We can anticipate when it’s coming, and when it finally does it can be the worst pain you’ve ever felt… we’ve all experienced the dreaded sharp stab of a foot cramp! Here’s how you can quickly stop the pain of a cramp and help to ease it away:
A cramp is essentially a muscle spasm, that occurs from a number of causes such as stress, repetitive strain, trauma, and dehydration. When the cramp occurs, slowly pull out of the position you’re in and press your foot to the floor. This will help lessen the initial spasm. Press your foot firmly to the floor, gently leaning forward to stretch the back of your leg and ankle. Take very deep breaths, and continue holding this posture. For additional weight, you can press the palms of your hands on the top of the foot for greater pressure. You should feel the muscles in the bottom of your foot start to ease. When this happens, move very slowly and begin to stretch the bottom of your foot by pressing the ball of your foot onto the floor and lifting your heel. If you have a towel or exercise band, wrap that around your foot and grab the ends, pulling slowly towards you. You’ll get more of a stretch this way. The important thing to remember is moving slowly and breathing fully, as quick movements or stretches often trigger the spasm. Finish with a few gentle ankle rotations.
You can prevent getting cramps by staying properly hydrated and filling your diet with lots of potassium, which can be found in fruit like bananas, coconut water and dried figs. Dark green vegetables like spinach and kale are also generally higher in potassium. Also be aware of your shoes! If you notice that your shoes have developed uneven wear along the soles, it may be time for a new pair, or a more supportive look.