When your body starts to do its own thing without your consent, it can be pretty unnerving. Because we rely heavily on our feet and legs to support us, pain in those areas weakens our ability to move as we please. Have you been busy trying to figure out why you’re having toe cramps and spasms? Some people report having pain so agonizing it brings tears to their eyes. Others can barely walk, on account of their toes being twisted at weird angles— involuntarily. If those shooting pains, contortions, or curls have been keeping you up at night, take a look at the list below for some possible causes and solutions.
- You’re Dehydrated
- Your Shoes are Too Tight
- Medication Reaction
Not having enough water or electrolytes in your system can lead to muscle cramping. We can lose electrolytes and become dehydrated when we overexert ourselves, and that doesn’t necessarily have to be through working out. Potassium, magnesium, and sodium are just some of the minerals and electrolytes the body’s nerves need to function properly. If your diet is imbalanced, if you’re ill, or if you’ve had too much exercise, your electrolytes could be off. Have your doctor check you out for a suitable diagnosis. Working out can also lead to lactic acid formation in the muscles, including the feet and toes. Water helps maintain a proper balance of electrolytes, as do good eating habits.
To stay hydrated, drink water throughout the day. Sports drinks, coconut water or electrolyte-infused waters can help you prevent dehydration.
One of the most overlooked reasons for toe distress is footwear. Your shoes may be too tight, too pointy, too small, or just not the right fit for your foot type. It may not be noticeable if you are standing or sitting in one position for long periods of time, but your muscles could be screaming. Check your shoes to make sure your toes can move freely, and that you have good circulation throughout your foot. Loosening the straps or laces in your shoe may do the trick. If size is the problem, it may be time to retire your favorite pair of heels or sneakers. All the bones and muscles in your feet should have movement and proper support.
If you notice your spasms started around the time you started a medication, then that could be the reason for your pain. Certain meds can cause cramps or spasms in the body. Pay attention to any patterns to see if your pain correlates to when you take your prescriptions. Consult your physician if you suspect this to be the case.
For acute foot pain, these recommendations can help ease some of the discomfort:
- Apply heat with a hot water bottle, Epsom salt soak, or heating pad to increase circulation.
- Stretch regularly to help maintain elasticity in the joints and muscles of the foot, especially if you exercise. Calf stretches or yoga poses that flex the toes can help.
- Eat foods containing magnesium, calcium, and potassium such as eggs, broccoli, leafy greens, and bananas.
Toe cramps could be a symptom of a more serious health condition like diabetes, and if the problem persists see your doctor. What about you? Do you suffer from bouts of toe cramps? Let us know in the comments!