Walk It Off: Treating and Preventing Cramp Pain

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Painful CrampThere’s one thing athletes of all levels say to each other when someone suffers a mild injury while playing: “Walk it off.” This isn’t always the best advice, but walking is very helpful for things like foot and leg cramps. These muscle spasms can happen to anyone, and can even wake you up in the middle of the night if they are powerful enough. Thankfully, there are plenty of easy ways to treat and prevent lower limb cramps.

Foot and leg cramps are sudden, powerful muscle spasms that happen when muscle fibers contract without relaxing for a short while. This can be quite uncomfortable and definitely stop you in your tracks. Taking care of a muscle cramp when it strikes is easy, however. Here are a few simple ways to relax that cramping foot:

  • Pull your toes back – If your foot is cramping, flex your foot and use your hands to pull your toes back toward your shin. This stretches out the cramping muscles to counteract the spasm.
  • Stand up – If a cramp happens while you’re sitting or lying down, stand up and put some weight on the affected foot. The pressure can help stretch the muscles.
  • Stretch your calves – Perform different types of wall stretches to relax your calves.
  • Walk around – Walking gets your circulation flowing and also puts pressure on muscles that are experiencing spasms.
  • Massage it – Rub the cramping muscle, putting pressure on it. This both helps the tissue to relax and encourages blood flow to the area.
  • Try heat – Heat relaxes muscle tension, so a heat pack or a foot bath may relieve cramp pain.

There are other options, too, including wrapping your foot in an elastic compression bandage and, in some cases, medication to help with the discomfort.

Foot and leg cramps are uncomfortable and unnecessary. You don’t have to continue to suffer with them—and you shouldn’t! If you’re struggling with persistent cramps, our team at Podiatry Associates, P.C. in Parker, Cherry Creek, and Castle Pines, CO, can help you now. Don’t spend one more day living with pain. Make an appointment online or call (303) 805-5156.
Dr. Cynthia Oberholtzer-Classen, DPM
Founder and Owner of Podiatry Associates, PC
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