or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Foot Cramps

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hi Everyone,
I`m new to the forums today. Thanks much for your time and help.

I am 23 years old and have had problems with foot cramps since I was 12 or 14. Since then, I have never owned a pair of boots that did not cause a very painful dull throbbing feeling after an hour or two of rigorous skiing. The cramps start at the base of my small toes and work their ways around the front and outside of both feet. they are usually worse in the right foot.

I have been able to deal with this until recently, but now I am in a position to go skiing several times a week, so Ireally want to address this problem.

I pronate, and I`m pretty sure that this is part of the problem, but I can`t say for sure. I have experimented with several kinds of Dr. Scholl`s inserts in my boots and none of them seem to have made a difference.

I used to have this problem when I was running and enough training made it go away (and I never had to use inserts)- but only while running. Thepain seems to come from putting weight on the ball of my foot.

I spend a good deal of my day sitting at a desk and standing around (I teach) are there some stretches or exercises I could do throughout the day that might benefit me on the ski hill?

Thanks for your time and advice!

Thanks!
post #2 of 18
Here's a link to a thread that I put up summarizing what I've learned about arch cramping. Your case may be different, but hopefully this will give you some good info. Good luck!

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=39663
post #3 of 18
You may have a circulatory problem in the arteries of your legs. If there is a blockage that reduces the flow of blood and oxygen to the muscles in your feet, that could cause cramps, which is basically a buildup of lactic acid from the exercise. Since its worse in your right foot, that further indicates a problem.

Your doctor could check your pulse in each side of your groin, behind each knee, and on each instep. If there is a weaker pulse at one location, that may indicate a blockage. Your doctor could then schedule you for an ultrasound-doppler test which would more clearly indicate the location of any blockage. This is a non-invasive test, and will allow you to determine if a circulatory problem is the cause of your cramps.
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your thoughtful responses!

Skimangojazz, I`d like to try the exercise mentioned in your post:

"4. Weakness in those small muscles in the bottom of the feet; Solution; exercise them. Put a towel on the floor with a weight on it and pushing down on it with your toes, pull it towards you."

How exactly does this work? I am picturing holding the ends of a towel with each of my hands, holding the middle of the towel to the floor with my feet, putting a weight on my feet and pushing and pulling. Is this right? How much weight should I use?

Empressdiver, that`s certainly something that I had not thought about before. I think that I`ll try the technique changes and exercises first, or would you strongly suggest seeing a doctor about this right away? Is it really possible that I`ve had some kind of artery blockage since I was 12 or 14?

Thanks!
post #5 of 18
Pam Fletcher showed me this many years ago.

Lay a towel on the floor and put a weight, maybe 10 lbs or even less, on one end of the towel. Stand on the floor at the other end of the towel and put your toes (barefoot) on the edge of the towel. Curl your toes in so as to pull the towel towards you. Keep releasing and curling your toes to move that weight closer and closer to you. You can step back, or bend over and move the towel back away from you (and flat) when you need to.

So it's a gripping motion with your toes and a pulling motion. Kind of like the dreaded trying to grip the snow with your feet motion that can cause cramping - but in this case it's a strengthening move.

Make any better sense now? Hard to describe without video!
post #6 of 18
You have had this problem for about 10 years now. The same symptoms occur with different exercises and different footware. At your age, normal foot muscles should be able to handle the load more comfortably, so I wouldn't think its just a simple matter of foot exercises.

Your symptoms might more usually occur with older people with a buildup of cholesterol and placque in their arteries. If there was a blockage in your leg, there is no risk of it coming loose and travelling to your heart or brain since the arteries become smaller further down the leg. Its really a matter of how much it affects the quality of your life.

However, your symptoms might be caused by a condition you were born with. Its probably not urgent, but to solve the problem, you may have to rule out potential causes one at a time, and this medical exam might be a good place to start. You could also get your feet checked out by a specialist doctor.
post #7 of 18
[quote=Ghaleon;844766]Hi Everyone,
I am 23 years old and have had problems with foot cramps since I was 12 or 14. Since then, I have never owned a pair of boots that did not cause a very painful dull throbbing feeling after an hour or two of rigorous skiing. The cramps start at the base of my small toes and work their ways around the front and outside of both feet. they are usually worse in the right foot.

I pronate, and I`m pretty sure that this is part of the problem, but I can`t say for sure. I have experimented with several kinds of Dr. Scholl`s inserts in my boots and none of them seem to have made a difference.

I used to have this problem when I was running and enough training made it go away (and I never had to use inserts)- but only while running. Thepain seems to come from putting weight on the ball of my foot.

I spend a good deal of my day sitting at a desk and standing around (I teach) are there some stretches or exercises I could do throughout the day that might benefit me on the ski hill?

Hi, I have endured the same problem for years. I used to run daily and I believe that running caused most of the cramping I would get in calves and feet. However, I would never usually cramp except when I swim, which is nearly every day! I drink tons of fluids, eat lots of fruit and take vitamins. Calcium supplements have really eliminated cramping problems for me, but I am in my 50's. You may want to have your calcium checked, even though you are young, and probably have adequate calcium levels.

However, here's a great site where the exercises they show have significantly increased my toe/ankle flexibility (runners have very stiff ankles and generally make very poor kickers in the pool). My ankles are so loose and free now--I believe my toe cramps have disappeared because of these exercises--you can do them all days long at your desk or at home while on the couch. Like you, I sit during the day and that doesn't help circulation. At first I could barely do circles with my left foot and now it's about 50% improved. If you can't find it, google Dryland Ankle Flexibility Exercise Barbara Hummel. There's even a video of the exercises. Good luck.

http://www.goswim.tv/drilloftheweek_...=3959_0_20_0_C
post #8 of 18

foot tricks

Ghaleon,
Here are some tricks that worked for me. #1 Before putting boots on, reach over the front of your foot and pull your toes up as far as you can. Hold for about 1 minute. #2 With out shoes or boots on, rotate your feet in circles, 1 minute to the left and 1 minute to the right. Now put your boots on and walk around for about 5 minutes. Next take boots off and walk around bare foot for another 5 minutes. Now put boots on and ski easy with boots as loose as possable for 2-3 runs. Now buckle up and enjoy the day.
post #9 of 18
Ghaleon:

Hi, I have endured the same problem for years. I used to run daily and I believe that running caused most of the cramping I would get in calves and feet. However, I would never usually cramp except when I swim, which is nearly every day! I drink tons of fluids, eat lots of fruit and take vitamins. Calcium supplements have really eliminated cramping problems for me, but I am in my 50's. You may want to have your calcium checked, even though you are young, and probably have adequate calcium levels.

However, here's a great site where the exercises they show have significantly increased my toe/ankle flexibility (runners have very stiff ankles and generally make very poor kickers in the pool). My ankles are so loose and free now--I believe my toe cramps have disappeared because of these exercises--you can do them all days long at your desk or at home while on the couch.: Like you, I sit during the day and that doesn't help circulation. At first I could barely do circles with my left foot and now it's about 50% improved. If you can't find it, google Dryland Ankle Flexibility Exercise Barbara Hummel. There's even a video of the exercises. Good luck.

http://www.goswim.tv/drilloftheweek_...=3959_0_20_0_C
post #10 of 18
What Kazoo said. Get in a push up position and REALLY stretch out that big toe /arch. Also massage the arch and get that thing loose. Make sure your socks are smooth and thin.

UNBUCKLE on the lift.
post #11 of 18
I just read though this post. The suggestions given should be helpful....However, if it were me, I'd want to know the cause.

Treating yourself randomly for everything and anything is what I call...
The Shotgun Approach.

Some of the suggestions are for things like intermittent claudication, plantar fasciitis, boot compression, etc.

These are all possibilities.

It could be something as simple as, not curling your toes up when in the backseat in a double black mogul run.

I don't know? The recommendation to get checked out with a doppler is a good one.
post #12 of 18
If simple exercises work, why put yourself through doctors, lab work, xrays? I've been in the hospital, to tons of specialists, e.g., neurologists, ENTs, had MRI's, CAT scans, etc. to figure out why I get vertigo attacks and am off balanced for months. No answer yet after way too many xrays, time and money. Simple exercises cured the vertigo. Trial and error sometimes works better than visitis to doctors. When it comes to circulation issues, you'll probably undergo blood work, xrays, neurologists, and then what? Excuse my ignorance, but what can they do if there is poor circulation to the foot? I've been cramping in one foot for years, and calcium and exercise has all but eliminated it. When one specialist out of a dozen said I MIGHT have a blockage to an artery leading to the inner ear, the surgery was so invasive that I would never have it done (he wouldn't even do it--I would have to travel cross country). Just my opinion.
post #13 of 18
IMO, when I have a health issue, first I research it, then I try the simple route--vitamins, supplements, exercises, physical therapy. If that doesn't work, I go to the doctor. I suffer from vertigo and sometimes the unbalanced feeling can last for months, which is horrible. I've gone to the hospital, had blood work, MRIs, cat scans, saw ENTs, neurologists, and no one can give a medical cause, forget about a cure! Simple vestibular exercises helped dramatically, when nothing else did. One neurologist suggested a very invasive, very scary operation that involved arteries around the brain. I don't profess to be in any way, knowledgeable, but at this stage, I'm very jaded, having been told I had no stomach problems, only to lose a gallbladder and appendix a few days later by hospitals and specialists. I just wonder, what could they possibly do if there's poor circulation going to the foot? I've had foot cramps for years, and calcium and foot exercises have all but eliminated that problem. For me, I wouldn't undergo surgery, so there's no point in putting myself through all those tests and specialists. Just my opinion.
post #14 of 18
Maybe custom orthotics will help if you pronate. They certainly eliminated my cramping. I would think a an arterial circulatory problem would also cause you to have diminished or absent pulses in the feet and cyanosis (bluish discoloration of toes and toenails).
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by renie View Post
I just wonder, what could they possibly do if there's poor circulation going to the foot? I've had foot cramps for years, and calcium and foot exercises have all but eliminated that problem. For me, I wouldn't undergo surgery, so there's no point in putting myself through all those tests and specialists. Just my opinion.
If there is an arterial blockage in the leg which is causing poor circulation and cramping in the foot, a vascular surgeon can access the artery at the groin and insert a stent (like a cylindrical screen) in the artery which will flatten the placque, etc. against the wall of the artery and thereby restore full circulation through it.

My first post outlined checking the pulse at the groin, behind the knee, and the instep of the foot for an initial examination. A moderate blockage may not cause any discoloration in the feet. It may only cause cramping in the leg or foot below the blockage when it is exercised.

I know it still seems like a medically crude solution and poor housekeeping in the artery since the offending substance is not removed, and that is conceptually a pissoff. But that is the current state of medical technology to deal with this problem.

Too bad they don't have a more elegant solution like a biodegradeable chemical to put in a person's blood which would simply dissolve the placque into solution and which could then be extracted from the blood with a procedure like dialysis.
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by empressdiver View Post
If there is an arterial blockage in the leg which is causing poor circulation and cramping in the foot, a vascular surgeon can access the artery at the groin and insert a stent (like a cylindrical screen) in the artery which will flatten the placque, etc. against the wall of the artery and thereby restore full circulation through it.

My first post outlined checking the pulse at the groin, behind the knee, and the instep of the foot for an initial examination. A moderate blockage may not cause any discoloration in the feet. It may only cause cramping in the leg or foot below the blockage when it is exercised.

I know it still seems like a medically crude solution and poor housekeeping in the artery since the offending substance is not removed, and that is conceptually a pissoff. But that is the current state of medical technology to deal with this problem.

Too bad they don't have a more elegant solution like a biodegradeable chemical to put in a person's blood which would simply dissolve the placque into solution and which could then be extracted from the blood with a procedure like dialysis.
Thanks for educating me--that's very intriguing, although the test freaks me out (have an aversion to needles, etc.). It would certainly be worth it if it worked.
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghaleon View Post
I spend a good deal of my day sitting at a desk and standing around (I teach) are there some stretches or exercises I could do throughout the day that might benefit me on the ski hill?

Thanks for your time and advice!

Thanks!
There used to be a member here that spent some time recovering from balance issues and he would teach some of his class schedule standing on a balance board (with his principals permission of course). I can't think of which device he he used at the moment---If I do recall, I'll came back and post it.
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by renie View Post
Thanks for educating me--that's very intriguing, although the test freaks me out (have an aversion to needles, etc.). It would certainly be worth it if it worked.
The ultrasound-doppler test is completely non-invasive. The technician will first use a device to measure the pulse at the three areas. He will then place a sensing device on your skin, moving it down your leg, to read and record the ultrasound waves in the computer to produce an image of the artery. This test will show any arterial blockages in your legs and provide some additional data like blood flow rates, etc.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav: