6 Common Causes of Foot Cramps and How to Avoid Them

6 Common Causes of Foot Cramps and How to Avoid Them

Posted by Apex Foot Health on 6th Dec 2022

It is estimated that about 95% of people will experience a muscle cramp at some point in their lives. As we age, such cramps become increasingly common.

Cramps happen when a muscle involuntarily contracts. Though cramps usually only last between a few seconds and a few minutes, they can be very painful. So what causes foot cramps, and how can we fend them off?

There are a few common causes of foot cramps that have easy fixes. Read on so you never have to suffer another painful foot cramp again.

Low Potassium

Potassium is a mineral and an electrolyte that's vital for muscle movement and maintenance. When potassium levels dip too low, a person may experience cramping in their feet and legs.

When potassium levels are low in the body, it becomes one of the many causes of foot or leg cramps. You can solve the problem by upping your potassium intake through a vitamin supplement or by eating foods that are rich in potassium. Such foods include bananas, oranges, potatoes, and many more.

Foods Containing Potassium

Dehydration

Water helps tissues and organs work properly. Staying hydrated is essential for overall health and to help prevent foot cramps.

If you become dehydrated, it means your body does not have enough water to help all its tissues and organs function properly. Dehydration can cause muscle cramping all over the body, including in the feet.

Dehydration can happen for many reasons, such as:

  • diarrhea 
  • vomiting 
  • not drinking enough water 
  • exercise 
  • overheating

Smiling happy women talking drinking water looking at smartphone after sport exercises and jogging in mountains.

Tight Shoes

Tight shoes can reduce blood flow. Reduced blood flow can induce cramping. If you are unable to move your toes in your shoes or if your toes or feet start to go numb, it is time for a bigger pair of shoes.

So, if your shoes squeeze your feet and you are interested in improving foot health, toss those tight shoes aside and invest in some footwear that fits your foot. In the meantime though, you should stretch your feet and soak them in warm water to relieve the cramping.

Feet Soaking in Warm Water

Flat Sandals

Flat sandals, including flip flops, are another of the types of footwear that can wreak havoc on your feet. This particularly applies to people with low arches or flat feet. In these situations, flat sandals can tire the muscles in the foot after a while and cause cramps.

Stretching and icing the foot will help relieve pain in the short term. In the future though, consider  shoes with added support or shoes that have room for arch supports.

Close Up of Woman Wearing Flat Sandals

Foot Muscle Fatigue

Heavy exercise or moderate exercise in the wrong types of footwear can cause foot muscle fatigue. In turn, you will experience cramps.

Make sure to stretch before working out and invest in a quality pair of sneakers. Avoid exercising right after eating because this can cause cramping as well.

Woman Experiencing Foot Muscle Fatigue

Medications

Certain medications can increase the occurrence of foot cramps. So if you experience cramping and think it could be from a medication you are on, be sure to consult your doctor. They will be able to adjust the medication, dosage or provide advice on how to mitigate the problem.

Close Up of Medication

Mitigating the Causes of Foot Cramps

Now that you know about the main causes of foot cramps and how to avoid them, it should be a while until you experience another foot cramp.

If you need advice on  shoes for foot cramps or orthotic inserts to relieve pain, we would love to help. Don't hesitate to contact us. We will make sure to meet your style and comfort needs in a way that is safe for your feet and general health.