Toes may be small, but when they hurt they feel as though they're as big as your entire leg. Toe cramping is extremely common and can be caused by many things. If your toes cramp, it can stop you from getting the most out of your workout or may require you to stop altogether.
Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to stop toe cramps or prevent them from happening in the first place.
The following are some of the main reasons toe cramps happen. Some of them are likely to surprise you:
• Dehydration – This is one of the most common causes of toe cramps. The reason is that when you sweat, you lose many minerals – also known as electrolytes – that are required for your muscles to function properly. This can lead to deficiencies in those minerals. Since your muscles aren't getting what they need anymore, the result can be muscle spasms and contractions that feel like cramping. Keep yourself properly hydrated throughout an entire workout to help to prevent these types of toe cramping. If they have already occurred, rehydrate with a proper electrolyte rich, low sugar beverage. If this is happening regularly, consider a less intense workout until your body adapts to its new needs.
• Ill-fitting shoes – If your shoes are too tight or too loose, this can lead to toe cramping, too. It can come with restricted blood flow, unnecessary strain or having to compensate for a loose shoe that must be held in place. If your shoe feels loose or if it is tight enough that you can't wiggle your toes, it doesn't fit right. If your toes tingle after you've put your shoes on, this is also a sign that they aren't the right fit.
• Aging toes – Toes can start to cramp in people over the age of 50. The reason is that calcium stores start to deplete, and muscles aren't as elastic as they once were. Therefore, there is greater strain on the toes to provide the body with the necessary support. Moreover, nerve and vascular function aren't as good as they were a few decades ago. This can result in cramping because these various parts aren't functioning at their ideal levels anymore.
Great ways to make sure you ease toe cramps or prevent them in the first place includes:
• Making sure you're fully hydrated.
• Wearing shoes that fit you properly and that are in good condition. It's also important to wear the right shoes for the activity in which you're participating.
• Don't overdo it in your workouts. Know your fitness limits.
• Stretch properly before and after workouts.
• Massage your feet at the start and end of each day.