Foot Cramps and Toes Muscles Lock Up

Hello. I swim several times a week as my exercise regiment and almost every time, my foot cramps and my toes muscles seem to lock up. It is extremely painful and takes a good several minutes till it passes. What is this symptom and is there anything I can do to prevent it from happening? Thanks for your help.

One Response

  1. Foot-com

    Hello and thank you for your question.

    Muscle cramps in the toes and feet can be very common. We get muscle cramps for different reasons including dehydration, muscle fatigue, electrolyte imbalance and cold temperatures. Since you are experiencing your toe cramps while swimming, I would want to check your circulation to your toes as cold water causes constriction of the small blood vessels. Do you feel your toes get cold easily when you are outside? If you notice that your fingers and toes get cold easily, it may be as simple as a circulation issue.

    If you do not associate the cramps with cold water or cold temperatures, then I’d focus on small foot muscle strength. What you can do to avoid the cramps in your toes is 1. Ensure you are drinking enough water 2. Increase your potassium intake (eat bananas) 3. Take frequent breaks during swimming to limit your exposure to cold water 4.

    Keep feet strong and flexible through daily foot massage or release and barefoot strengthening. If the issue persists, then I would see a Podiatrist and get a full evaluation to see it is in fact related to foot weakness or improper foot function.

    I hope this helps!

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    Dr. Emily Splichal
    Please be advised: we do not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
    By law, we cannot give specific medical advice over the Internet.

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