A lot of people are affected with muscle cramps. In fact, every person is likely to experience a muscle cramp in his or her life. However, they seem to strike at the worst possible times! Many people will experience a muscle cramp while they’re running, swimming, exercising, even sleeping. Preventing foot cramps can be relatively easy, but sometimes we don’t even know what causes them.

A cramp is defined as an involuntary, continuous contraction of a muscle. In other words- you’re muscle tightens up and you have no control of making it stop or relaxing the muscle.

There are a few common reasons you may experience a foot cramp:

  1. Overuse of a muscle. For runners, swimmers and other athletes this may be due to overusing the foot of putting the foot into unnatural positions. Also, not stretching the muscle efficiently can cause the muscle to become cramped
  2. Holding the foot in the same position for too long. This lies true for those who practice yoga or Pilates…maybe even for those who get cramps while sleeping. If your foot is stuck in the same position, the muscle in your foot could become tightened.
  3. Dehydration or lack of minerals in the body. Another good reason to drink plenty or water-especially if you’re an athlete or have an active lifestyle.
  4. Injury to the area. Having an injury in your foot or around the foot could cause the foot to become tight and rigid making the muscle cramp.

What to do About Foot Cramps

Treatment for muscle cramps is relatively easy- drink plenty of water, learn proper stretching (especially in your foot), and never over extend your body. If you have an injury, make sure it is treated before you continue with your activity. If you continuously experience foot cramps or your cramps are very painful, you definitely need to see a podiatrist.

Robert Kosofsky, D.P.M.
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Dr. Robert Kosofsky has over 25 years of experience treating patients in our Hillsborough & Piscataway offices