Leg cramps are commonly experienced by women during pregnancy. Here is detailed information on the potential causes, treatment, and prevention measures for the same.
A cramp is a sudden painful contraction of a leg muscle. Leg cramps are more common in case of sportsmen and people who undergo strenuous exercise. Secondly, sitting with the legs crossed or placed under the body for a long time is another common cause. During pregnancy, cramping can be caused due to various reasons.
Although the exact cause is unknown, there are a few factors that should not be ignored. Women gain a lot of weight during pregnancy, and as the legs have to bear this excess weight, it results in pain and cramps. Secondly, it is also believed that the increased size of uterus puts excess pressure on the circulatory system, including the blood vessels, that travel from the legs to the heart. Dehydration and electrolyte imbalance are also the potential reasons.
There are several home remedies that can help in easing the pain and cramps. You can place a hot water bottle or have a warm bath in order to relax the muscles. Secondly, stretching calf muscles, rotating ankles, and wriggling toes daily for a couple of minutes can be helpful. Pregnant women should take adequate rest. If cramps are caused due to mineral deficiency, it is recommended to consult the doctor, make changes in the diet or have supplements if necessary.
There are a few preventive measures that should be followed:
➡ Firstly, pregnant women should go for a walk or undertake light exercises daily for 5-10 minutes. They should wear comfortable shoes and supportive stalking if required.
➡ They should not sit with crossed or folded legs, or remain standing for a long time.
➡ It is necessary to have a balanced and nutritious diet to avoid nutrition deficiencies.
➡ It is also essential to have plenty of fluids or plain drinking water in order to avoid dehydration. Caffeine-containing drinks like sodas, diet drinks, tea, and coffee should not be taken in excess.
Cramping in legs is usually not a serious symptom. However, if it lasts for a long time, it is advisable to consult the doctor as early as possible.
Disclaimer: This article is meant only to provide information. It is not to be substituted for doctor’s consultation and advice.