Phalanges are the medical term for toes. These are parts of the foot comprised of five parts. Each toe is composed of three phalanx bones. These bones are proximal, middle, and distal, with the exemption of the big toe or the hallux. The hallux consists of two phalanx bones. Every five toes have a corresponding name; the first toe is the hallux, the innermost toe. The second toe is called the long toe, while the third toe is called the middle toe. The fourth toe is also known as the ring toe, and the last is called the little toe, pinky toe, or baby toe.
Since the toe assists the foot in bearing the body’s weight, endures tight-fitting shoes, and is more prone to pressure from engaging in physical activity. Naturally, then, the toe is more likely to experience toe cramps. Toe cramps are described as a slight tic or intense spasm on the toes. Its symptoms include hard muscles on the toes and twitching inside the foot.
This condition may last for a few seconds to minutes, and its treatment involves stretching, resting, and massaging the affected toe to alleviate the pain or cramps.
This article talks about the different possible causes of toe cramps.
Tight or Weak Muscles
The foot is made up of 20 muscles that support its shape, function, and appearance. The main muscles of the foot include the tibialis posterior, tibialis anterior, tibialis peroneal, extensors, and flexors. The tibialis posterior supports the foot’s arch, while the tibialis anterior assists the foot in moving upward. The tibialis peroneal controls the movement outside the ankle, the extensors control the raising of the toe, and the flexors are the muscle-stabilizing the toes.
Muscle weakness or tension results from a new exercise routine, wearing tight shoes, a sedentary lifestyle, and not stretching before engaging in physical activity or exercise. There are also cases in which the pain comes from another muscle part of the foot. For example, it may occur due to ankle or Achilles tendon discomfort.
When muscles in the foot become tight, it causes spasms and pain in the toes. Any tightness occurring on the toes will cause cramps and pain. Toes are also affected even when discomfort is experienced in any part of the foot. This is due to the ligaments and tendons connecting to the other foot parts.