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Preventing Foot Cramps

Have you been awakened in the night by excruciating pain in the foot or calf? Have you felt severe calf pain after a strenuous run? If so, then you have experienced muscle cramps.

A muscle cramp, also called a charley horse, is a sudden involuntary contraction of one or more muscles. Although incredibly painful, these cramps are generally harmless.

Foot Cramp Causes

A common cause of sudden muscle contractions is overuse as in extended periods of exercise or work – especially in hot weather. Dehydration can cause muscle cramps as can holding your foot or leg in one position for a long period of time. However, in many cases the exact cause remains unknown.

Although usually harmless, muscle cramps may be a sign of another medical condition including:

Remedies for Foot and Leg Cramps

Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM recommends self-treating your cramp as soon as it happens:

Prevention is Key to Foot Cramp Relief

It’s important to stay hydrated to prevent cramps as well as for overall health. Fluids help muscles relax and contract and keep muscle cells hydrated. Drink lots of liquids especially water every day. Replenish fluids during and after exercise particularly on hot days.

Always stretch after exercising. To avoid nighttime cramps, stretch gently before bedtime.

Talk to your doctor about replenishing minerals that are depleted because of diuretic medications. One simple way to replace potassium is to eat a banana every day.

Contact Us for Continued Painful Foot Cramps

Although cramps don’t often need medical care, be sure to contact us at our Chicago office if you experience:

Call our office at 773-561-8100 for an evaluation appointment with board-certified podiatrist Dr. Alexopoulos, and feel free to browse our website. Severe foot cramps may point to an underlying condition that we will address quickly for an end to your pain and discomfort.

Author
Stavros Alexopoulos One of Chicago’s top podiatrists, Stavros Alexopoulos, DPM, treats routine to complex foot and ankle issues. Dr. Alexopoulos is currently accepting new patients at My Chicago Foot Expert located near Ravenswood, North Park, and Jefferson Park.

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