What Causes Foot Cramps At Night?

What Causes Leg Or Foot Cramps At Night: Foot cramps are the most common muscle spasm in our body. This is because they are under the most stress!

What Causes Foot Cramps At Night?

The exact cause of muscle cramps is still being debated. It has to do with electrolyte imbalances, dehydration & hypoxic conditions.

But these are the following causes of non-dangerous night cramps:

  • Overuse of muscle.
  • Pregnancy causing vein compression.
  • Pregnancy releasing “Relaxin” hormone.
  • Dehydration.
  • Imbalance of electrolytes : magnesium, potassium & calcium.
  • Holding an uncomfortable position for a long time (such as a bent foot at night).
  • Some state that it could be due to poor flexibility.

 

What Causes Foot Cramps At Night?
Foot cramps usually happen right in the arch of the foot. The key is to massage or stretch them out!

 

 

Why Are Foot Cramps Most Likely?

  • The foot is the further body part from the heart & spinal cord.
  • This means that nerves & blood vessels have to travel the farthest to supply the foot!
  • The foot is also the most stressed body part as it must support our entire weight all day long.
  • In most cases this is completely normally & nothing to worry about.
  • If you are older, overweight, a diabetic or have any systemic problems there may be concern.

 

What Causes Foot Cramps At Night?
Foot & leg cramps are very common at night, but don’t worry, most of the time it doesn’t mean anything!

 

 

Correctable Causes Of Foot Cramps:

What Causes Foot Cramps At Night?
The most common cause of foot cramps is overworking your feet! They get dehydrated & stressed, this can lead to spasms at night. It is usually nothing to worry about!

 

1) Muscle stress or fatigue:

  • This is by far the most common cause of foot cramps.
  • In most cases a cramp can last 10 seconds to a couple minutes.
  • This is absolutely nothing to worry about.
  • The muscle is usually over worked throughout the day.
What Causes Foot Cramps At Night?
The exact cause is unknown & can be different, but there is almost never any worry! Unless you have poor circulation or nerve problems.

These are most likely the causes:

  • Overuse of muscle.
  • Dehydration.
  • Imbalance of electrolytes : magnesium, potassium & calcium.
  • Holding an uncomfortable position for a long time (such as a bent foot at night).
  • Some state that it could be due to poor flexibility.
What Causes Foot Cramps At Night?
Make sure to stay hydrated, maintain your electrolytes & stretch your foot out if a cramp does occur!

Consider this if:

  • You are young & healthy.
  • If you don’t smoke & don’t have diabetes.
  • If you are very active on your feet.
  • It is most common in athletes &
  • If you are pregnant.
  • If you are young & growing.
What Causes Foot Cramps At Night?
Getting up & stretching out your feet will get rid of the pain in most cases!

How To Relieve  Cramps:

  • Stretching the foot cramp out will relieve it in almost all cases.
  • Getting up & moving around will increase blood flow to your feet.
  • If you sweat or have an electrolyte imbalance, stay well hydrated.
  • Make sure you do not go to bed dehydrated!

 

Pregnant Foot Cramps
Foot cramps while pregnant are in large part due to the increased foot swelling and extra weight.

 

2)Foot and Leg Cramps Due To Pregnancy:

  • If you are pregnant, you are essentially guaranteed foot and leg cramps.
  • They become more frequent the further you go into your pregnancy.
  • They occur due to the increase fluids in your body and other changes.

 

 

Causes Of Foot & Leg Cramps While Pregnant:

  • Your body releases a ligament called relaxin.
  • This hormone normally loosens tissues to birth the baby.
  • But this hormone allows easier stretching of your foot and leg ligaments.
  • This puts more and more stress on your foot muscles.
  • Not to mention that you weigh more than normal!
  • They become overworked and irritated.

 

pregnancy foot and leg cramps
The uterus can compress the veins leading back to your heart, this will increase the chances of foot or leg cramps during pregnancy.

 

Vein Compression While Pregnant:

  • The uterus can expand and compress your iliac veins.
  • These veins lead to your hear.
  • If the veins are compressed this backs up the blood flow in your legs.
  • This causes poor oxygenation & nutrition of your muscles and nerves.

 

pregnancy foot and leg cramps
Sleeping on your side might help reduce pregnancy foot and leg cramps, but talk to your podiatrist!

 

How To Relieve Pregnancy Foot or Leg Cramps:

  • Stretching the foot cramp out will relieve it in almost all cases.
  • Getting up & moving around will increase blood flow to your feet.
  • If you sweat or have an electrolyte imbalance, stay well hydrated.
  • Make sure you do not go to bed dehydrated!

 

 

3) Peripheral vascular disease (Poor Circulation):

What Causes Foot Cramps At Night?
If you are older, a smoker or have diabetes: consider this as a initially sign of peripheral vascular disease.
  • This is a very common cause of cramps in the older population.
  • It is also very common if you are a smoker or have diabetes.
  • This cramping is due to a lack of blood flow to your feet.
  • It typically shows up in the arch of your foot.

Why Does This Happen?

  • This occurs when your feet are elevated.
  • Your heart has a more difficult time sending blood to your feet from your heart.
  • If you drop your feet over the bed, gravity gets the blood to the feet.
  • Once the muscle gets oxygen, the pain gets much better.

Consider this if:

  • You are over the age of 45 years old.
  • If you are a smoker.
  • If you have diabetes.
  • If you have arteriosclerosis.
  • If you have had a prior problem with your heart.

How To Relieve Foot Cramps:

  • Go see your podiatrist as soon as possible.
  • You will likely need a vascular workup.
  • This is essential because peripheral vascular disease is a major killer in the world.
  • It has very high mortality rate & must be treated aggressively!

 

 

4)Peripheral Neuropathy:

What Causes Foot Cramps At Night?
Peripheral neuropathy will also cause numbness, burning & tingling in your feet.
  •  This is most commonly seen in diabetics & chronic alcoholics.
  • Peripheral neuropathy is essentially dysfuction of the nerves further away from the spine.
  • This is called a stocking & glove distribution, because the hands & feet start experiencing symptoms first.
  • This can cause nerve pain, cramping, sweating & temperature abnormalities among many others.

How To Relieve Foot Cramps:

  • Go see your podiatrist as soon as possible.
  • You will likely need a neurological workup.
  • Peripheral neuropathy can be slowed or even reversed with nutrition therapy & lifestyle changes.
  • Medication can control the nerve pain & symptoms.

 

 

5)Diabetes:

What Causes Foot Cramps At Night?
Control your sugar levels if you are a diabetic! It can take years or decades for peripheral neuropathy symptoms to begin, but they can have deadly consequences.
  • Diabetes can cause peripheral vascular disease, which leads to night time muscle cramps.
  • Diabetes can also cause peripheral neuropathy, which is a nerve disorder.

How To Relieve Foot Cramps:

  • Go see your podiatrist as soon as possible.
  • You will likely need a vascular & neurological workup.
  • Peripheral neuropathy can be slowed or even reversed with nutrition therapy & lifestyle changes.
  • Medication can control the nerve pain & symptoms.
  • This is essential because peripheral vascular disease is a major killer in the world.
  • It has very high mortality rate & must be treated aggressively!

 

 

6)Smoking:

What Causes Foot Cramps At Night?
Smoking is the #1 cause of peripheral vascular disease. This leads to lack of oxygen to your foot muscles while sleeping!
  • Smoking can lead to higher rates of peripheral vascular disease.
  • Peripheral vascular disease will lead to foot cramp symptoms.

How To Relieve Foot Cramps:

  • Go see your podiatrist as soon as possible.
  • You will likely need a vascular workup.
  • This is essential because peripheral vascular disease is a major killer in the world.
  • It has very high mortality rate & must be treated aggressively!