Weird Toe Problems: They Get "Locked" and Cramp Un in a Straight Position

Updated on February 13, 2012
P.M. asks from Arvada, CO
11 answers

ANyone ever had this? It seems to happen when I wear shoes I have to grip a lot, like flats or flip flops, or heels. My toes lock in a downward straight position, and I have to massage, bend them back. It's very painful!

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answers from Oklahoma City on

One other thing to consider: are you drinking enough water? Cramps can be a sign that you're dehydrated. When I'm dehydrated I usually get cramps in my feet/toes and my calves.

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answers from Salt Lake City on

Bananas, sweet potatoes, spinach, dried apricots, beans, orange juice, artichokes, certain nuts or melons are all high in potassium. Bananas are the easiest of the group to incorporate into your diet, but personally I can't stand them. I was on a diet recently using a phone app that tracked my nutritional values for the day/week. I was shocked at how I was always WAY under my potassium level each day. You'd need to eat like 4 bananas and a giant bowl of spinach every day to get enough, but that's the cure to toe cramps (don't think you need to eat THAT much though for it to reduce the incidence of cramps). Water is the other cure, but I bet increasing both would eliminate them completely!

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answers from Charlotte on

It's true about the potassium...LOL!

Have you mentioned this to your doctor? I would actually ask for some blood work to see if you are missing something that would cause a potassium deficiency.


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answers from Minneapolis on

its a muscle cramp. I get that when stretching. The weird thing, it only happens to my pinky toe. It pulls away from the other, and looks like its trying to be an individual. Well, sorry pinky toe, your part of the pack come on back. Hurts too!!!! Potassium like others say. Though sometimes its just tired, over used ole muscles. Nothing more.

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answers from Boise on

Could be a morton's neuroma. Bundle of nerves like a 'nerve tumor' that occurs in the foot and causes weird toe issues like this. My mom had to have one removed, and I believe I have one now. Something worth getting checked out.....

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answers from Minneapolis on

This is a trait, I guess you might say, for the women in my family. We get charlie horses and toe cramps. Even since I was a little girl, my mom would tell me to eat a banana or a dried apricot if it happened.

And I also absolutely refuse to wear unreasonable shoes. Life is too short for bunions and pain.

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answers from Dallas on

Potassium defciency - yes, deydration - yes, and calcium/magnesium deficiency can cause toe cramps.

Wow, my spelling was terrible on this one!

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answers from Albuquerque on

If you have to grip with your toes, then you're wearing the wrong shoes, or the wrong size shoes. You should not have to grip with flats or heels. Flip flops, yes - but if you talk to a potiatrist, they'd tell you to NEVER wear flip flops.

Try increasing the potassium in your diet but seriously think about getting better shoes! This really shouldn't be happening to you.

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answers from Jacksonville on

I've had something like that happen a few times (I think it is what you are describing anyway). Just one toe will suddenly feel like it has lock-jaw or something and just hurt and be stuck at a weird unusual direction. I never have really noticed a pattern of the times it has happened to me, but it takes a few minutes for the pulled muscle (tendon? ligament?) to relax....
Ugh. Weird, isn't it?



answers from Seattle on

I would get rid of any shoes that did that to my feet or toes. Period. I could careless how fashionable they were.

But, the Podiatrists and Physical Therapists will love your business one day when you can't massage them back.

If you really want flip-flops, invest in a high quality brand like Mephisto.


answers from Rochester on

Happens to me all the time. I think the shoes put stress on that area of your foot, which makes you more prone. I know after I wear my penny loafers or sandals this happens to me. It also happens if I'm down on the floor scrubbing for too long, as I'm bending my foot like that. You're not alone...and I don't have a solution! :)

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