There are oh-so many ways in which we neglect our feet. With our fast-paced lifestyles, long workweeks, and even longer to-do lists, Americans are more aware than ever that they spend A LOT of time on their feet. And for this reason, millions of people just like you suffer from foot cramps – especially foot arch cramps.
While this is very common problem, foot cramps that affect the arch of the foot can be especially painful, and may even lead to serious problems of the foot. So, it is very important to check with your doctor if these 6 ways to get rid of foot arch cramps don’t make a difference in a few days, at most a few weeks:
1. Lose Excess Weight.
If you are experiencing pain in the arch of your feet, it may help to address any extra, unwanted weight you are carrying. This pain is usually what causes cramping in the sensitive arch of your foot after you kick off your shoes at night. While weight loss is never easy, it offers many benefits to your overall health to lose any excess pounds. One simple, and easy way to do it is to start eating more fresh, raw fruits, and vegetables. Studies have shown that diets that are high in fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are associated with substantial weight loss in overweight subjects.(1)
Not only that, but by eating a diet rich in raw fruits, vegetables, and whole grains you will also supply your body with the best source of bioavailable nutrients needed to stave off painful foot arch cramps like Vitamin B6, D, and E, potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
Stretching the toes, foot, and calf muscles is a great way to lessen pain, and cramping in the foot arch. Here are just 3 ways to do it:
- Sitting in a comfortable position on the floor, stretch the calf muscle by pointing the toes all the way forward, and then fully flex the foot bringing it inward towards your body with the toes pointed in the air. This stretch may help increase the flexibility of the tendons that extend down to the arch, to relieve pain, and cramping.
- Sit upright on the heels with the toes curled under, placing a yoga mat, or a folded towel under your body to relieve any pressure. This is a more advanced way to stretch the foot arch, and toes. Hold the position for up to 30 seconds, and then you can rest for 15 seconds, and repeat as you desire.
- Place your toes on a wall, positioning the foot at a 45-degree angle. Then lean inward, pushing the heels deep into the surface of the wall to increase the stretching in the toes, and arch.
3. Strengthen the Area.
Keep the foot muscles toned, and flexible by doing a variety of balances on one foot. Yoga poses such as tree pose, and warrior III are good examples of where to start. You can also strengthen the ankle, and calf using a free weight machine available in most gyms. To use it, place the ball of the foot on a platform with your toes facing the chest to start. By pointing the toes forward, using the proper weight denomination this exercise can provide great arch support both above, and below the affected area.
When you are suffering with pain in the arches of your feet, it can help to wiggle your toes, to loosen tension in area. This may also reduce the risk of cramping. You may also choose to massage the area to further ease aches, and pains in your feet. Here is a simple technique that you can try:
- Roll a small ball (golf/tennis) from the base of the big toe, all the way down the foot, focusing on applying pressure directly to the arch. This can help to break up knotted muscle tissue that can cause cramping, and also reduce any nerve pain as well.
- Then, knead the inner foot arch with the soft pad of the fingertip of your thumb. After that, use the knuckles to apply pressure in a circular motion to break up knotted muscle tissue, using less pressure than the ball.
This is just one foot massage technique, and you can always get creative with other ways, like using essential oils to soothe painful arches. So, start with this 2-step massage, and then you can use other techniques to reduce pain in trouble areas, like the arch.
5. Change Footwear.
Wearing high heels can be extremely stylish, but women know they can cause a tremendous amount of foot pain, because (let’s face it) nobody’s feet are shaped that way. And women aren’t the only guilty party when it comes to wearing footwear that simply doesn’t fit. Men, and even children commonly wear shoes that are too tight, but the worst part about it is that most people don’t even realize it. In fact, you could be wearing the wrong size right now. Thankfully, the Dermalmedix blog has a helpful guide to buying shoes that actually fit!
But don’t feel bad about it. It is one of the most common footwear mistakes people make, because they simply don’t know that the store could be carrying a better fit for them. The best way to avoid purchasing shoes that are too small, is to request for variations on your regular shoe size.
For example, if you wear a size 6, you may not even think to ask the shoe salesman if they carry a 6 Wide, because after all – it doesn’t occur to most people. So, never hesitate to ask for a professional fitting. It could make a BIG difference in successfully reducing foot arch pain, and associated cramping.
6. Experiment with Accessories.
Numerous products exist to help alleviate foot pain including foot sleeves, wraps, arch supports, and orthotic inserts. Consulting with a reputable podiatrist can help lead you to the right solution, if you find little or no relief on your own.
Foot cramping is very common, but in order to get through the pain it may help to know just exactly what is going on when you experience that sharp, painful cramp. You see, all of the muscles in your feet work together, and because of that delicate balance when one muscle in the foot contracts, the other must relax. It’s this relationship that allows the intricate muscles, and other tissues of your foot to deliver the controlled, reliable movements you need every day in order to walk, run, jump, or even just stand still.
If you notice that your feet are still painfully cramping after trying these 6 at-home remedies, it may be time to call your doctor. Foot cramps have no clear cause, and therefore if they do not respond to conventional treatments, they could be the sign that something more serious is going on with your health. So, don’t ignore foot cramps that last for weeks at a time as your body could be trying to tell you something.
For more foot health tips, keep reading here: