Woman has a cramp in her foot Woman has a cramp in her foot

First aid for foot cramps

Our feet – literally – play a supporting role in our life. We barely notice our feet as they hold us up when we’re walking or standing up. But they sometimes make their presence felt through pain, for example when we get cramp in our feet or toes. Anyone who occasionally suffers from this will know how excruciating that can be. So, we have a few tips for you to follow if you get cramp in your feet.

Frequent cramps in your foot may be an indication of magnesium deficiency

Everyone will agree that we can do without foot or toe cramp. But we do get them and so it’s worth looking at the causes.

Cramp is an involuntary, painful muscle contraction. It frequently affects the calf muscle but smaller groups of muscles or individual toes can suddenly contract, too. Cramps in the foot are often caused by strain or wearing very tight or uncomfortable shoes.

Foot cramps can also indicate an electrolyte imbalance. That’s because maintaining a perfect balance of calcium and magnesium controls the way muscles tense and relax. If an imbalance occurs, for example due to magnesium deficiency, this can cause unpleasant foot and toe cramps. So, it’s important to keep an eye on your magnesium levels.

If you get foot cramps very frequently you should consult a doctor. He can not only check your electrolyte balance but also rule out other causes such as primary diseases of the nerves or muscles.

Prevent toe and foot cramps

Anyone who frequently experiences cramp in their foot or calf should ensure that they have an adequate magnesium supply. For example, the German Nutrition Society recommends that women aged 25 or over should take 300 mg, and men 350 mg a day.1 In some situations, for example during pregnancy or breastfeeding, the requirement may be higher. That’s when it may be a good idea to supplement your daily intake with Biolectra® magnesium products.

Cramp in the foot or calf can generally be avoided by exercising them regularly. For example, if you spend the whole day sitting down at the office, you can activate your muscles by tipping your feet or moving your toes. But regular sports also do muscles a lot of good. Just make sure you have sturdy shoes. You should also have a thorough warm-up before training to avoid cramp in your toes.

Tips for acute cases: what you can do if you get foot cramp

But what can you do if foot cramps suddenly strike out of nowhere? The following tips may help to alleviate the pain:

  • Stretching: Reach for your toes (from a sitting position is best) and slowly but forcefully draw them slowly towards your body. Then pressing your heel forwards. Maintain this position until the pain subsides.
  • Massaging: Remove your socks and shoes and gently massage the stiff areas.
  • Exercise: As soon as you feel able, try carefully to take a few steps. This will loosen up your muscles and stop the cramp in your foot returning immediately.

Heat can also have a relaxing and alleviating effect. A hot water bottle in bed or a warm foot bath, for example, can help.