Foot Muscle Spasms At Night

Foot Muscle Spasms At Night: A muscle spasm usually occurs due to nerve irritation. This then causes your muscle to twitch out of control!

What Are Foot Muscle Spasms At Night?

  • Foot muscle spasms at night time are very common!
  • 90-95% of the population reports as having them at one point in their lives.
  • It is only something to worry about if you are a smoker, diabetic or older in age.
  • Foot muscle spasms are due to an improper stimulus of your nerves.
  • They can improperly signal your muscles to contract when your brain says not too.


Foot Muscle Spasms At Night
Muscle spasms can occur when there is improper signalling by your nerves to your muscles. Something is essentially “short circuiting” your nerves.


Causes of Night Foot Muscle Spasms:

  • There is still no exact consensus in the scientific community.
  • But the majority of theories center around an electrical imbalance that has to do with your nerves.

Specific Causes Of Electrical Imbalance:

  • Inflammation.
  • Overuse of your muscles throughout the day.
  • Dehydration due to lack of water.
  • Dehydration due to alcohol or caffeine.
  • Imbalance of electrolytes: magnesium, potassium & calcium.
  • Irritation due to the cold.


Foot Muscle Spasms At Night
Leg spasms are very common at night. This is usually because the blood has to fight gravity to get to your feet. When you stand up gravity helps and it feels better soon.



How To Relieve Foot Muscle Spasms:

  • Stretch out your feet right away.
  • Massage your foot & leg muscles.
  • Throw your feet over the edge of the bed so that gravity can get to them quickly!
Foot Muscle Spasms At Night
Stretching your calf & foot muscles usually gets them to stop spasming very quickly!


1) Inflammation & overuse of muscles:

  • If your toes or foot muscles are overworked & irritated, this can cause inflammation.
  • Inflammation is when your immune system causes swelling, redness & throbbing in  muscle.
  • This is improperly caused when the muscle or joint is stressed too much.
  • This is most common in athletes or people who spend all day on their feet.
  • Inflammation can decrease the threshold for nerve stimulation.

How To Relieve Toe Cramps:

  • Massage your feet after work.
  • Take some anti-inflammatory medication. This can be topical or oral like Ibuprofen.
  • Stretch your feet out.
  • Do your best to take the load off your feet with orthotics or compression stockings.


Foot Muscle Spasms At Night
If stretching doesn’t do the trick, usually a good massage will get great results as well!


2) Dehydradration & Lack of Electrolytes:

  • This is usually due to drinking alcohol or caffeine throughout the day.
  • It can also be due to a large amount of athletic activity without a chance to recover.

How To Relieve Toe Cramps:

  • It is essential to drink lots of water throughout the day.
  • Every college senior knows that you have to drink a Gatorade before bed after binge drinking!
  • This applies for coffee as well as alcohol.
  • Make sure to always stay hydrated.


Foot Muscle Spasms At Night
Warm socks will usually get your feet to stop twitching as well.


3)Cold Feet At Night:

  • The cold is a major cause of exciting your nerves.
  • As it gets colder, your blood vessels close off in the area & alter your fluid flow.
  • This can decrease the nerve threshold in your feet.
  • This is a major cause of muscle spasms!

How To Relieve Toe Cramps:

  • Get some thicker sheets.
  • Put on some socks!




Dangerous Causes Of Foot Muscle Spasms:

1)Peripheral vascular disease (Poor Circulation):

Foot Muscle Spasms At Night
Foot muscle spasms may be due to a problem with your blood flow. This impaired bloodflow is something to worry about!
  • This is a very common cause of cramps in the older population.
  • It is also very common if you are a smoker or have diabetes.
  • This cramping is due to a lack of blood flow to your feet.
  • It typically shows up in the arch of your foot.

Why Does This Happen?

  • This occurs when your feet are elevated.
  • Your heart has a more difficult time sending blood to your feet from your heart.
  • If you drop your feet over the bed, gravity gets the blood to the feet.
  • Once the muscle gets oxygen, the pain gets much better.

Consider this if:

  • You are over the age of 45 years old.
  • If you are a smoker.
  • If you have diabetes.
  • If you have arteriosclerosis.
  • If you have had a prior problem with your heart.

How To Relieve Foot Cramps:

  • Go see your podiatrist as soon as possible.
  • You will likely need a vascular workup.
  • This is essential because peripheral vascular disease is a major killer in the world.
  • It has very high mortality rate & must be treated aggressively!



2) Peripheral Neuropathy:

Foot Muscle Spasms At Night
If you experience numbness, burning or tingling in your feet, it is likely nerve irritation. This is also something to be worried about. Go see your podiatrist as soon as possible.
  •  This is most commonly seen in diabetics & chronic alcoholics.
  • Peripheral neuropathy is essentially dysfuction of the nerves further away from the spine.
  • This is called a stocking & glove distribution, because the hands & feet start experiencing symptoms first.
  • This can cause nerve pain, cramping, sweating & temperature abnormalities among many others.

How To Relieve Foot Cramps:

  • Go see your podiatrist as soon as possible.
  • You will likely need a neurological workup.
  • Peripheral neuropathy can be slowed or even reversed with nutrition therapy & lifestyle changes.
  • Medication can control the nerve pain & symptoms.







About the author

The Modern Podiatrist (Foot and Ankle Specialist Doctor):Today's podiatrist is required to undergo rigorous medical training that licenses them as physicians with equivalent legal standing to the MD and DO degree (These are physician recognized licenses most common only in the USA). Although admittedly the training does differ between the three degrees. The differences are listed below.In Michigan Podiatrists are trained and authorized to perform surgery in the foot and ankle up to the tibial tubercle below the knee.All our podiatrists and foot doctors have undergone rigorous training including a 4 undergraduate college degree, writing the medical school entrance exam (MCAT), followed by a 4 year medical school degree (DPM - Doctor of Podiatric Medicine),Once podiatrists in the USA complete the rigorous 4 year medical school courses, they are required to complete a minimum of 3 years of a surgical and non-surgical residency program. Some podiatrists and foot doctors then choose to go on to further fellowship training specializing in various forms of specialty such as diabetic surgery or reconstructive foot and ankle surgery.The training is not over yet! Each podiatrist must be judged by a governing body where they submit their surgical cases and are reviewed regularly to ensure excellent results. This is a career long evaluation with board qualifications and certifications every few years.So have faith that today's podiatrist is your best choice for your foot and ankle problems! We are able to approach you foot and ankle problems from a non-surgery perspective, but that when necessary we can provide you with the treatment that you need!All articles written by this account are considered to be for educational purposes only. It is impossible for us to truly assess your condition and the advice we give here is meant to give you a basis to then follow up with your podiatrist and foot doctor later.If you have any questions at all, or there is anything that we can help you with, please feel free to contact our office or email us. Podiatrists provide medically necessary treatment which should be covered by valid insurance plans, we are not a cosmetic or elective medical specialty.