General Question

shrubbery's avatar

How can I prevent a cramp?

Asked by shrubbery (10311points) July 10th, 2008

The muscle in the arch of my foot feels really tight and if I curl my foot over I can feel that I’m about to get a cramp, I have to quickly straighten out my foot so as not to feel the extreme pain. Is there a way I can make this go away? I can also tell when I’m about to get a cramp in my thigh, I can feel it coming and unless I wriggle around I’ll get one, and even if I do if I accidentally move back into that position I will get one then. Is there a way I can prevent to onset of a cramp?

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16 Answers

jlm11f's avatar

Cramps can be prevented by drinking a lot of water. Keep hydrated, and you shouldn’t be cramping at all. so go drink tons of water…now!!!

Edit – also massaging the muscle that’s about to cramp, will help prevent it or calm it down since muscle cramps have to do with painful contracting of the muscles.

JMCSD's avatar

I get cramps in the exact same place! 1. GET hydrated! 2. Salt! Funnily enough not having enough salt in you can cause cramps. 3. Potassium. Eat a banana or start a potassium regiment. I used to be on one during football. Also, a quick tip. If you get a cramp on ur arch, find a corner or lay a broom down or something and put downward pressure on your foot and go back and forth. Imagine you’re rolling down dough on the bottom of your foot kinda. Hope these help.

shrubbery's avatar

Haha lucky I just bought a shiny new drinkbottle to try and encourage myself to drink more :P
Also lucky I’m not allergic to bananas any more, I’ll have to get some more into me. What else has potassium in it?
Thanks for the help guys.
P.S PnL, I can’t give you any more lurve points haha

jlm11f's avatar

Salt and banana are also two very good solutions! I didn’t suggest banana because I dislike (hate) it personally. aww shrubbs! well it’s the thought that counts anyway :)

shrubbery's avatar

I personally can only eat firm bananas, a tiny tinge of green. Anything riper than that pretty much makes me puke!

drhat77's avatar

How many times a day does this occur? how long are you sitting or not moving it before it happens?
Do you have a primary doctor that you can bring this up to? in the overwhelming amount of times, muscle cramps are just that, painful things that go away and leave no permanent damamge. But if you smoke, have high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, or have heart disease, you would be at risk for also having peripheral vascular disease.
Don’t worry needlessly until you’ve spoken to a physician who has evaluated you and your risk factors. If you don’t have a physician this site can help you find one. Good luck, and I hope it all works out.

marinelife's avatar

Sorry, shrub, I hate cramps!

Sweet potato, tomato paste, white potato, beet greens (Yuck, I think I would take the cramp!), yogurt, white beans, clams, prune jounce, carrot juice, tuna, lima beans, tomato puree, halibut.

By the way, all of the above have more potassium than a banana per the chart.

shrubbery's avatar

MMMMM SWEET POTATO! the rest… not so much.

shilolo's avatar

I mentioned this on a previous thread about cramps, but there is little evidence to suggest that potassium can help alleviate cramps in normal people. Fact is, we still don’t know why cramps occur in normal people.

PnL is right that the best thing one can do is to stay in shape (out of shape people overexert themselves more readily, thus leading to cramps), stretch well both before and after exercise and to stay hydrated. Even though a lot of websites and popular lore tout taking potassium supplements (or foods high in potassium), it is the rare individual who is deficient in potassium (since levels of potassium in the blood are very tightly regulated by the kidney). Some people are deficient in potassium, but this is typically due to a medical condition or medication. Often potassium and calcium are recommended because, in a normal person with well functioning kidneys, any extra that you take beyond what the body needs is peed out.

In case you all don’t believe me, there is a nice series of articles on this blog as well. Here is data showing that potassium levels (as well as other electrolytes) are the same between crampers and noncrampers. Finally, this section outlines practical things to do to try and prevent cramps.

gooch's avatar

H2O and streching

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Try to get more exercise!

shrubbery's avatar

I’m sorry but I think I get plenty of exercise thankyou very much.

I’ve been drinking more water guys and now I’ve just gotta remember to stretch before and after my sports. Thanks everyone!

keithriley's avatar

i have arthiritus fibromyalgia angina diverculitus what can i do for cramp as exercise is out of the question

La_chica_gomela's avatar

keithriley, could you be more specific? What type of cramp? Where does it hurt? When does it happen? Do you know what causes it? Maybe you should consider asking a whole new question, since this one is about shrubbery’s specific cramp. If you create a new question, you will probably receive a lot more responses, and it will be easier for the rest of us to keep track of all these cramps! ;-)

drhat77's avatar

keithriley was joking – i like the disease. it’s a parody of american response to disease

philosopher's avatar

You could do Yoga.

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