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How to Get Rid of Foot Cramps After Running

It may feel good to take a long run, but muscle cramps in your feet can ruin the rest of your day. Muscle cramps may occur due to dehydration and strenuous muscle exertion. After working your muscles for a long period of time, the muscles in your feet may involuntarily contract, causing a painful spasm. You can reduce foot cramps at home with items you may already have around the house. Talk to your doctor before treating your foot cramps yourself, particularly if you have health conditions or injuries.

  1. Rub your feet to relax your muscles and reduce foot cramps. Rub your muscles upward, toward your heart to increase the blood flow to your foot, which will help your muscles relax. If you get foot cramps while you sleep, rub your feet right before bed.

  2. Stretch your feet after running and before bed. Point your toes for five seconds, then flex them. Continue alternating between pointing and flexing your toes for one minute.

  3. Drink water or a sports drink with electrolytes immediately after running and remain hydrated before going to bed. Dehydration may cause foot cramps, and staying hydrated may help eliminate them.

  4. Place a heating pad or electric blanket over your feet before you go to bed. The heat will relax your muscles, making nocturnal foot cramps less likely.

  5. Go to sleep. If you're sleep deprived, running may cause more muscle fatigue than usual. When you wake up the next morning, your feet may feel more relaxed.


    Go barefoot or wear loose socks to bed -- wearing tight, constricting socks may make foot cramps worse.


    Do not use quinine to treat muscle cramps. Although it has been frequently prescribed in the past, quinine medications may cause allergic reactions, kidney complications and an irregular heartbeat.

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Things Needed

  • Sports drink with electrolytes
  • Heating pad or electric blanket

About the Author

This article was written by the SportsRec team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about SportsRec, contact us here.

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