Why is My Foot Cramping?


A sudden contraction of a muscle in your foot or leg is not usually something to worry about, but it can be quite painful. Exhausting periods of work or exercise especially in warm weather can bring on cramping. It’s always important to stay properly hydrated and to drink lots of fluids when exercising or working hard. Cramping can mimic other foot problems including plantar fasciitis and ankle sprains, so always check with your foot doctor for a precise diagnosis and recommendations for treatment.

Persistent problems with leg or foot cramping could be a sign of a problematic medical condition. Some of these conditions include:

Nerve compression - When the nerves in the spine are pinched it can create a condition called lumbar stenosis which is a compression that causes pain when walking or doing light exercise. Bending over at the waist will often relieve the compression and pain.

Nutrient and mineral imbalances - Adequate amounts of calcium, magnesium, and potassium are necessary for your muscles to function. Medications, including those that treat high blood pressure, can cause a depletion of vitamins and minerals.  Supplements can often alleviate this problem.

Circulation problems - When narrowing of the arteries occurs during the aging process, it can cause a reduction in blood flowing to your hands and feet. This can cause cramping during exercise, but it is usually alleviated after resting.

If you are having foot and leg cramps that aren’t relieved with rest or that are accompanied by swelling, weakness and redness, you may need to see your podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and the correct treatment. At Fit Feet for Life, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies and years of experience to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including heel pain, sports injuries, toe deformities, nail fungus, and plantar warts.  Bonnie Sanchez, DPM, and Gregory Cook, DPM, provide high-quality foot and ankle care to patients in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area at our five offices conveniently located in Sun City Center, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and our two Tampa locations. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.