What causes toe cramps and yoga asanas to get relief

Toe cramps can be mild or so severe that you'll find it difficult to walk. Let's find out the causes of toe cramps and which all yoga poses can help.
Reasons behind toe cramps
Know the reasons behind toe cramps. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Natalia Ningthoujam Updated: 17 Oct 2023, 18:31 pm IST
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Exercising should be a wholesome activity involving all parts of your body – from the head to the toes! That’s right. But sometimes, we may end up getting toe cramps, which can make it painful to move the toes. Your toes, may in fact, curl up a bit. What causes toe cramps and can yoga help to deal with the pain? Let’s find out!

Health Shots consulted Dr Raju Easwaran, Principal Consultant, Orthopaedics and Arthroscopy, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, New Delhi and global leading holistic health guru and corporate life coach Dr Mickey Mehta, to know about toe cramps.

toe cramps
Toe cramps have many reasons. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

What are toe cramps?

Dr Easwaran explains that like cramps of any muscle group, toe cramps are also an involuntary contraction of the muscles. In this case, they are the toe muscles, especially the ones that bend the toes. There is severe foot pain and fixed bending of the toes when you are struck by cramps. They feel as if the ground is slipping beneath your feet.

Causes of toe cramps

Some medications such as diuretics are taken for high blood pressure, and they can predispose to cramps, says Dr Easwaran. Sometimes, depletion of magnesium during pregnancy can also lead to cramps. Even people on dialysis often experience muscle cramps. Here are other causes of toe cramps:

1. Injuries

You can have toe cramps if you injure your muscles and other tissues in the toes, feet or calves.

2. Dehydration

The most common cause of toe cramps is dehydration, according to Dr Easwaran. It is especially likely to cause toe cramps when the muscles are already injured or when your shoes are tight and hurt the toes.

3. Poor blood flow

You can feel the pain when there is not enough blood flow to your toes or feet. Having diabetes or sitting for a long time and crossing your legs without moving at all, can all slow blood flow to your feet and toes.

4. Dystonia

When involuntary muscle contractions happen, they cause repetitive or twisting movements. Brain injuries or a stroke can cause dystonia.

toe cramps
Try yoga for toe cramps. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Yoga for toe cramps

The best way to treat toe cramps is active muscle movement during cramps, says Dr Easwaran. So, you can start walking fast or do a light run or try out yoga poses. Here are some of the asanas suggested by Dr Mickey Mehta:

1. Trikonasana

• Keep your legs three feet apart and move your feet outward at 90 degrees with your hands open.
• Bend sidewards while gazing towards your upper hand.
• Hold the position for 10 seconds then repeat the steps on other side.

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2. Adho mukha svanasana

• From Vajrasana, place your palms in front of you.
• Lift your hips torso region up and hold it for 10 seconds then relax.

3. Janusirsasana

• Keep your right leg folded and stretch your left leg forward.
• Stretch your hands up and bend flexing your toe in.
• Bend forward and try touching your forehead to the knee.

If you don’t get the asanas then you might have toe cramps too. Other than these asanas, Dr Mehta says make intelligent choices when it comes to food. That means you should eat those items that will give you essential nutrients. You can even do something as simple as walking barefoot in the sand or grass to strengthen your foot muscles.

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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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