Pain is a sensation that we all prefer to avoid. That’s why we try as much as possible to stay away from dangerous and risky activities. But sometimes, just one wrong move of our body and pain sets in. This is the case of foot cramps that appear suddenly and can cause crippling pain. What causes feet cramps, and how to prevent and relieve them?
In general, our muscles contract and relax to allow us to move. But sometimes they are not sufficiently prepared, which leads to sudden contractions, uncontrollable, intense, and sometimes very painful. They can occur during strenuous exercise or when the body is at rest, even during sleep.
To better understand the causes of cramping, here are the factors that promote their occurrence:
- Muscle fatigue: the muscles are excessively stressed or injured during some sporting activity;
- Age: with age, the muscles also react more faster than before, which makes them more prone to intense contractions;
- Poor blood circulation;
- Lack of vitamin D, calcium, potassium and magnesium;
- Pregnancy, especially in the last quarter;
- Excessive consumption of coffee or alcohol.
If you suffer from severe and very frequent cramps, it would be best to consult a doctor to determine the exact cause. Repetitive cramps may be a symptom of many diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease, thyroid and kidney disorders.
How to prevent the occurrence of cramps?
A healthy diet that gives the body all the nutrients it needs is the first key to preventing cramps. So make sure to eat foods rich in vitamin D, calcium and magnesium necessary for the muscles. Therefore prefer nuts, spinach, lentils, fish and even chocolate. Proper hydration is also essential. Drink at least 6 cups of water a day to ensure proper functioning of the body.
Regular physical activity can also help, provided you do not over exercise or you may get the opposite effect and worsen your problem. Go for aerobics to tone your muscles without tiring too much. Most importantly, don’t forget to do some stretching at the end of your workout. Stretch for a few minutes but without being too painful for you.
How to relieve the pain of a cramp?
To relieve the pain, stretch for a few minutes by pulling your toes toward you and gently massaging the painful muscle to restore blood flow.
You can also apply a warm compress on your foot if it is too contracted or a cold pack if it is too loose.