Cramping my Style!

I know that there are other conversations about foot cramps but this just keeps going. Was on my feet for 3 hours today on concrete and as soon as I sat and put them up, BAM! I get nailed with severe cramping…arches, toes pulled all contorted. Anyone know the “science” or physical reason for foot cramps and PsA? (Need a wise medical word from @tntlamb!) It leaves my feet aching more than ever and the cycle keeps going. Pain, cramps, more pain and more cramps…wakes me up at night. Thanks again!

That usually caused by lower back (putting up your feet is the clue) back stretching and Midol (Yes that Midol) is the answer for me…

The stretches I do is either: Lean against a wall with both hands, and keep your back straight. The leg that you want to stretch should be straight back with the heel flat on the floor. Bring the other leg forward with the knee bent. Move your hips toward the wall while keeping your rear foot flat on the floor.


Stand on a step with just t balls of my feet on the step and bounce up an down. Normally I keep small children away as I tend to swear - a lot - until the pain goes away.

Some of these stretches I do and they help for a while. I’m curious as to how the PsA causes cramping. The deep aching when at rest is pretty constant but then the cramping begins…

Another thing that can help ease this cramping is tonic water. My mom and grandmother swear by it, and, if I’m 100% honest, I have found it helpful to relieve persistent cramping on a number of occasions. Just grab a bottle and start drinking slowly until the cramp eases.

A number of things toward prevention:

  1. DAILY stretching throughout the day can help prevent these from occurring in the first place. It’s another one of those things to work into your habits.
  2. Maybe a CT of your spine to see if there is any impingement of nerves? If these are revealed, a good pain management doc can recommend some blocks that can help tons and last months.
  3. Better foot support. PsAers need to worry about footwear more than your average bear. Make sure you’ve got good support and nice toe box in all of your shoes. Spend a bit more for a well fitting pair from one of those happy-feet type shoe shops, and actually get them sized - no online here! Replace your shoes regularly. Wear a pair every day? Use them no more than 6 months before getting a replacement.

Hope this helps!

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I’m not sure how it does it, but I’m pretty sure PsA loves making things cramp. More so when meds are not yet working or have just stopped working. My cramps diminish when the meds work and increase when the meds don’t. I asked my rheumy about it. She didn’t know how PsA did it but she agreed with me that it certainly loves doing it. That was a good enough answer for me at the time.

I don’t however find tonic water helps me that much but eating two bananas one after the other does. Or using a magnesium spray which you can buy online or any health store.

And this is going to sound particularly weird - but a cheap bar of dry perfumed supermarket soap in your bed can also help. Something to do with how it’s made I believe. Google it, it will amuse you as it’s an old wife’s tail that has some truth in it.

PsA is a disease of the entheses. That’s where the tendons connect. The question for me is not why there is cramping but why it’s not better recognized. Tonic water BTW is one of my favs too. But the real stuff is getting hard to find it has to have actual quinine water. I also find it works well mixed with gin.


Thanks for the ideas. Maybe I should use Gin and Tonic as a foot bath while drinking it? Since the MTX, I’ve been off all alcohol. The bananas sound like a sensible idea. I guess if things ingested can help then it makes sense that other things can make it worse?
I’ve been avoiding the home remedy cures partially because my rheumatologist mocks them all…but personal experience and testimony seems like a reliable source.
Yesterday I was asked why I was limping so badly. As soon as the word “arthritis” was used, she told me that gelatine cures all forms of arthritis. Mix the powder in tea or coffee every other day…imagine a cure so readily available!
I’m off to buy a bar of Irish Spring and bananas.

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Both Bananas and Tonic water are actually the source for some pharmaceutical treatments. bananas being potassium and Tonic water is the basis of Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) Yup even gelatin is too though its for osteoarthritis. (I prefer my gelatin from beef broth in au jus with prime rib) The use of the word “arthritis” to describe what we have is a whole different discussion LOL. can’t rationalize the Gin though. BUT @Amos I could introduce you to my doc (a collector of single malt scotch) who wrote me a script (to give my wife) for 6 units a week even on MTX. A mans gotta do what a mans gotta do. Hang in there Bud!

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Well said.

I’m so envious of you guys for whom strong liquor is a panacea. Any alcohol is sure-fire recipe for cramp for me.

All I know is that, should you find yourself giving a talk about results to a particularly austere bunch of school governors and parents, do not, on any account, get severe cramp of the thigh muscle. It is directly connected to the swearing centre of the brain.

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Grandpa always said that liquor sipped from a spoon was medicinal…he had the largest spoon!

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Love your Grandpa! Mine was the first Licensed Pharmacist in the state. Never got much medicine from him (though he sold a lot even “invented anacin”) But what he did give me was blackberry brandy. Can’t drink it to this day.

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Yes I can get that - at the back of the thigh sometimes. It’s certainly connected to my swearing centre of my brain. It can get rather colourful…the swearing that is - not my thigh.

Sadly just right now - you might find buying actual bars of soap a little difficult. It certainly is in the UK.

Found taking doses of magnesium powder in a glass of water as a supplement, even daily or often, seemed to help w foot cramping