Red and White Tulips Artwork by Sherri Woodbridge, 2012
I received an email today from a woman who is a caregiver to an older woman who has PD and suffers from painful cramps in her toes. She was seeking advice as to what may help alleviate her pain and discomfort. I couldn’t give her any magic potion recipes and nothing definitive that I knew of that would work, so I researched a little bit and found some information that I passed along. Among this information were these ‘homemade’ remedies:
-Try having a glass of lukewarm milk just before going to bed. Though easy, the remedy is very effective in treating foot cramps.
- Having chamomile tea, 5 times a day, can help bring relief from foot cramps, in about 2 weeks. [Editors note: this sounds rather 'relaxing' but beware: if you think frequent trips to the bathroom were a nuisance before, just imagine...]
- Take a hot shower before going to bed, making sure to soak the feet in the water for sometime. It will surely prove effective. [Editor's note: To soak the feet, you may want to plug the drain hole. Why not just take a bath and read a book while you're at it?
- When you lie down at night, stretch the legs as far as you can and hold the position for a few minutes. Repeat as many times as you can. [Editor's note: THIS EXERCISE GIVES ME CRAMPS!]
- There is yet another exercise that proves beneficial in case of foot cramps. Stand straight, keep your heel on the floor and curl your toes upwards. Hold the position for a few minutes and repeat. [EDITOR'S NOTE: This does not eliminate the pain but increases it - even if I hold the position for less than a few minutes!]
- Red raspberry leaf tea has also proven to be good for treating foot cramps. Have a cup in the morning as well as evening.
- Drink a concoction containing 1 tbsp calcium lactate, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar and 1 tsp honey, in ½ glass lukewarm water, once in a day. [EDITOR’S NOTE: I did not use the word ‘concoction’. I have translated the original advice as is, to the ‘t’. However, this does sound like a crazy concoction for leg or toe cramps.
- When you go to bed at night or rest in the daytime, carry a hot water bottle with you and use it to apply heat on the feet.
- Consuming 2-3 bananas in a day as well as having 2 tsp of honey daily is another effective home remedy for foot cramps. [EDITOR’S NOTE: I agree with getting the extra potassium, believed to be helpful in reducing leg and foot cramps, but 2-3 a day seems excessive. I have 1 a day or every other day and that seems to help a lot.
- Use lavender oil, rosemary oil and eucalyptus oil to massage the affected area, once in a day. [EDITOR’S NOTE: I think any oil would feel good. Peppermint works, too.
- You can also try pressing your toes against the wall and stretching the calf muscles, 15-20 times daily. [THERE IS NO WAY YOU’D GET ME TO DO THIS WHEN MY TOES ALREADY HURT, NOT EVEN ONCE! ( From Lifestyle Lounge (http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/causes-of-foot-cramps 4102.html)
Journeying with you for a cure and not another concoction ~ Sherri