What's Causing Your Frequent Foot Cramps?

Are you experiencing cramps in your feet? Perhaps these cramps are centered around your arch, or maybe they occur in the muscles at the point where your toes meet your foot. In either case, they can make walking and running impossible. And more importantly, they are often caused by underlying problems that can become more serious if unaddressed. Here's a look at the most likely causes of your foot cramps and what you can do about them.


When you are dehydrated, your muscles may not have the appropriate concentration of electrolytes, like calcium and potassium, to contract normally. This leads to cramping. The next time you urinate, pay close attention to the color of your urine. If it's any darker than a very pale yellow, you are dehydrated and need to consume more water before you begin experiencing more serious effects like headaches and tiredness. Your foot cramps should subside as your water consumption rises.

Medication Side Effects

If you're taking a prescription drug -- especially a statin or diuretic -- the foot cramps could be a side effect. Talk to your doctor and let them know you're experiencing cramping. They may reduce your dose or switch to you a similar drug that's less likely to cause these problems.

Poorly Fitting Shoes

Consider when you are experiencing the foot cramps. Is it in the middle of the day after you've been walking around a while, or at the end of a long day after having your feet in shoes? Shoes that put too much pressure on the top of your foot can cause cramping, as can high heels. Try wearing comfortable, roomy flats for a few days and see if your foot cramps subside. If so, you may want to visit a shoe-fitting expert and invest in a few pairs of shoes that actually fit your foot properly.

Poor Circulation

Some people don't have excellent circulation in their feet. The blood flow to certain muscles gets cut off, and this leads to cramps. If your foot cramps are most common after you walk, and you also notice that your feet are often cold, poor circulation is likely to blame. Talk to your podiatrist about medications to improve your circulation. Regular foot massages may also help.

Don't just ignore foot cramps. They're usually a sign that something else is going on with your foot health or overall health. If you can't get to the bottom of the issue yourself, don't hesitate to make an appointment with a foot doctor near you to discuss your foot pain.