Are foot cramps related to arthritis?

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Lizzie-Pat
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 2/12/2009 8:36 AM (GMT -7)   
My feet cramp terribly, especially if I'm exercising (swimming is the worst).  I've tried supplementing with extra Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Vit E and Fish Oil.  I've tried the ionized water that has the balanced minerals in it (maybe it would have worked it if I could have kept it up but it tasted salty and ucky). 
 
If anyone else has this problem and has found a solution that works, I'll be interested in trying it. I do use the soap at the end of the bed trick and I don't wake up with leg cramps during the night any more, but I'm not sure this isn't a really good placebo and anyway I can't strap soap to myself all the time smilewinkgrin so I'm looking for a more substantive solution.
 
Thanks in advance for any feedback.  Moderators please let me know if there's a more appropriate thread for this query.
 
 

psAinCanada
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 2/12/2009 1:41 PM (GMT -7)   

I've had a couple foot cramps (and calf cramps too) while swimming and know how painful that can be. I have a couple ideas that might help. Are you sure you're adequately hydrated? I try to drink 1 litre of water in 30 minutes of swimming. Are you staying warm? I try to take regular breaks and sit in the hot tub for a few minutes to stay warm. You could even try neoprene booties. Finally, has anyone looked at your swimming technique for you? It is very hard to evaluate your efficiency yourself. You don't have to be a kid to take a lesson.

Good luck, hope you find some relief because you wouldn't want to get discouraged from exercise.


Healing well with psoriasis, PsA, and hypogonadism, and happy to share my experiences.
 


Lizzie-Pat
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 2/12/2009 3:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the reply PSAinCanada.  I don't think my technique is my problem; swimming was just one example.  I have trouble stretching, doing yoga, sometimes putting my foot into a shoe.  I don't think heat is an issue either, I have the problem whether it's 30 degrees or 100 degrees.  I live in a warm temp zone now so it's more likely to be the latter :)
 
Hydration could be part of the answer, though I tried a few months ago drinking 2 quarts a day to see if it would help.  It didn't, but maybe two weeks wasn't a long enough trial or maybe I need more than that.  It's hard to keep up when you work in an office though - too much time going back and forth to the restroom. I do normally take a bottle of water with me to the pool, though I probably only drink 6-8 ounces.
 
I suspect I'm not metabolizing something correctly; besides the foot cramps I'm very susceptible to pulled muscles.  I work out on machines where I have a lot of support and I'm verrry careful.  If I feel something starting to go out of whack, I ease up.
 
I know what psoriasis is; I don't know the other two.  What kind of symptoms do they produce?  Do you use supplements or prescription drugs or some combination thereof?  It sounds like you have a handle on all of it - good for you!

psAinCanada
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 2/13/2009 9:29 AM (GMT -7)   

I hope you find relief from your cramping issue.

As for my signature line, I have psoriasis, PsA and hypogonadism. PsA is shorthand for psoriatic arthritis. Its classic symptom is the sausage toe, but for me it's also in the knees, 1 hip, spine, and 3 fingers. Having failed Methotrexate, quinines, and azathioprine, I've just started Humira a month ago. I take one shot every two weeks. I haven't noticed any benefit yet, but I'm very hopeful.

Hypogonadism is low testosterone. Perhaps 1/3 of men with autoimmune diseases like RA have it. The main symptoms for me were weight loss, poor erections, and diminished sexual desire. I use a topical testosterone gel called Androgel and it works great.

I don't use any supplements, but I try to eat lots of fruits and vegetables, and some cold water fish. I still love meat, but I try to stay at around 100 g per day of it. And I swim a lot. Lately I've been doing 'deep water aquafit' because I get bored just swimming back and forth.


Healing well with psoriasis, PsA, and hypogonadism, and happy to share my experiences.
 


CaMama
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1884
   Posted 2/14/2009 5:49 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi, I also have psoriatic arthritis and have had some severe cramping issues with my feet in the past. Psoriatic arthritis is known for causing issues in the feet.

Two things that have helped me greatly with the foot cramps  are 1. Stretching the calves deeply....if you're prone to pulling muscles, work in to it slowly. I've found that I get the best results standing up leaning against a counter or chair to get a deep calve stretch. My podietrist showed me...which brings me to #2...see a podietrist. When my feet started giving me debilitating cramps, it turned out my feet had become a mechanical mess from years of compensating for knee and ankle pain. I was given specially made orthodics. I can't live without them now and I don't wear any shoes but New Balance sneakers now. No matter what. Yeah, it looks kinda silly at times, but now I can get through an event without tears.

I know getting enough water in is tough, I struggle with it as well. However, it is SO unbelievably essential - espeically when you take medicine regularly. Without it, your system can fully processes the supplements you are taking either. Try to drink a minimum 64 oz a day if you can...work up to it. I have a 20oz bottle I take to and from work and do my best to drink at least 3 fills a day (though I'm still only averaging about 2).  After a while, you'll crave the water and feel it when you don't get enough. Good luck.**


 


jackcc
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 80
   Posted 2/15/2009 10:42 AM (GMT -7)   
I know your frustration and your pain. You're a candidate for quinine sulfate. Trouble is that the FDA has banned quinine sulfate. Lots of people used to get prescriptions for that until the FDA stopped it. That leaves a lot of people hurting. Your problem will be solved if somehow you can acquire Quinine Sulfate. In the meantime, you can go to a health food store and buy something called HYLAND'S LEG CRAMPS. Its a little bottle of tablets that contain quinine sulfate and its difficult to find quinine sulfate anywhere else. All those other ideas are gimmicks. I would be a cripple without quinine sulfate. You can find Hyland's on line.

Post Edited (jackcc) : 2/15/2009 10:47:59 AM (GMT-7)


SnowyLynne
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 1539
   Posted 2/15/2009 2:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Could be poor circulation too.......
SnowyLynne


Lizzie-Pat
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 2/16/2009 9:54 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, you're all giving me some good ideas.

Jack, I have those Hyland Leg Cramp pills. I usually take a couple just before swimming if I have them handy. They seem to help a little; I wonder if I should take more than 2. I guess the Quinine Sulfate didn't have any high-paid lobbyists to keep it from biting the dust - it probably didn't cost as much as some other medication that was being pushed as an alternate.

CaMama I think you're on the right track with the stretching. I've noticed in the warm months when I jump on the trampoline with my grandchildren that my foot pain and cramps decrease substantially. I have a very small apartment but I have considered buying a small trampoline to see if frequent use would get rid of my foot pain.

I did see a podiatrist; he gave me a prescription for a totally ineffectual pair of orthotic shoes that cost me over $200 (insurance picked up some of the cost so they were actually closer to $300). I can't wear them for even an hour without being in agony. Unfortunately I didn't save the box so I don't know if I can sell them on e-bay. Not to say all podiatrists would be so stupid; this guy was ancient and he went on a rant about how women always wear fashionable shoes instead of shoes that are good for their feet. I haven't worn anything but flat-heeled wide-toe box shoes for years, but he had his mind in a groove.

I had bunionectomies on both feet two years ago, but that doctor was only interested in whether the bunion and toes healed properly, not on whether I had any associated problems. So I feel I'm on my own as far as getting my problem fixed. I don't have health insurance now so I really can't afford to pay someone to give me bad advice.

Thanks for the reminder to drink my water.

CaMama
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1884
   Posted 2/16/2009 3:16 PM (GMT -7)   

That's too bad about the podietrist. They should have made a mold of your foot and made specially made orthodics for YOUR feet. I don't know if he told you - but you're supposed to work yourself in to them...an hour at first, then gradually wear them a little longer each day.

When I'm really hurting bad, I'm stretching my calves constantly throughout the day. It does seem to help me get my feet through the bad days.

I've had so many bad and unhelpful doctors too, so I completely understand your frustrations!

Good luck.

***

 

 


 


Lizzie-Pat
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 2/17/2009 10:07 AM (GMT -7)   
I will specify next time I see a podiatrist (somewhere in my hazy future ;-)), that I expect orthotics made for my foot and that I have been wearing very sensible shoes for the last 10 years. If they make a proper insert, maybe I can even wear the orthotic shoes that are collecting dust.

In two weeks I'm going to adjust my workout schedule to get in one day of yoga too. Downward facing Dog and some other postures are really helpful too, even if they hurt at the time I'm doing them.

CaMama
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1884
   Posted 2/17/2009 6:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Good for you! Yoga is awesome.

 

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