They wreak havoc in your sleep, catch you off guard while you’re watching TV, stop you while holding a yoga pose and even get you during a walk around the park. They’re known as leg and foot cramps. These painful experiences can come when you least expect them. Why do they come? What could be the cause? Here are some things that could be causing your leg and foot cramps.

Leg Cramp Causes and How to Reduce Them

A leg cramp, also known as a “Charley Horse,” can occur anywhere on your leg, but happen most often on your calf muscle. This knot feeling is due to your muscle contracting, which can bring on an excruciating amount of pain. The cause is either from an underlying illness or comes about for no apparent reason. The American Family Physicians say that the leading cause of leg cramps is due to overworking your leg muscles. So, having an active lifestyle is a good thing, but here are some ways to help reduce leg cramps before or during an activity:

  1. While doing an activity, be sure to drink plenty of water and don’t workout heavily when you’re tired.
  2. If you get a “Charley Horse” while sleeping, working out or sitting down, stretch out the leg with the cramp and flex your foot upward. This will help work and stretch the cramp out.
  3. Lastly, apply to the affected area either heat, to alleviate tight muscles, or ice wrapped in a towel, to soothe them.

Foot Cramp Causes and How to Reduce Them

Foot cramps are muscle spasms that can occur in the arch or top of your foot and even around the toes. A few low to medium risk triggers are wearing too tight of shoes, not drinking enough water and over exercising. For higher-risk triggers it could be nerve damage or even a side-effect to certain medications. Here are some suggestions to reducing foot cramps:

For tight shoes – Check the size, support and brand of your shoes to make sure they are fitted properly. For extra support and cushion, add insoles.

For over exercising – When working out, be sure to take breaks and not over exert yourself so as to reduce cramping or fatiguing.

For nerve damage – After consulting your doctor, or contacting us, physical therapy, surgery or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) could be treatment options.

For medications – Ask about changing the prescription and see if other medications are more mild or non-existent for causing foot cramps.

Are you suffering from either leg or foot cramps?

Need an orthopedic doctor to help pinpoint the cause? Contact us to help ease and eliminate your pain.