Hand or foot cramps are usually medically called spasms, according to MedlinePlus. When one or more muscles cramps or spasms, unwanted pain and frustration can result. While many factors that cause hand or foot spasms aren’t serious, some potential causes of unwanted muscle contractions include serious illnesses such as multiple sclerosis.
Hand and foot cramps, depending on the severity, may also be accompanied by other symptoms, according to MedlinePlus. Muscle weakness, fatigue, numbness, tingling, that “pins and needles” sensation, twitching or uncontrollable bodily movements may come along with hand or foot cramps.
Some causes of hand or foot cramps can be treated at home, as they are rarely serious, according to MedlinePlus. Too little vitamin D, heavy exercise or hyperventilation due to anxiety can cause unwanted cramps.
A few causes of hand or foot cramps are potentially serious and sometimes even life-threatening; you may need medical treatment especially if you suspect a serious injury or illness might have caused cramps, according to MedlinePlus. Thyroid disorders, brain disorders such as Huntington’s disease or dystonia, chronic kidney disease, severe dehydration and injuries to the nerves in the affected area all might cause hand or foot cramps.
The elderly are especially prone to foot cramps during the evening hours, according to MedlinePlus. However, expectant moms are also more likely to suffer from hand or foot cramps during pregnancy especially during the third trimester. Inadequate nutrition such as not enough calcium can contribute significantly to unwanted body cramps.
At-Home Treatment Options
If you don’t suspect a serious injury or illness, then you can try some at-home treatment options for those hand or foot spasms, according to MedlinePlus. Make sure you are eating foods or taking supplements with plenty of vitamin D; this mineral is typically found in oily fish, margarine, eggs, liver, breakfast cereals and powdered milk, according to the Food Standards Agency.
You can also take calcium supplements and drink more low-fat milk if you suspect nutritional deficiencies might be causing your hand or foot cramps. Gentle exercise can go a long way toward reducing or preventing unwanted muscle spasms. However, one of the best things you can do to keep your muscles moving only when you want them to is to drink plenty of fresh water, especially while exercising or performing other daily activities such as cleaning your child’s bedroom.
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