. The primary cause of cramping is improper fluid and nutrient balance. Your muscles need the right amount of minerals and fluids to operate correctly and staying adequately hydrated throughout the day will help prevent muscle cramps. See your foot doctor for persistent cramping that may be a sign of a serious issue.

Possible causes of foot and lower leg cramping include the following:

  • Nerve constriction or damage—A slipped spinal disc or other injuries can cause damage to nerves that supply the feet and ankles, leading to an increased occurrence of foot cramps. Diabetic nerve damage can also be a contributor to feeling cramping in the feet and ankles.
  • Mineral and other nutrient deficiencies—For muscles and other components to function correctly, they need sufficient minerals like calcium and potassium. Staying adequately hydrated is also essential for muscles to work without cramping.
  • Circulation abnormalities—Narrowing of the arteries and other circulatory system problems that occur with advancing age can contribute to muscle cramping.

For foot cramping that doesn’t substantially diminish after resting or if the cramps are combined with muscle weakness, make an appointment with your podiatrist since you may have a severe illness. 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, PA. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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