Foot cramps, when they occur, often come on suddenly with searing pain. However, you don’t have to live with them. There are some natural health remedies that can help.
A foot cramp is a sudden, uncontrollable, and painful spasm of a muscle in the foot. It can last from seconds to minutes. The exact cause of foot cramps is unknown but contributing factors may include electrolyte or mineral imbalances, tight, inflexible muscles, or poor physical condition. Other causes can include wearing high heels for extended periods, overexertion of the muscles, poor diet, or dehydration.
There are several natural remedies that can be quite helpful in reducing foot cramps. Some particularly effective ones include:
• Stretching and massage – stretch the foot with a gentle and sustained stretching movement, and then lightly massage the area until the cramp goes away.
• Icepacks – if you have a particularly bad cramp in your foot, an icepack may help the muscle to relax.
• Electrolytes – a deficiency in the electrolytes magnesium, calcium, and potassium can increase the risk of suffering from foot cramps. Increase your consumption of these minerals in your diet. Magnesium is found in nuts, wholegrains, and beans. Calcium is found in dairy products and sardines that still have their bones in. Bananas are a rich source of potassium. You should also include plenty of leafy greens in your diet. If your intake is still insufficient, supplementation of these minerals may be helpful.
• Water – drinking plenty of water during exercise, hot weather and just generally will help to prevent you from becoming dehydrated, which can cause cramping.
• Quinine – can help to reduce cramping that occurs at night. Tonic water contains quinine and is of benefit to many people. Quinine tablets are another option but you should discuss their use with your doctor.