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Foot Spasms

What is a Foot Spasm?

Foot spasms, also known as foot cramps, occur due to the involuntary contraction of the foot muscles. These cramps are usually harmless and will get better on their own; however, sometimes they may need medical attention. Based on the intensity of the spasm, the sensation can vary from a tiny prick to an extremely painful condition.

Causes of Foot Spasms

Causes of Foot spasms include:

  • Overly tight shoes
  • Dehydration
  • Exercising excessively
  • Hypokalemia (low potassium levels)
  • Nerve damage
  • Side-effects of medications

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of foot spasms include:

  • Severe, sharp foot pain
  • Involuntary contraction of the muscles

Diagnosis of Foot Spasms

Your doctor can diagnose foot spasms based on a discussion of your symptoms and a physical examination of the foot. If you have frequent foot spasms, your doctor may order a blood test to check potassium and calcium levels. An electromyogram (EMG) may sometimes be ordered to assess muscle and nerve cell health.

Treatment of Foot Spasms

Foot spasms can be alleviated with rest, proper nutrition, and plenty of fluids. You can relieve cramping with light stretching, application of heat, gentle massage, and medication as recommended by your doctor.

Prevention

Foot cramps can be prevented by:

  • Exercising within your limits
  • Having a diet rich in vital nutrients
  • Drinking plenty of fluids to stay hydrated
  • Wearing comfortable shoes
  • The Arthroscopy Association of North America
  • The American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopedics (AOAO)
  • The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society┬«
    Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Foundation
  • American Academy of Osteopathy
  • American Osteopathic Association