What Causes Foot Cramps At Night? Causes & Best Treatment 2019

What Causes Leg Or Foot Cramps At Night: Foot cramps are the most common muscle spasm in our body. This is because they are under the most stress!

 

 

 

 

What Causes Foot Cramps At Night?

The exact cause of muscle cramps is still being debated. It has to do with electrolyte imbalances, dehydration & hypoxic conditions.

But these are the following causes of non-dangerous night cramps:

  • Overuse of muscle.
  • Pregnancy causing vein compression.
  • Pregnancy releasing “Relaxin” hormone.
  • Dehydration.
  • Imbalance of electrolytes : magnesium, potassium & calcium.
  • Holding an uncomfortable position for a long time (such as a bent foot at night).
  • Some state that it could be due to poor flexibility.

 

 

Why Are Foot Cramps Most Likely?

  • The foot is the further body part from the heart & spinal cord.
  • This means that nerves & blood vessels have to travel the farthest to supply the foot!
  • The foot is also the most stressed body part as it must support our entire weight all day long.
  • In most cases this is completely normally & nothing to worry about.
  • If you are older, overweight, a diabetic or have any systemic problems there may be concern.

 

 

What Causes Foot Cramps At Night? Causes & Best Treatment 2019
Foot and leg cramps at night can occur for numerous reasons. The most common cause is soreness that builds up in your muscles during every day, when you stop moving at night it swells in your muscles.

 

Correctable Causes Of Foot Cramps:

 

1) Muscle stress or fatigue:

  • ***This is by far the most common cause of foot cramps.**
  • 95% of the time this is the cause of your muscle cramps in your feet or legs.
  • In most cases a cramp can last 10 seconds to a couple minutes.
  • This is absolutely nothing to worry about.
  • The muscle is usually over worked throughout the day.

 

 

These are most likely the causes:

  • Overuse of muscle.
  • Dehydration.
  • Imbalance of electrolytes : magnesium, potassium & calcium.
  • Holding an uncomfortable position for a long time (such as a bent foot at night).
  • Some state that it could be due to poor flexibility.

 

Cramps in the arch and ball of the foot.
Cramps and spasms can frequently occur in the arch and the back of the calf. These can be very painful.

Consider this if:

  • You are young & healthy.
  • If you don’t smoke & don’t have diabetes.
  • If you are very active on your feet.
  • It is most common in athletes &
  • If you are pregnant.
  • If you are young & growing.

How To Relieve Cramps:

  • Stretching the foot cramp out will relieve it in almost all cases.
  • Getting up & moving around will increase blood flow to your feet.
  • If you sweat or have an electrolyte imbalance, stay well hydrated.
  • Make sure you do not go to bed dehydrated!

 

Recommended Foot Cramps Products:

 

Foot & Leg Spasm Creams:

These are our favorite night time products to relieve foot, ankle and leg cramps at night.

 

Best Bottom of the Foot & Heel Pain Relief Products
Best & Proven Pain Relieving Gel.
Roll On Version of Biofreeze Gel.
A giant container of value size biofreeze.
Menthol Based Ointment with Hemp Extract
Biofreeze Pain Relief Gel, 4 oz. Tube, Pack of 3 (Packaging May Vary)
Biofreeze Pain Relief Roll-On, 3 oz. Roll-On, Fast Acting, Long Lasting, & Powerful Topical Pain Reliever, Pack of 3 (Packaging May Vary)
Biofreeze Pain Relief Gel, 1 Gallon Pump, Green
HEMPACTIV Hemp Pain Relief Cream  | Hemp + MSM + Arnica + Menthol | Relieve Muscle, Joint & Arthritis Pain | Effective Hemp Pain Cream | 2oz
Price:
$29.99
$24.13
$124.09
$36.97
Overview:
The Proven and Scientifically Published Menthol Based Gel
Same as biofreeze gel, but the roll-on is prefered by some people for their feet, less messy.
8.1 lbs(3.67 kg) of Value Sized Biofreeze!
This is an alternative cream: Basically Biofreeze + hemp extract.
Pros:
Scientifically proven to loosen up and relief pain up to 2x longer than Ice. Less effort than ice and great reviews. 900+ 5 star reviews on Amazon.
The roll-on application of this biofreeze can be easier to apply. Less overall mess.
If you know you already love it and trust the reviews. This is a great value that lasts a long time.
It has great reviews, loved by the all natural crowd. 100s of 5 star reviews with a near perfect rating.
Cons:
Don't put this on open sores or mucous membranes, it will burn! It can run out quick and doesn't prevent pain, just helps it.
Not as easy to spread in other areas, main difference is the roll on applicator, same solution.
A gigantic bottle that could fall over and injure you! Seriously this could be too big in some situations.
Basically looks like menthol(active Biofreeze ingredient), but with hemp extract SKYROCKETING the price.
Important Tips:
Menthol is the active ingredient in this and other hemp based creams. It works similar to ice, but once you apply it you can just move on rather than waiting 20 minutes. **Works great to get your through the night if you have pain sleeping**
Roll-on method is best for the bottom of the feet. No other real advantage. Most patients like it prior to bed for easy sleeping without foot pain.
If you know you love it, this stuff works all over the sore areas in your body not just your foot. I have had many people get me to order this for them in the past and LOVED IT!
The hemp extract is almost nothing and likely a marketing gimmick. It's basically Biofreeze with some hemp extract raising the price.
Amazon Reviewer Comments (Make sure to do your own review research through the link):
"Like I stated earlier, I am a huge fan of this product and I will happily buy this product again. I'm so glad I finally found it online (lol), rather than having to make a trip to the pharmacy."
"The main ingredient is menthol and the cool sensation is long lasting. You have to try this product. Trust me, I've tried them all and there's no comparison!"
"This stuff is GREAT! Value sized!!"
"The cream helps with my nerve pain for several hours , giving me relief on the job. It doesn't take much , I use very little , it goes along way, as long as it is rubbed in properly. I will definitely be purchasing this again. I also gave to a friend that has fibromyalgia, she said it helped with her aches and pains to relieve pressure for a few hours. This is definitely a 5 star purchase."
Affiliate Link (Buying through these links helps support the site): Thank you!
Best Bottom of the Foot & Heel Pain Relief Products
Best & Proven Pain Relieving Gel.
Biofreeze Pain Relief Gel, 4 oz. Tube, Pack of 3 (Packaging May Vary)
Price:
$29.99
Overview:
The Proven and Scientifically Published Menthol Based Gel
Pros:
Scientifically proven to loosen up and relief pain up to 2x longer than Ice. Less effort than ice and great reviews. 900+ 5 star reviews on Amazon.
Cons:
Don't put this on open sores or mucous membranes, it will burn! It can run out quick and doesn't prevent pain, just helps it.
Important Tips:
Menthol is the active ingredient in this and other hemp based creams. It works similar to ice, but once you apply it you can just move on rather than waiting 20 minutes. **Works great to get your through the night if you have pain sleeping**
Amazon Reviewer Comments (Make sure to do your own review research through the link):
"Like I stated earlier, I am a huge fan of this product and I will happily buy this product again. I'm so glad I finally found it online (lol), rather than having to make a trip to the pharmacy."
Affiliate Link (Buying through these links helps support the site): Thank you!
Best Bottom of the Foot & Heel Pain Relief Products
Roll On Version of Biofreeze Gel.
Biofreeze Pain Relief Roll-On, 3 oz. Roll-On, Fast Acting, Long Lasting, & Powerful Topical Pain Reliever, Pack of 3 (Packaging May Vary)
Price:
$24.13
Overview:
Same as biofreeze gel, but the roll-on is prefered by some people for their feet, less messy.
Pros:
The roll-on application of this biofreeze can be easier to apply. Less overall mess.
Cons:
Not as easy to spread in other areas, main difference is the roll on applicator, same solution.
Important Tips:
Roll-on method is best for the bottom of the feet. No other real advantage. Most patients like it prior to bed for easy sleeping without foot pain.
Amazon Reviewer Comments (Make sure to do your own review research through the link):
"The main ingredient is menthol and the cool sensation is long lasting. You have to try this product. Trust me, I've tried them all and there's no comparison!"
Affiliate Link (Buying through these links helps support the site): Thank you!
Best Bottom of the Foot & Heel Pain Relief Products
A giant container of value size biofreeze.
Biofreeze Pain Relief Gel, 1 Gallon Pump, Green
Price:
$124.09
Overview:
8.1 lbs(3.67 kg) of Value Sized Biofreeze!
Pros:
If you know you already love it and trust the reviews. This is a great value that lasts a long time.
Cons:
A gigantic bottle that could fall over and injure you! Seriously this could be too big in some situations.
Important Tips:
If you know you love it, this stuff works all over the sore areas in your body not just your foot. I have had many people get me to order this for them in the past and LOVED IT!
Amazon Reviewer Comments (Make sure to do your own review research through the link):
"This stuff is GREAT! Value sized!!"
Affiliate Link (Buying through these links helps support the site): Thank you!
Best Bottom of the Foot & Heel Pain Relief Products
Menthol Based Ointment with Hemp Extract
HEMPACTIV Hemp Pain Relief Cream  | Hemp + MSM + Arnica + Menthol | Relieve Muscle, Joint & Arthritis Pain | Effective Hemp Pain Cream | 2oz
Price:
$36.97
Overview:
This is an alternative cream: Basically Biofreeze + hemp extract.
Pros:
It has great reviews, loved by the all natural crowd. 100s of 5 star reviews with a near perfect rating.
Cons:
Basically looks like menthol(active Biofreeze ingredient), but with hemp extract SKYROCKETING the price.
Important Tips:
The hemp extract is almost nothing and likely a marketing gimmick. It's basically Biofreeze with some hemp extract raising the price.
Amazon Reviewer Comments (Make sure to do your own review research through the link):
"The cream helps with my nerve pain for several hours , giving me relief on the job. It doesn't take much , I use very little , it goes along way, as long as it is rubbed in properly. I will definitely be purchasing this again. I also gave to a friend that has fibromyalgia, she said it helped with her aches and pains to relieve pressure for a few hours. This is definitely a 5 star purchase."
Affiliate Link (Buying through these links helps support the site): Thank you!

 

 

Night Time Stretching:

These are our favorite time time stretching splints.

 

Best Night & Stretch Splint Products:
Most Cost Effective Night Splint (Not Best for Sleeping).
Best Actual Night Splint (For Night Time Use)
Best Price & Light Support Night Splint
Vive Hard Plantar Fasciitis Night Splint and Trigger Point Spike - Stabilizer Brace Relieves Inflammation - Foot Support Boot Features Adjustable Hook and Loop Straps for Achilles Pain Relief
Procare ProWedge Plantar Fasciitis Night Splint - Medium
Plantar Fasciitis Night Splint Foot Drop Orthotic Supports Kit Adjustable Dorsal Night Splint Support Sleep, Recovery, Tendonitis, Arthritis with Hard Spiky Massage Ball (Black)
Price:
$29.99
$54.92
$21.99
Overview:
Hard Night Splint -** Use it before going to bed for 20-30 minutes**
Best & most comfortable splint for actual night time use.
Top of the foot softer & more gentle splint.
Pros:
This is an amazing device with the highest amazon rating. Has 2 great foot wedges that bend your big toe up and lock your foot in. Great at what it does.
This has excellent reviews(better than the hard splint), less foot numbness and soreness in the ball of your foot. Very soft and comfortable.
Most people can tolerate this one during the night, but only because it stretches you less! That might be a good thing if you can set it and forget it for 6-8 hours at night.
Cons:
Hard to use at while sleeping, so don't use it that way! Easy to use it incorrectly if you don't use the foot wedges correctly. Your big toe should be angled up to lock your foot in.
It actually stretches you less (that's why you are able to wear it all night). It is more expensive.
Basically it is more tolerable because it is weaker. This less results in more time.
Important Tips:
**Must use the foot wedge in the front to angle your toes up. This locks your foot from twisting out rather than stretching through the Achilles tendon - This is the KEY!**
If you prefer to actually wear it at night then this is the BEST option. It does work, but this is for those with very little time and can fall asleep in it!
This is meant only for sleeping because to get results you need to wear it a lot longer than the other braces. Use it only if you are very sensitive.
Amazon Reviewer Comments (Make sure to do your own review research through the link):
"A friend is a physical therapist and she recommended this one. It beats the $200 one from my ortho!!! So much more comfy, so much lighter. I did have to take the "foot ramp" out of the front to hold my foot in the alignment my doc wanted, but it's easy to do. "
"Like all the others I’ve tried, it takes a little getting used to. But this is the most comfortable and therefore works the best... gotta be willing to wear it for it to work."
"I purchased this at the recommendation of my PT to address Achilles tendonitis. I found the splint comfortable to wear and was sleeping with it all night on the second day. More importantly, it prevented that painful tightness of the tendon the next morning."
Affiliate Link (Buying through these links helps support the site): Thank you!
Best Night & Stretch Splint Products:
Most Cost Effective Night Splint (Not Best for Sleeping).
Vive Hard Plantar Fasciitis Night Splint and Trigger Point Spike - Stabilizer Brace Relieves Inflammation - Foot Support Boot Features Adjustable Hook and Loop Straps for Achilles Pain Relief
Price:
$29.99
Overview:
Hard Night Splint -** Use it before going to bed for 20-30 minutes**
Pros:
This is an amazing device with the highest amazon rating. Has 2 great foot wedges that bend your big toe up and lock your foot in. Great at what it does.
Cons:
Hard to use at while sleeping, so don't use it that way! Easy to use it incorrectly if you don't use the foot wedges correctly. Your big toe should be angled up to lock your foot in.
Important Tips:
**Must use the foot wedge in the front to angle your toes up. This locks your foot from twisting out rather than stretching through the Achilles tendon - This is the KEY!**
Amazon Reviewer Comments (Make sure to do your own review research through the link):
"A friend is a physical therapist and she recommended this one. It beats the $200 one from my ortho!!! So much more comfy, so much lighter. I did have to take the "foot ramp" out of the front to hold my foot in the alignment my doc wanted, but it's easy to do. "
Affiliate Link (Buying through these links helps support the site): Thank you!
Best Night & Stretch Splint Products:
Best Actual Night Splint (For Night Time Use)
Procare ProWedge Plantar Fasciitis Night Splint - Medium
Price:
$54.92
Overview:
Best & most comfortable splint for actual night time use.
Pros:
This has excellent reviews(better than the hard splint), less foot numbness and soreness in the ball of your foot. Very soft and comfortable.
Cons:
It actually stretches you less (that's why you are able to wear it all night). It is more expensive.
Important Tips:
If you prefer to actually wear it at night then this is the BEST option. It does work, but this is for those with very little time and can fall asleep in it!
Amazon Reviewer Comments (Make sure to do your own review research through the link):
"Like all the others I’ve tried, it takes a little getting used to. But this is the most comfortable and therefore works the best... gotta be willing to wear it for it to work."
Affiliate Link (Buying through these links helps support the site): Thank you!
Best Night & Stretch Splint Products:
Best Price & Light Support Night Splint
Plantar Fasciitis Night Splint Foot Drop Orthotic Supports Kit Adjustable Dorsal Night Splint Support Sleep, Recovery, Tendonitis, Arthritis with Hard Spiky Massage Ball (Black)
Price:
$21.99
Overview:
Top of the foot softer & more gentle splint.
Pros:
Most people can tolerate this one during the night, but only because it stretches you less! That might be a good thing if you can set it and forget it for 6-8 hours at night.
Cons:
Basically it is more tolerable because it is weaker. This less results in more time.
Important Tips:
This is meant only for sleeping because to get results you need to wear it a lot longer than the other braces. Use it only if you are very sensitive.
Amazon Reviewer Comments (Make sure to do your own review research through the link):
"I purchased this at the recommendation of my PT to address Achilles tendonitis. I found the splint comfortable to wear and was sleeping with it all night on the second day. More importantly, it prevented that painful tightness of the tendon the next morning."
Affiliate Link (Buying through these links helps support the site): Thank you!

 

****Before reading the rest, consider that overuse is the cause 95% of the time. If you go down here you are probably wasting time and effort.****

 

 

2)Foot and Leg Cramps Due To Pregnancy:

  • If you are pregnant, you are essentially guaranteed foot and leg cramps.
  • They become more frequent the further you go into your pregnancy.
  • They occur due to the increase fluids in your body and other changes.

 

Causes Of Foot & Leg Cramps While Pregnant:

  • Your body releases a ligament called relaxin.
  • This hormone normally loosens tissues to birth the baby.
  • But this hormone allows easier stretching of your foot and leg ligaments.
  • This puts more and more stress on your foot muscles.
  • Not to mention that you weigh more than normal!
  • They become overworked and irritated.

 

 

Vein Compression While Pregnant:

  • The uterus can expand and compress your iliac veins.
  • These veins lead to your hear.
  • If the veins are compressed this backs up the blood flow in your legs.
  • This causes poor oxygenation & nutrition of your muscles and nerves.

 

 

How To Relieve Pregnancy Foot or Leg Cramps:

  • Stretching the foot cramp out will relieve it in almost all cases.
  • Getting up & moving around will increase blood flow to your feet.
  • If you sweat or have an electrolyte imbalance, stay well hydrated.
  • Make sure you do not go to bed dehydrated!

 

 

3) Peripheral vascular disease (Poor Circulation):

  • 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!

 

 

4)Peripheral Neuropathy:

  •  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.

 

 

5)Diabetes:

  • Diabetes can cause peripheral vascular disease, which leads to night time muscle cramps.
  • Diabetes can also cause peripheral neuropathy, which is a nerve disorder.

 

How To Relieve Foot Cramps:

  • Go see your podiatrist as soon as possible.
  • You will likely need a vascular & neurological workup.
  • Peripheral neuropathy can be slowed or even reversed with nutrition therapy & lifestyle changes.
  • Medication can control the nerve pain & symptoms.
  • This is essential because peripheral vascular disease is a major killer in the world.
  • It has very high mortality rate & must be treated aggressively!

 

 

6)Smoking:

  • Smoking can lead to higher rates of peripheral vascular disease.
  • Peripheral vascular disease will lead to foot cramp symptoms.

 

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!