How to Stop a Foot Cramp in Seconds
A foot cramp occurs when your muscles contract. It can be a result of sitting for too long doing an intense amount of exercise, like running for a very long time. That annoying cramping feeling might pass quickly, or it could last a long time. Sometimes it can even cause your toes to curl inwards and increasing the discomfort.
Cramps might only happen every once in a while, but some people get them on a regular basis. People who get frequent foot cramps usually have problems related to circulation, dehydration, poor diet, nerve issues.
It’s unlikely that having a foot cramp means you should see your doctor. But if it becomes very common and is worrying you, you should see a specialist who can figure out what’s causing them. Some diseases even have symptoms that include cramping in the feet and legs. But if your case isn’t serious, we have some recommendations for the next time you need to relieve a foot cramp.
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Tips to stop a foot cramp in its tracks
- If you have a cramp in just one foot, put all of your weight on it for a few seconds. Keep the opposite foot raised, slightly off the ground.
- If you’re wearing closed-toed shoes or socks, take them off and let your feet stretch for a few minutes.
- Flex your toes, raise the foot that has the cramp, and support it using only your heel. Gently wiggle your toes and repeat this until the pain subsides.
- Move your toes back and forth, and if it continues to ache, use your fingers to pull them gently.
- To prevent future cramping and pain, go for a walk as soon as you recover from the cramp.
- If these spasms continue for several minutes, you can apply heat to the area using a warm, damp cloth.
- You can use acupressure to alleviate the cramp by pressing your thumb and index finger to your upper lip for about 30 seconds.
- Another acupressure point that can give you quick relief is the spot between your big toe and the toe next to it. Apply pressure for 30 to 40 seconds.
Home remedies to stop a foot cramp
If those tips don’t help with your foot cramps, you can also try any of these home remedies.
If you’ve had a long day with a lot of physical activity, or your feet are just plain tired, a foot massage is a great way to prevent and reduce any cramping. To do this, just rub the foot to relax your muscles and bring down the annoying spasm. Move toward the front of your foot to increase blood flow and help it relax completely. If you’re worried about experiencing cramps during the night, you can give yourself a foot massage before bed to prevent them.
Stretching exercisesStretching is one of the most sure-fire ways to reduce muscle cramps in seconds. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), soft and gentle stretching and massage of the foot muscle can help completely eliminate cramps. You should also stretch on a regular basis to prevent cramps from happening, especially when doing other types of exercise.
Drinking ginkgo biloba tea can help reduce foot cramps quickly. Just boil three tablespoons of ginkgo biloba leaves in a cup of water for 10 minutes, let stand for five minutes, and drink immediately.
Essential oilsHeat can help relax the area affected by a cramp. It also tends to be very effective in reducing that uncomfortable feeling that in your feet. If you don’t want to use a heating pad, you can use essential oils like eucalyptus, pine, tea tree, rosemary, or thyme. They all provide a warming sensation. Ideally you should cover your feet after applying the oil, for best results.
Arnica is another plant that has powerful abilities for stimulating circulation, while also reducing inflammation and relieving muscle aches and cramps. This requires preparing a tea made with arnica root and applying it to the affected area for five minutes, using a warm compress. Another option is to add a few drops of arnica tincture in a bowl of hot water, and soaking your feet in this mixture for 10 minutes.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
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- Stephen J. Sontag; Jean N. Wanner. The cause of leg cramps and knee pains: an hypothesis and effective treatment. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0306987788900448
- Calambre muscular. Medline Plus. https://medlineplus.gov/spanish/ency/article/002066.htm