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(903) 872-9910

By Dr. Petty
December 23, 2014
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Leg Cramps  

What causes muscle cramps?

A muscle cramp is a strong, painful contraction or tightening of a muscle that comes on suddenly and lasts anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes. Leg and foot cramps may have many different causes. Let’s discuss some of the main causes because it has been a frequent patient question at the Corsicana Foot Clinic.   foot pain

  • Dietary deficiency- Specifically minerals such as Potassium, Calcium and Magnesium.
  • Dehydration- Not drinking enough water daily.
  • Overuse of specific muscles- certain foot problems or worn shoes can contribute to this.
  • Medications such as diuretics, statins and steroids
  • Certain medical conditions such as kidney disease, thyroid disease and peripheral artery disease.
  • Sometimes they’re simply the result of your feet and legs being tired.

How to stop a muscle cramp

  • Stretch the calf muscle by straightening the leg and pulling your foot toward you. Try walking it off if possible.
  • Massage the muscle with your hand and apply heat with a heating pad or warm shower/bath.
  • Take off your shoes or socks, or anything else that might be constricting your foot or leg.
  • Do some simple stretches: a) flex your toes up and down or b) grab your toes and pull them towards you as far as you can, hold them a moment, then repeat until you feel the cramp passing.

How can you avoid muscle cramps?

  • Drink plenty of fluids or sports drinks, such as Gatorade, provide hydration and electrolytes.
  • Limit drinks with alcohol or caffeine. These can make you dehydrated.
  • Take a multivitamin supplement daily to insure you are getting the nutrients necessary for correct muscle function.
  • If you suffer from night cramps, stretch your calf muscles before going to bed.
  • If you are taking medicines that are known to cause leg cramps, ask your doctor if he may be able to prescribe a different medication. Do not just stop taking the medication.

Persistent leg or foot cramps may be a sign that there is something else going on in your body, such as poor leg circulation. If you keep on having cramps, you should see a doctor. Dr. Petty performs a simple in-office test to check circulation in the legs and feet. Please call the Corsicana Foot & Ankle at 903-872-9910 for an appointment.

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3229 W, 7th Avenue
Corsicana, TX 75110

Podiatrist - Corsicana, Corsicana Foot & Ankle, 3229 W. 7th Avenue, Corsicana TX, 75110 (903) 872-9910