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Why are my toes cramping and what to do?

Medical expert of the article

Abdominal surgeon
, medical expert
Last reviewed: 13.04.2019

Today, many patients complain of toe cramps. If earlier it was mainly a problem of elderly people and people with disabilities, today it tends to widespread and rejuvenation. Today, perhaps there is not a single person who, even once in his life, has not experienced what spasm is. Currently, convulsions occur not only in elderly and mature people, but also in young people, adolescents, and children. This problem has not bypassed even infants and children.

Causes of the toe cramps

There are many reasons why the toes cramp. Definitely answer why this is happening, it is impossible. Perhaps these are changes at the level of the hypothalamic-pituitary system, the functioning of the epiphysis.

Cramps can be associated with a lack of proteins, certain amino acids, vitamin. The deficiency of essential amino acids is particularly negative for the body. Also, convulsions occur when the body lacks vitamin B, D. Many concomitant diseases, chronic pathologies can lead to the fact that the toes are cramping. Why this happens, the mechanism of the influence of certain diseases on the condition of the muscles, fingers, has not yet been fully studied, and remains a mystery to many researchers.

For example, it is well known that varicose veins, diabetes, circulatory disorders, atherosclerosis, many heart and kidney diseases can lead to seizures. Presumably, the cause is impaired blood circulation, vascular tone, with the result that the muscles receive less oxygen, and there is a spasm. But this is only one of the versions.

Risk factors

The risk group includes people with impaired neyroregulyatornyh mechanisms imbalance gipotallamo-pituitary function, diseases and pituitary disorders, imbalance of sympathetic and parasympathetic parts of the CNS, with impaired microcirculation vascular, general and local hemodynamics, with a tendency to spasm, nervous and endocrine disorders , diseases of the hormonal system. The risk group consists of patients with heart disease. Blood, kidney, blood vessels in history. Also as risk factors consider such diagnoses as diabetes, atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, varicose veins.

In addition, people at risk have a history of congenital and acquired diseases of the musculoskeletal system, recently suffered injuries of muscles, bones, nerves, people with neuropsychiatric diseases. The risk factors are recent injuries, accompanied by a violation of innervation, squeezing of blood vessels and nerves. This may include cases of clamping vessels, muscles, gypsum, pressure bandage, the development of compartment syndrome.

Significantly increases the risk of seizures in people who work in extreme conditions, are exposed to stress factors. Also, the risk increases if a person lives and works in dampness, in conditions of high humidity, heat, in conditions of high mountains, exposed to a sharp change in climatic conditions. Risks are people with physical inactivity, who lead a sedentary, sedentary lifestyle, the elderly in connection with the natural processes of aging of the body, with degenerative disorders. Also in this group fall pregnant women who are nursing mothers, because they increase the load on the muscles. As for children of the first year of life, they may develop convulsions with a sharp increase, with a lack of certain substances, especially if they are on artificial feeding. Convulsions in them may be a consequence of fetal oxygen starvation, hypoxia, obtained during childbirth, this may be the result of birth trauma, cerebral pathology. Due to the natural or pathological hypertonia, there are also cramps in the toes. The risk in premature babies increases dramatically because they have functional and sometimes even structural immaturity of many organs and systems, including nervous and muscular, adaptation is rather difficult, pathological hypertonus often develops, and hypoxia develops.

trusted-source[1], [2], [3], [4]


Violations of neuroregulatory mechanisms, in particular, hypothalamic-pituitary, pituitary-epiphyseal and humoral levels of regulation entail a violation of neurotransmitter production, respectively, impaired transmission of nerve impulses at the level of nervous tissue, or at the level of neuromuscular interaction. There is a disturbance in the excitability of cellular structures, tissues, the generation of the action potential in nerve and muscle tissues is disrupted, as a result of which the muscle receives a signal for contraction, but does not receive a signal for relaxation, or the flow of this signal is sharply slow.

Violations of neuroregulatory mechanisms, in addition to impaired synthesis of neurotransmitters, and other important components, lead to disruption of the general metabolic processes in the body, hormonal levels. Often these are pathologies that develop on the background of nervous overstrain, stress, under the influence of stress and extreme factors on the body, during the period of adaptation, on the background of chronic fatigue.

All these factors lead to the fact that the body disrupts hormonal activity, develops hormonal imbalance, endocrine diseases, which in turn lead to disruption of metabolic processes, to the absorption of nutrients, or disruption of their distribution, absorption, inclusion in the metabolic chains.

All this entails a disruption in the normal functioning of almost all organs and systems of the body at various levels, ranging from molecular, cellular, and tissue. And ending with the organismic level. The biophysical, biochemical processes affecting the cell, then the entire tissue, also change significantly. The changes are most clearly manifested at the level of the nervous and muscular systems as a result of an imbalance of metabolic processes, at the cellular, tissue levels.

Imbalances may occur for various reasons (due to the insufficiency of the main mineral components, vitamin). They are directly involved in the generation of cell potential. This is reflected in contractility, excitability of cells and tissues. The Krebs cycle is violated - the main process that ensures the functioning of cells. As a result, the mechanisms of carbohydrate metabolism and energy are disturbed, and hypoxia develops.

trusted-source[5], [6], [7], [8], [9], [10], [11], [12], [13], [14]


Analysis of statistical data for the last three years (according to Rosstat) shows that approximately 50% of seizures occur due to a lack of nutrients, including vitamin, minerals. Another 20% of seizures occur under the influence of damaging factors. Another 30% of seizures are due to various diseases. Thus, about 30% of all convulsions caused by concomitant diseases develop on the background of diabetes mellitus, about 25% - on the background of varicose veins, about 15% - of heart diseases, including heart failure, IHD, arrhythmias. Another 10% of seizures develop on the background of vascular diseases. Including, atherosclerosis, hypertension, hypotension, IRR. A similar picture is confirmed by the statistics of the WHO - World Health Organization.

trusted-source[15], [16], [17], [18], [19], [20], [21], [22], [23]


You feel how your toes have shrunk, and remain compressed, they cannot be released. This condition gradually causes pain, numbness, loss of sensation, there is a strong squeezing of the fingers. If you work a muscle, rub it, the symptoms gradually subside.

Discomfort acts as the first signs, sometimes - pain, twitching, tremor of the limb, fingers. Then there is a burning sensation, pain, strong pressure in the fingers, the inability to dissolve, move.

Cramps in the fingers and toes

There is a sharp violation of blood circulation, the state of muscle tissue, its contractile activity, metabolism. Cramps in the fingers and toes may be caused by trauma, compression, compression (blood circulation, innervation). Often this is observed against the background of pregnancy, during lactation and menopausal periods, in postmenopause.

trusted-source[24], [25], [26], [27], [28]

Cramps fingers of the left, right foot

May occur for various reasons. Before you begin treatment, you need to know the exact cause. In any case, you need to consult a doctor, be examined, find the cause of the pathology.

trusted-source[29], [30], [31], [32]

Spasm of the foot and toes

If you suddenly have a cramp, you need to immediately rub this place with rivers. Massage your fingers thoroughly in all directions. A warm foot bath will help. You can also try to put your foot on a flat surface, lean on it. Continue to massage: the massage includes all available means of manual exposure, rubbing, kneading the affected area, which will ensure the access of blood and oxygen to the place of convulsions. If possible, you should take an anticonvulsant, or antispasmodic.

Spasm of big, middle toe

Etiological treatment, that is, depends on what pathology is detected. Often, cramps of the big, middle toe are caused by a lack of magnesium in the body, so they can prescribe magnesium.

In the case of the pathology of the muscles and blood circulation, methods of physical therapy and rehabilitation therapy are resorted to. The most effective etiological treatment, that is, it should be aimed at identifying and further eliminating the cause of the pathology.

Toe cramps at night

If you experience cramps in your toes at night, there is a need for diagnosis and further treatment. The basis of therapy consists of special anticonvulsants, muscle relaxants, painkillers. Vibrational movements, as well as active-passive movements, relieve convulsions. You should take vitamins, since most are associated with hypovitaminosis / avitaminosis, especially with a lack of vitamins A, E, PP. Apply also physiotherapeutic methods. Elimination of excessive stress, spasms, contribute to various procedures with water.

Cramps in the toes and calf muscles

A similar picture is often diagnosed in individuals engaged in enhanced training, sports. This is often observed in professional athletes who are preparing for competitions, in fighters undergoing military training, in hand-to-hand combat, and various types of martial arts. Convulsions in this zone may indicate either overtraining (excessive loads), or incorrectly performed exercises, or an incorrectly distributed load. Often, these symptoms indicate damage to the ligaments.

trusted-source[33], [34], [35], [36]

Numbness and cramps in the toes

It is associated with a number of reasons: impaired metabolic processes, lack of vitamin, minerals, nervous stress, overstrain, psychosis, neurosis. It is recommended to use anticonvulsants for convulsions. Also, such symptoms often indicate disorders of the cardiovascular system: impaired blood circulation, blood and lymphostasis, congestion, a violation of the drainage function of the blood.

Strong toe cramps

This picture can be observed in the disruption of the normal functioning of many parts of the central nervous system, or it can be disruptions at the physiology level of the autonomic nervous system, in which there is a tendency for the sympathetic nervous system to predominate, or the sympathetic division begins to sharply dominate the parasympathetic division. In addition, there may be various other disorders, not only at the level of the CNS or PNS. If you are worried about strong cramps of the toes, you need to consult a doctor and get tested.

Pain in toes, cramps

Quite often, complaints of pain in the toes and cramps occur in adolescents. They associate it with a transitional period when an organism's restructuring occurs: mental, physical changes occur, hormonal changes change, metabolic processes are disturbed. Often this is due to an insufficient level of physical activity, movements. Sometimes the cause becomes an incorrectly chosen training regimen, an unhealthy diet, a lack of certain substances in the diet.

Frequent toe cramps

Frequent convulsions can be a sign of many pathologies, and it is impossible to suggest any diagnosis without the necessary examination. Treatment is usually selected after the cause of the seizures of the toes is determined, especially if it is a frequent seizure. There are quite a few methods to eliminate cramps. The most universal methods of treatment are physiotherapy exercises, individual methods of active and passive gymnastics, manual therapy, massage, and proper breathing.

Use a variety of drugs, including local ointments, preparations for oral administration. The basis of therapy consists of special anticonvulsants, anticonvulsants, muscle relaxants (no-spa - 150 mg / day, carbazepam - 3-5 mg / kg body weight, trometamol - 60 mg / day, 2 times a day). Various ointments are also used (troksevazin-gel, dolobene, chondroitin, zhivokost, sabelnik, bee venom). Apply also physiotherapeutic methods (electro procedures, electrophoresis). Popular enough, homeopathic remedies used in convulsions.

Complications and consequences

The main effects of seizures are various adverse effects and complications. First of all, the blood circulation, innervation, metabolic processes are disturbed, the physical activity, the reactivity of the muscle tissue and nerves are reduced. Sometimes the cramps of the toes are accompanied by the development of the inflammatory process. Another danger is that seizures can become chronic. This form is characterized by the development of periodic seizures and exacerbations. Perhaps the most dangerous complication is paralysis, disability.

trusted-source[52], [53], [54], [55], [56], [57], [58]

Diagnostics of the toe cramps

Convulsions usually never occur just like that, there is a definite reason for their appearance. And the determination of this cause is an important part of the diagnosis, since further therapeutic tactics and its effectiveness depend on it. Often convulsions are a sign of any diseases of the body. Seizures can be a consequence of damage to the nervous system. This can be the result of malfunctioning of the brain, with the result that the brain sends the wrong signals to the toes, and the muscles are in constant spasm. Infectious, neurodegenerative, muscular-dystrophic diseases can lead to convulsions. They may be as a consequence of a lack of vitamin A in the body, of mineral components, they may indicate a violation of the ratio of individual substances in the body. In some cases, convulsions are genetically determined, or are acquired as a result of constant stress, lack of oxygen in the body, and traumatic brain injury.

In general, the first and main stage of diagnosis is to determine the cause of seizures. Usually, one clinical picture and standard examination is not enough. In the course of diagnostics, various diagnostic methods are used: laboratory, instrumental. If necessary, use functional tests that can accurately differentiate between various diseases and syndromes.

The main methods are standard clinical tests (feces, urine and blood). They will show an approximate direction for further research. For example, they indicate an inflammatory, infectious, allergic, or autoimmune process. In the future, depending on this, additional, clarifying research methods are prescribed. If the clinic has shown a possible viral process, various virological studies are prescribed. If rheumatic, autoimmune pathologies are suspected, rheumatic tests, C-reactive protein analysis, biochemical studies are prescribed. An immunogram, allergy tests, an immunogram, analysis of immunoglobulins of various classes for the content of certain vitamins are often prescribed. Genetic methods are sometimes used if it is suspected that the seizures are congenital and are genetically determined.

In the diagnosis, various methods of instrumental studies are used, since they most accurately show the picture of the pathology, visualize the pathology. The main methods that are used to determine the cause of the development of seizures of the toes are the following methods:

  1. MRT
  2. FMRI
  3. electroencephalography.
  4. myoelectroencephalography
  5. x-ray examination
  6. ultrasound procedure.

trusted-source[37], [38], [39], [40], [41], [42], [43]

Differential diagnosis

The essence of the differential diagnosis is the need to differentiate the signs of similar diseases and determine the final diagnosis. It is also necessary to determine the cause of the pathology. From this depends on the effectiveness of further treatment.

trusted-source[44], [45], [46], [47]

Treatment of the toe cramps

Treatment is prescribed only after a diagnosis has been made and a diagnosis has been made, since only knowing the cause of the pathology can the appropriate measures be taken to eliminate these causes. Only in this case the treatment will be effective.

Predominantly drug therapy. In the therapy almost always include special anticonvulsants, anticonvulsants and muscle relaxants. Sometimes prescribed physiotherapy methods. Alternative means, homeopathy, phyto-and naturotherapy are also being used. Etiological treatment predominates, that is, aimed at eliminating the cause of the pathology.

Less commonly used symptomatic therapy. But it is less effective and is most often considered as an auxiliary method. Effective combination of etiological and symptomatic therapy.

A prerequisite for successful therapy is the use of massage, physical therapy. Do not do without, breathing exercises, proper relaxation. Swimming is useful, as it quickly removes any cramps, spasm.

What to do with cramps in the toes?

What to do if you have cramps in your toes, only a doctor can answer. This is explained by the fact that in order to prescribe treatment, you must first make a diagnosis and determine the cause of the pathology. Only after that the treatment is selected. Independently, you can provide only temporary assistance, slightly alleviate the condition. There are many drugs that help relieve cramps and temporary relief of the condition. At the moment when the cramp occurred, this place should be massaged well, using light strokes first, then deeper kneading and grinding.

But still, before you start taking any medication, it is better to consult a doctor. You can also do massage yourself (self-massage), rubbing the area, which is cramped. Of course, you can independently do various physical exercises aimed at eliminating seizures.

How to stop toes cramps?

If there are convulsions of the toes, a natural question arises: "How to stop them?". Need to act quickly. First you need as quickly as possible to ensure the access of blood and oxygen to the site of cramps. To do this, fingers are massaged, rubbed with hands, perform any massage movements. This will immediately relieve pain and relax the muscle. Once it has become a little easier, you need to take an anticonvulsant, or antispasmodic. After the acute seizure has passed, you can already think about further treatment. Ideally, consult a doctor, undergo a comprehensive examination, receive appointments and strictly follow them. So you can completely cure the pathology, and not drown it out for a while.


  • But-snap.

Dosage: on a tablet 2-3 times a day (regardless of the presence or absence of seizures). The course of treatment is 10-14 days.

Precautionary measures: not to take to children up to 6 years, pregnant women.

Side effects: nausea, vomiting, intoxication.

  • Karbazepam.

Dosage: 3-5 mg / kg body weight. It is recommended to take a course of treatment, an average of 14-28 days.

Precautions: consult a doctor before use.

Side effects: complications of the kidneys, liver, stomach pain.

  • Ketolorak

Dosage: 60 mg per day. You can break this dosage 2-3 times a day.

Precautionary measures: it is badly combined with other drugs.

Side effects: dyspeptic disorders.

  • Trometamol.

Dosage: 60 mg / day, 2 times a day.

Precautionary measures: it is recommended to take it only according to the recommendation of the doctor, and also strictly to observe a dosage, not to exceed it.

Side effects: dizziness, hallucinations, confusion.


With the development of finger cramps, it is recommended to take vitamins in the following daily concentrations:

  • Vitamin PP - 60 mg
  • Vitamin A - 240 mg
  • Vitamin E - 45 mg.

Physiotherapy treatment

From the means of physiotherapy treatment are shown:

  • thermal procedures
  • electrical procedures
  • myostimulation
  • hydromassage
  • reflexology
  • acupuncture
  • massage, manual effects
  • electric massagers
  • electrophoresis with the introduction of prepartov calcium, magnesium, muscle relaxants. If convulsions are accompanied by pain, apply appropriate painkillers as part of electrophoresis.

Alternative treatment

Most often, an alternative treatment is used as a supplement to the main treatment.

  • Recipe number 1. Toe balm

About 50 grams of melted cocoa butter are taken as the base. Fill it with a small amount of pre-cooked avocado and frankincense oil heated over low heat in a 2: 1 ratio. Prepare a mass of uniform consistency. The mass should be such that it is easily applied to the skin. When the mass is prepared, immediately before applying to your fingers, add 2-3 drops of concentrated essential oil of wormwood, rosemary and pine. Apply for 15-20 minutes, then wash off and apply a greasy cream (any).

  • Recipe number 2. Foot Bath Oil

About 30 grams of purified sand and 40-50 grams of butter are taken as the basis, mixed together. Pour a small amount of eucalyptus juice (about 30-40 ml). Prepare a mass of homogeneous consistency (like sour cream). Add in a foot bath at the rate of a tablespoon per 5 liters of water. 2-3 drops of pine and clove concentrated essential oil are added directly in front of the bath.

  • Recipe number 3. Foot Scrub

Take about equal parts of honey and butter, melt over low heat with constant stirring, slowly pour in peach seed oil (approximately 50 ml). Mix until a homogeneous consistency. Mix well, so that no lumps remain. Before applying to the skin, add 2-3 drops of essential oil of geranium, lemon and mint, mix thoroughly again, and apply for no more than 10 minutes. Then wash off with warm water.

  • Recipe number 4. Anticonvulsant Cream

Mix ground coffee and dark bitter chocolate in equal shares - approximately a tablespoon of each component, add about 2 tablespoons of shea butter and 1 tablespoon of citronella hydrolyzate. All this is thoroughly mixed, until a uniform consistency, applied to the toes several times a day. After about 20-30 minutes, rinse with warm water. Apply dry heat.

trusted-source[48], [49], [50], [51]

Herbal medicine

Herbal treatment is considered very effective.

The No. 1 remedy for finger cramps is basil. It contains many phytoncides, glycosides, which have a relaxing effect on the muscles, relieve spasm, and overstrain. Apply in the form of decoctions and infusions. It can also be used as a solution for lubricating fingers, for foot baths, under a compress, in the form of applications. You can add to food.

A decoction of jasmine flowers is used as compresses, lotions, applications, for therapeutic baths. Relieves spasm, relaxes tense areas, tones relaxed. Harmonizes the nervous and endocrine system. In addition, improves skin condition, prevents the formation of calluses. Natoptyshy.

The leaves and flowers of geraniums are used as a decoction. It is recommended to take inside, as well as hold foot baths. In the form of an essential oil, it can be used to enrich ointments and foot creams (add 2-3 drops, mix).


When treating homeopathy, you need to observe the following precautions:

  1. Heal for at least 28 days
  2. Strictly follow the treatment regimen.
  3. Consult a doctor.

This will avoid side effects (intoxication, allergic and neurological reactions, dyspeptic disorders).

  • Recipe number 1.

About 30 grams of honey is taken as a base. Pour a small amount of pre-cooked warm vegetable broth. Prepare a mass of uniform consistency. The mass should be about the consistency approximately as sour cream. Vegetable broth is prepared in advance from the zest and pulp of lemon, orange, basil and cloves. When the mass is prepared, immediately before use add 2-3 drops of concentrated essential oil of lavender and eucalyptus. Drink a teaspoon with every fit of cramps. If you add a tablespoon of camphor to the product, you can use it as a cream, putting it on your toes during convulsions (they do not take it inside with camphor).

  • Recipe number 2.

As a basis, take about 20 grams of honey and ground bone meal, mixed together. Pour a small amount of pre-cooked warm vegetable decoction (citronella, ampa, anise and basil, boiled in milk). Prepare a mass of homogeneous consistency (like sour cream). Immediately before ingestion, add 2-3 drops of concentrated essential oil of bergamot and vanilla. Use a teaspoon 1-2 times a day.

  • Recipe number 3.

Take about equal shares of honey and sour cream, mixed with half a teaspoon of ground cloves and flowers of vervain. Mix well, so that no lumps remain. If you can not stir, you can pre-melt the honey on low heat, or in a water bath, or add 1-2 tablespoons of hot water. Before use, add 2-3 drops of essential oil of hyacinth and oregano and half a teaspoon of elecampane herb, mix thoroughly again, drink with each attack of convulsions.


Usually, convulsions are treated with traditional methods, but in some cases, surgery may be required. For example, if the cause of seizures is a tumor, venous thrombosis, occlusion of arteries, blockage of blood vessels, nerve damage. Mostly used minimally invasive surgery, laparoscopic techniques.


The basis of prevention is the maintenance of physical activity. It is necessary to eat fully, to observe the water balance. If necessary, you need to drink a course of vitamin, minerals, various food additives. It is recommended to perform regular exercises aimed at normalizing blood circulation and respiratory processes. It is necessary to undergo regular medical examinations for individuals who are prone to convulsions. You need to optimize your work day, relax, do not overwork. The day regimen should include as much relaxing procedures as possible - breathing, meditative, relaxation practices, autogenic trainings, aromatherapy, massage and self-massage. In the evening it is useful to take baths (hot) with the addition of relaxing oils, vegetable decoctions. If treatment or preventive measures are required, they should be taken regularly.



If timely perform the necessary therapeutic and preventive measures, the prognosis will be favorable. Usually, toes cramps are easily eliminated with the help of medications and exercise, proper relaxation. If untreated, seizures may intensify. The condition may result in the development of paralysis, disability.


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