Health & Body

Ask Deb: Help! My Toes Won't Stop Cramping

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My toes cramp whenever I point them. Any suggestions on how to solve this problem?


I suggest releasing and stretching both the front and back calf muscles to help with cramping. To release the front muscles, try kneeling with your shin on a foam roller or pinkie ball. As you're rolling, when you find a tight or tender spot, stop and slowly move your toes through pointe and flex positions. You can even try doing small foot circles as you maintain comfortable pressure on the tender spot. Then move to another area of tightness and do the same.

To release the back of the calf, go into a downward dog position and bend one knee slightly. Focus on the straight leg and slowly roll from the little toe side of the foot to the big toe side. Try slowly lifting your toes up, and then gently press them into the ground, all while maintaining the pull in the back of the leg. You're making these small motions in order to tease out the tight spots. You could also do this in the more traditional calf lunge position.

After releasing the front and stretching the back, try pointing your foot again to see if the cramping has improved at all.

Finally, know that toe cramping can also be caused by dehydration and/or mineral deficiencies. If the stretching doesn't help, try increasing your water and mineral intake.

To your success,

Deborah Vogel

Director, The Body Series

Got a question for Deb? E-mail askdeb@dancemedia.com, and she may answer it in an upcoming web exclusive.

To work with Deb Vogel in person, check out her summer workshop, A Dance Teacher's Retreat to Tuscany!

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