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Recurrent cramp in my foot

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I keep getting sudden cramp in my foot, sometimes when stretching but sometimes when doing nothing at all and particularly in bed at night.

It is down the length of my foot, and either affects the inner bridge, or the outside three toes. It's very painful and my toes curl inwards. The only way I can get rid of it is to bend my foot and toes down and really stretch it out, sometimes for up to 10 minutes but sometimes it will come back after this. It is only my feet, and never goes up my calves.

As I said, I find it comes out mostly when I'm stretching or put my foot at a strange angle (in karate, or in dance class). It never comes out during aerobic exercise, like running.

People have suggested to me it could be dehydration, or lack of salt (both from sweating during aerobic exercise). I do drink lots of water, and eat foods high in salt (bacon, fish, sushi). I will work on these aspects, but wondered if anyone else gets this, or knows of ways to combat it? It has once or twice meant I had to sit out for 20 minutes from a 1 hour dance class which is incredibly frustrating!

9 Replies (last)

yep, I got those occasionally in my feet when I was swimming, and last semester I got them several times in my calves.  Some people call them charley horses, they probably have some other name too.  I usually get them when I'm dehydrated, but you also get them when you need more potassium.  Try either taking a supplement or eating a banana a day for a couple days and see if that helps.

^^ what linz said. I used to get cramps all the time. I would start kissing my boyfriend (now husband) and the foot cramp would come. OUCH! bananas were my savior for this. I would eat one every day. It eventually got better.

good luck.

For some people, potassium is the answer (in bananas).

For me, magnesium helps - I take a chelated calcium-magnesium pill, and that helps a lot. When I forget to take it for a few days, they come back.

wanted to add potatoes are good for potassium too. 

Have you had your feet checked by a podiatrist?  The reason I ask is I had painful cramps for a good 5 years.  My GP said there was nothing wrong and to deal with it.  I finally decided to see a specialist on my own and it turns out I have bunions.  Getting custom orthotics and wearing the proper shoes on a regular basis has made a huge difference.

Thanks to everyone who's replied, lots of great advice!

I shall start eating a banana most days. To be honest, they're not my preferred snack as I don't particularly enjoy eating them and they're also a lot of cals that don't ever seem to fill me up. But I was swimming last night and suddenly got bad cramp in my foot so had to stop - so I guess if they'll get rid of the cramp I'll give them a go!

joanl, thanks for the suggestion. I haven't had my feet checked, although to be honest my feet aren't sore at all. It is more the onset of cramp that hurts. And they only come on when, or after, I've exercised so I do think they're dehydration / potassium linked. If the bananas don't make a difference, I will consider going to a podiatrist though.

Original Post by amethystgirl:

For me, magnesium helps - I take a chelated calcium-magnesium pill, and that helps a lot. When I forget to take it for a few days, they come back.

You may want to separate your Mg and Ca supplements (different times of the day). Ca and Mg compete for absorption in the intestines (zinc too, I believe). It is very good that you use a chelated form of Mg, because the (cheap, more common) MgO isn't bioavailabe.

I have the same problem, although it is getting less.

Any chance you are taking Prilosec? I took it for 10 years (double dose for 6 years) and was getting more and more of the "morning stretch in bed" type cramps. Feet, then calves, then even behind my knees. I went down to a single dose, and the calf and knee cramps stopped happening. I eventually cured my GERD and stopped all Prilosec (omeprazole) a year ago, but still have the arch of the foot cramps.

Since omeprazole keeps your stomach from producing acid, it makes sense that it might reduce absorption of minerals.

More recently, I've been started eating a banana a day and there is some improvement. I can go swimming again! I am a skeptic of "one person anecdotal studies," even if that person is me. So let us know how your banana experiment works out, by posting it here. Or, you can PM me. Thanks

So, how are the foot cramps? It has been more than a year. Did the bananas help?

9 Replies