A leg or foot cramp or spasm can wake you up in the middle of the night with unrelenting foot or calf pain. However, these painful muscle contractions are more likely to occur after excessive exercise or sports involvement, or after being on your feet all day for a grueling job. Dehydration is often a precursor to developing a cramp, so be sure to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day to help avoid them.

While having a foot or calf muscle cramp once in a while is perfectly normal, if they start happening frequently it could be a sign of a more serious condition such as a neuroma, mineral deficiency, or decreased effectiveness of the circulatory system.

Relieving foot cramps—Just as a cramp is starting is the best time to stand on the affected leg with your knee partially bent and try to stretch out the muscle. You can also try sitting on the floor with your legs outstretched and then grasp and pull your toes backwards. A hot shower or bath will often help to loosen tense muscles.

Preventing foot cramps—Remember to drink plenty of fluids, especially pure water, throughout the day. Muscles and other tissues need fluids to make them work properly, so always hydrate your body before, during, and after exercise. Minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and potassium are also essential to proper muscle functioning, so be sure to eat foods that are rich in these nutrients.

If you experience foot cramps that have no obvious cause, see your foot doctor for the proper diagnosis and treatment. At Podiatry Center of New JerseyDr. Russell Samofal treats a variety of conditions such as sports injuries, diabetic foot problemspediatric foot conditions, toe deformities, arthritisnail fungus, arch problems and heel pain. Equipped with advanced technologies and a dedicated staff, Podiatry Center of New Jersey provides individualized high-quality care for patients all across Morris, Passaic, Bergen and Essex counties. For all your foot and ankle problems, contact our Wayne office at (973) 925-4111 for an appointment.