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Foot Cramps: Why You Get Them & How to Prevent Them

Most people have gotten a foot cramp at some point in their lives. Although uncomfortable and sometimes painful, foot cramps are usually nothing to be too concerned about. Foot cramps can come on at any time. Below, we’ll explore several different reasons for foot cramps as well as ways to prevent them.

Why We Get Foot Cramps

Painful foot spasms that contract the muscles in your feet can make it hard to walk and move around. Still, occasional foot cramps are rarely cause for concern. Some of the most common causes of foot cramps include:

Wrong Size Shoes

Wearing the wrong size shoes can make the muscles in your feet cramp up. Although you may be able to fit your foot into a certain size shoe, it may not be the right width, comfort style, or design for you. Shoes that are too tight may also cut off circulation to your feet and restrict blood flow, which could lead to further cramping. Avoid wearing the wrong size or too tight shoes to prevent foot cramps.


Being dehydrated can cause any muscles in your body to cramp up, including those in your feet. Muscles that don’t get enough water may not function properly, resulting in foot cramps. While dehydration may be due to not getting enough water, it can also be a symptom from another illness.

Overexertion or Overexercise

Going too hard at the gym, running too much, or even excessive walking can put undue strain on foot muscles and cause foot cramps. You can still get foot cramps even if the rest of your body is in the best shape of your life. Conversely, not being in great shape physically and jumping into an intense exercise routine too soon could also result in foot cramps, as your body is likely not used to so much activity.

Nerve Damage 

Peripheral neuropathy, also known as damage to the nerves in your feet, may start as foot cramps for some people. Symptoms may include pain, numbness, and tingling, and could turn into more severe issues as time goes on. If you are concerned about nerve damage in your feet or have other preexisting conditions that may contribute to foot pain, the best course of action is to seek guidance from a healthcare professional.

Medications and Cramping

Certain medications list muscle cramping as a side effect. Statin drugs, OTC medications like diuretics, asthma drugs, medications for osteoporosis, and other types of medications could contribute to foot cramps. Always be sure to review potential side effects when taking medications.

If you experience foot cramps, one of the best things to do is to wear the right size shoes, properly hydrate, avoid overexertion, and follow our guide on how to maintain healthy feet.

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