Toe Cramps at Night
Cramping is a very common occurrence for anyone in any age category. A cramp occurs when the muscle contracts suddenly and remains tensed, usually causing moderate pain in the area. The areas of the body most prone to cramping are the legs and toes. Night-time cramps are also quite common and usually occur due to a number of different reasons.
Athletes and people who exercise very frequently are mostly at risk for cramping. When exercising or sporting, athletes lose a lot of sodium through perspiration. However, the mineral sodium helps the body's muscles to function properly. If enough sodium is lost during the day, the muscles can spasm and cramp at night.
Similarly, a lack of calcium can have the same effect on the muscles as a lack of sodium can. Both minerals help muscles to perform well and stay limber. Therefore, maintaining a balanced diet with enough of each of these minerals is very important for athletes.
Tight, uncomfortable or unsupportive footwear can also cause cramping by forcing the muscles to work in way they are not accustomed to. The tired, strained muscles rebel during sleep, causing cramping. This is the reason why toe and leg cramps are more common than cramps in other parts of the body.
The prevention of cramps is ultimately preferable to trying to solve the problem once it has occurred. Prevention starts with eliminating the factors that can increase the risk of cramping. A balanced diet is the first step, as the body needs every vitamin and mineral to stay healthy. Athletes should maintain their electrolyte levels to keep their muscles working properly. Vitamin supplements can help in this case to reduce the intensity of toe cramps and other muscle spasms.
Stretching the leg muscles and the toes before and after exercise can make a difference too, since it helps the muscles stay limber. When exercising, be careful about how much strain is placed on the muscles, as they may become overstretched and spasm erratically. Also, determine which shoes create the most problems for the feet and legs and either try to alter them or avoid wearing them too often.
When a cramp does occur, massage the area in which the cramp takes place. This can help relax the muscle and alleviate the spasms. Continue stretching the muscle gently to counteract the contraction. For calf cramps, leaning forward while keeping the heel on the floor or pulling the toes upwards gently can help in the same way.