How to prevent leg cramps during pregnancy?

(August 18, 2011)

Leg cramps during pregnancy have caused many a woman to be rudely awakened in the middle of the night, crying out in pain. This severe, shooting pain generally affects the thigh, ankle, calf and foot.

What causes leg cramps during pregnancy?

Though nobody has a definite idea as to what causes these severe leg cramps during pregnancy, there are some acceptable possibilities

• Additional pressure on the nerves in your spine as well as the legs
• Elevation in the levels of phosphorus in your body, which interferes with the absorption of calcium.
• Expansion of the uterus to accommodate the baby, which applies additional pressure on the blood vessels, pumping blood from your legs to your heart
• Genetic factors
• Increased pressure on the muscles of the legs, because of the extra weight of the baby
• Injuries
• Lack of adequate water or other fluids
• Presence of the pregnancy hormone progesterone, which affects the flow of blood to your legs
• Sitting or standing in the same position for an extended period of time, without any rest
• The accumulation of fluid in the leg
• The deficiency of certain essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium

Remedies for leg cramps during pregnancy

In case the cramps get unbearable, your doctor may ask you to relieve the pain and discomfort by using a leg cramps remedy during pregnancy. Given below are some of the remedies usually recommended:

• Drink a lot of fluids to keep yourself hydrated.
• Avoid sitting or standing with your arms folded or legs crossed in one position for long
• Stretch your calf muscles, using light exercises
• Rotate your ankles and wiggle your toes whenever you are sitting, eating or watching TV
• Try to walk for at least half an hour every day (unless directed otherwise by your doctor)
• Lie down on your left side to improve circulation to and from your legs.
• Take a warm bath before you go to sleep

If the pain persists, and is not like the usual cramp, or if there is tenderness, redness or swelling in your leg, please contact your doctor immediately. It could be a blood clot, which requires immediate and urgent medical attention. Though blood clots are rare, they can sometimes occur and can get lodged in the leg vein. This is known as venous thromboembolism.

In case these remedies fail to bring about relief, you may need to consult the doctor again, for proper leg cramps treatment during pregnancy.

Submitted by N on August 18, 2011 at 06:58

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