Pain in foot.
January 18, 2007 3:10 PM   Subscribe

Sometimes I get a feeling in my foot, and a few seconds after I get this feeling that something is stuck, and it feels very painful for about a minute.

If I move my foot around while I get the initial feeling, I can avoid the pain.
Also if I touch it, it feels like something hard is there.
I've found a photo of a foot and circled the area where the pain is and where I feel something.

This happens maybe once or twice a month, but it's annoying!

Does anyone know what it could be?
posted by PowerCat to Health & Fitness (21 answers total)
A cramp?
posted by drpynchon at 3:12 PM on January 18, 2007

Definitely a cramp. I get 'em all the time in the same area. If I flex my big toe backwards when I feel one starting, I can usually head it off. Annoying but harmless.
posted by Shecky at 3:21 PM on January 18, 2007

Response by poster: That could be it! But is there something wrong with me or does this happen to other people?
posted by PowerCat at 3:21 PM on January 18, 2007

Response by poster: Awesome. Thanks for these speedy and informative responses.
posted by PowerCat at 3:22 PM on January 18, 2007

It definitely like nocturnal cramps (also here) to me.
posted by RichardP at 3:23 PM on January 18, 2007

Argh. It definitely sounds like...
posted by RichardP at 3:23 PM on January 18, 2007

My momma told me that eating more potassium (bananas) can help.
posted by muddgirl at 3:27 PM on January 18, 2007

Vitamin E
and lots of water. And stretch before you go to bed.
posted by bink at 3:30 PM on January 18, 2007

It doesn't sound directly equivalent to the foot and leg cramps I have occasionally, but if it is bink's suggestions should work well.

I cramped up very often during Navy Boot Camp, and learned in the process that there is *usually* a sweet spot, a position you can keep the muscle in to minimize duration and pain.

When my foot cramps, resting the bottom directly on the floor with at least some weight behind it usually stops the pain in its tracks.
posted by The Confessor at 3:56 PM on January 18, 2007

I get these pretty often. Flexing your toes upwards usually makes it go away fairly quickly. When you do this, the pain gets much worse, then almost immediately goes away.
posted by SBMike at 4:16 PM on January 18, 2007

I also get these from time to time. I also occasionally get them in my chest, and most uncomfortably, in the area under my jaw. It has the same stiff feeling you describe.
posted by evisceratordeath at 5:28 PM on January 18, 2007

I get those too in my feet and my calves. I found eating a few dried apricots every day when they flare up makes them stop happening. If you're in the middle of one you can put your foot flat on a hard cold floor and bear down, or you can get something about the size of a soda can and roll it with your arch to unstiffen the muscle.

You can also try soap in your bed - apparently it works for leg cramps, maybe it'd work for foot cramps too. (I passed this Snopes link on to my grandmother and she said soap helped with her leg cramps.)
posted by Melinika at 7:13 PM on January 18, 2007

If you're describing the thing where you wake bolt upright at 2am with what feels like a pulsing knot in your calf muscles, I used to get those. In my case what seems to prevent them is making a conscious to fall asleep with your legs straight. I still get those initial twinges sometimes if I'm lying in bed with my legs bent.

I couple times a month sounds awful. For me it was a couple times a year.

I was given the same advice about eating more bananas (for potassium), but I didn't really notice a difference when I tried that.
posted by Hildago at 8:55 PM on January 18, 2007

This is what I've always known as a Charley Horse. I used to get them a lot before I started running. Standing on that foot makes it stop right away. You might want to start doing regular stretching to prevent them (as well as the usual water and potassium advice.)
posted by loiseau at 10:06 PM on January 18, 2007

I used to get this a lot in my sleep. It would wake me up, and I'd be totally in pain.

From my physical therapist :

When you get that feeling, bend your foot upward at the ankle and hold it that way until the pain goes away.

Worked for me.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:46 PM on January 18, 2007

(and yes, when I bend my foot upward, I'm also bending my toes upward. I should probably have mentioned that)
posted by Afroblanco at 10:48 PM on January 18, 2007

This certainly sounds like a foot cramp. I can induce the same cramp in an identical spot by curling my toes down. It last a little while, feels like a painful pressure, then goes. It's not harmful as far as I can tell, and bending my toes back or standing up seems to fix it.
posted by tomble at 12:11 AM on January 19, 2007

There's a lot of it about.
posted by flabdablet at 1:09 AM on January 19, 2007

For the record, bananas aren't really that high in potassium.
Here's a PDF of the USDA's food lists, sorted by potassium content. Bananas don't appear until page 4.
posted by bink at 3:43 PM on January 19, 2007

Soap in the bed?? WTF?

That's one of the most interesting things I've seen, ever. I am now on a mission to find someone with leg cramps so I can prescribe this cure!
posted by altcountryman at 6:52 PM on January 19, 2007

This was kind of mentioned in the afore-linked AskMe thread, but you might want to read a bit about plantar fasciitis and see if you think it fits the bill.

Of course, it could just be a cramp.
posted by rikhei at 8:53 AM on January 24, 2007

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