What To Do For Foot & Leg Cramps

If you’re struggling with leg and foot cramps, you may be curious about what to do. Truthfully, there are many ways to deal with leg and foot cramps, some of which may work better for you than others. Read on to learn about several strategies you can use to prevent, manage, and heal foot and leg cramps.

Stay Hydrated

Photo by Alora Griffiths on Unsplash

Maintaining your levels of hydration throughout each day can help you prevent foot and leg cramps. Additionally, if you drink water after a cramp occurs, it may help soothe the pain as the water absorbs into your bloodstream. It’s important to drink water for many reasons, but maintaining blood flow to your muscles is one essential reason to stay hydrated at all times.

Stretch Your Calves

Stretching before and after exercise may help reduce the frequency of foot and leg cramps in runners and others whose cramps are provoked by exercise. While you should consult a doctor before starting any new stretch regimen, stretching your calves can increase blood flow to your muscles, which reduces the likelihood of cramps. One way to stretch is simply to step forward on one foot, hold for 10 seconds, then repeat with the other foot.

Do Warm-Up Exercises

Warm-up exercises, such as walking or jogging prior to runs, can be very helpful in preventing those debilitating calf cramps and shin splints that many runners experience. Yoga is another great type of warm-up exercise that you can try. There are many videos available online where you can watch professionals leading yoga classes, but you can also sign up for an in-person class if you prefer.

Maintain a Junk-Food-Free Diet

A junk-food-free diet has many benefits to athletes as well as other individuals, including improving your health overall and reducing your risk of injury. Additionally, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can reduce inflammation in your body and improve hydration, which is associated with foot and leg cramps. It is also important to have an iron-rich diet, which you can get from red meats or leafy green vegetables like kale.

Stretch After Exercise

While most people know to stretch before exercising, not many people take the time to stretch after exercising. It is important to take a few minutes after cardio, weight lifting, or any other type of aerobic or anaerobic exercise to stretch your muscles and tendons in order to prevent injury and cramping. You can do this by simply bending over and touching your toes or practicing basic yoga poses.

Don’t Forget Salts

Include moderate amounts of sea salt in your diet. This is a natural way to maintain electrolyte levels that can help prevent foot and leg cramps. You may drink energy drinks to achieve this level of salt in your diet, but you can also get the same result by including a normal amount of table salt in your meals.

Wear Compression Socks

To help increase blood flow to the feet and legs, try wearing compression socks. This may reduce the chances of developing cramps, particularly during long marathon runs or high-intensity training. If you are prone to leg cramps, you may consider purchasing these socks to manage them.

Massage Your Calves and Feet

You can try massaging your calves and feet with a small amount of oil before and after exercise. This may help improve blood flow in these areas and relieve you of some suffering if you experience cramps. You can also go to a professional physical therapist to help manage blood flow issues.

Eat Bananas

Bananas are rich in potassium. Potassium is associated with improved cardiovascular health, reduced inflammation, and improved metabolism. These benefits can help you prevent foot and leg cramps by improving your circulation in the lower half of your body.

Consult Your Podiatrist

If you have a history of foot and leg cramps and have tried these tips with no results, schedule an appointment with a podiatrist to discuss other options. There are many different types of treatments for people who suffer from this condition. Visit our website to make an appointment at one of our offices.

Change Your Shoes Regularly

If you notice that your shoes have wear and tear or do not fit properly, it may be time to change them out. Your feet can swell over time, which can cause cramping in the lower half of your body, including your feet and legs. If you are prone to foot cramps, it’s important to change out your running shoes every so often.

Avoid High-Impact Activities

Running and jumping on things can put excessive stress on the balls of your feet, making you more susceptible to developing foot and leg cramps. If you tend to experience cramps from running or jumping, consider choosing a less strenuous form of exercise like swimming or cycling. You can also find shoes that provide extra support or cushioning for such activities.

Pay Attention to Injuries

If you’re getting cramps and have already suffered from an injury to one of your feet or legs, it may be time to consult a podiatrist about treatments for certain conditions that occur as a result of an existing injury. There are many possible reasons for excessive cramping, and a trained professional can identify which reason makes the most sense for you. If you live in the Chicago area, make an appointment to see Dr. Schoene and Dr. Bever at Gurnee Podiatry and Sports Medicine Assoc.

Buy Shoes With Good Arch Support

If you’ve had foot or leg cramps in the past, it’s important for you to purchase shoes with excellent arch support. You may notice that some shoes have more support than others when looking at the shoe from different angles. Certain shoes may also include multiple layers of foam or other materials inside them to provide extra cushioning and comfort while you’re wearing them.

If you’re still curious about how to manage your leg and foot cramps, consult with a member of our team during your next visit. We look forward to helping you with all of your podiatric needs.

Come see us today about getting rid of your cramps.