Cures for toe cramps can include everything from steam to stretching to bananas

Even though spring is officially just a few weeks away and your feet are still likely swathed in snow boots or Uggs, the doctors at Ankle and Foot Centers want to make sure you take care of your feet during these final days of winter so you can enjoy the great outdoors once the weather warms.

One way to take care of your feet is my treating any toe cramps you may have with at-home remedies. Our West Loop director, Dr. Sveltlana Zats, recently offered some tips on this topic to the website Healthline.

Toe cramps can come from a variety of causes – everything from improper diet to wearing the wrong kind of shoes.

Here are a few of Dr. Zats’ tips for taking care of cramps:

• Especially at night, toe cramps can be caused by several factors, including structural deformity of the toes (also known as hammertoes,) electrolyte imbalance, an increase in perspiration or shoes that don’t fit properly.

• If a patient has a hammertoe deformity, try conservative, at-home care that includes everything from wearing wide-toe-box shoes to performing massage or doing gentle hold-stretching.

• On the other hand, if cramps are the result of increased perspiration or an electrolyte imbalance, drinking Gatorade or taking a hot shower that produces a lot of steam can often be helpful.

• Another option is reaching for beverages that contain Quinine (one example is tonic water,) and eating foods that are high in potassium, such as bananas, to nourish the body and ease cramping.

If these at-home measures do not relieve cramping — or if toe cramps become more frequent or the intensity of cramps doesn’t decrease — seek the help of a foot and ankle specialist.

The doctors at Ankle and Foot Centers can care for cramps — and almost any other issue — at our locations in Chicago’s West Loop and Roscoe Village neighborhood, as well as at our suburban locations in Bartlett and Elmhurst.

Don’t hesitate to see a podiatrist for toe cramps. Constant, severe toe cramps could be a sign of a more serious medical condition. If you are suffering from cramps, don’t hesitate to call our office for an appointment. For more information about our services, go online to

Enjoy the final frosty days of winter, and be sure to get your feet outdoors and active this spring!

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