Why we have foot cramps at night?

Determining the cause of foot cramp at night can help you to prevent and treat the problem as soon as possible. Stretching is one the best foot cramp treatments that you can consider to get rid of the sudden muscular pain.

A cramp is an involuntary muscle contraction or over shortening of the muscle, which is very painful, but it is generally temporary and non-damaging and the cramps may cause paralysis life immobility of the affected muscles. Cramps are sudden and can happen anytime and resolves on its own over a period of several seconds, minutes, or hours. Why we have foot cramps at night?

The part which suffers the cramps most is a foot and they occur due to many various reasons. A foot cramp is a sudden pain due to the contraction of muscle in the legs. The cramps can occur during the night also and these foot cramps are known as nocturnal leg cramps. The cramps may occur in calves, soles of the feet, or other muscles in the body or while resting.

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Types of muscle cramps and the causes of foot cramps

  • Skeletal Muscle Cramps- these cramps which happen to the skeletal muscles of the calves, thighs, and arches of the foot and are sometimes called a “Charley horse” or a “Corky”. These cramps occur due to strenuous physical activity and can be extremely painful; however, they can occur at the time of inactiveness or at the time of relaxing. During the cramps, the muscles get locked and you are unable to use them at that time.
  • Nocturnal foot cramps- the cramps that develop in the legs during the night at the time of sleep are known as nocturnal foot cramps. The duration of the cramps may vary and can last from a few seconds to several minutes. The soreness of the muscles may remain after the cramps it ends. These cramps mostly happen in older people. The cause of foot cramps at night are dehydration, low levels of certain minerals (magnesium, potassium, calcium, and sodium, although the evidence has been mixed) and reduced blood flow through the muscle attendant in prolonged sitting or lying down. The intensity of the pain from mild to extremely painful.

The main cause of the cramps is an accumulation of the lactic acid which gets accumulated due to strenuous exercise and physical activity. There are some medicines whose side effects can lead to foot cramps and they are diuretics, conjugated estrogens, teriparatide, naproxen, and raloxifene. The foot cramps can cause stress and anxiety also. Poor circulation of blood and lack of stretching also lead to foot cramps. One of the lesser known reasons behind the cramps is wearing the wrong shoes.

 Treatment
Here are some foot cramp cures that you can use to get instant relief:

  • Antifoot cramp medicine– there are various foot cramp medicines which can provide instant relief the from the cramp. One of the best medicines available for the treatment of the cramps is Quinine, but there are various side effects of this medicine hence this medicine is used after other medications failed. There are vitamin B complex, naftidrofuryl, lidocaine, and calcium channel blockers, which are effective in the treatment for foot cramps. Taking vitamin E can prevent nocturnal foot cramps and many types of research have proved its effectiveness.
  • Home remedies for the treatment of the cramps- cramps can be very easily cured using some home remedies. Using hot cloth on the effective foot may sooth the cramped foot and give reliefs to the muscles as blood circulation increases to that effective Another effective treatment method is taking long warm shower bath with water containing Epsom salt which promotes muscle relaxation. To prevent nocturnal foot cramps don’t sleep with toes tucked tightly inside the sheets.
  • Stretching- the cramps occur due to tightening or shortening of the foot muscles so if regularly, you do stretch for ten minutes can prevent cramps. The basic stretching exercise involves stepping back with of affected calf and another exercise involves leaning forward on the other leg and push against the wall.
  • Massaging- Mix one part wintergreen oil with four parts vegetable oil and massage it to the effective area for some time, this immediately relaxes your muscles and give you instant relief. You should use this mixture for three-four times a day to get relief and to prevent further cramps.

Prevention

Stop foot cramps by following these simple steps:

  • The reason behind the cramps is dehydration so keep yourself hydrated and drink lots of water regularly. Keep the appropriate balance of the electrolytes in the body.
  • Take proper rest after the strenuous exercise and never overexert your muscles.
  • Do exercise regularly and your exercises do involve stretching as stretching prevents cramps and exercise strengthens your muscles.

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Posture is very important to prevent nocturnal foot cramps. Sleep properly and don’t tuck your toes tightly in the sheets.

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Amelia Smith

Nutritionist, herbalist, health and medicine writer and yoga enthusiast, Amelia Smith, is a professional in the health, nutrition and diet industry.

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