why do we get leg cramps during pregnancy
Leg cramps painful involuntary muscle contractions that typically affect the calf, foot or both are common during pregnancy, often striking at night during the second and third trimesters. While the exact cause of leg cramps during pregnancy isn't clear, you can take steps to prevent them. For example:
Stretch your calf muscles. Although evidence is lacking, stretching before bed might help prevent leg cramps during pregnancy. Stand at arm's length from a wall, place your hands on the wall in front of you and move your right foot behind your left foot. Slowly bend your left leg forward, keeping your right knee straight and your right heel on the floor. Hold the stretch for about 30 seconds, being careful to keep your back straight and your hips forward. Don't rotate your feet inward or outward and avoid pointing your toes. Switch legs and repeat. Stay active. Regular physical activity might help prevent leg cramps during pregnancy. Before you begin an exercise program, make sure you have your health care provider's OK. Take a magnesium supplement. Limited research suggests that taking a magnesium supplement might help prevent leg cramps during pregnancy. Make sure you have your health care provider's OK to take a supplement. You might also consider eating more magnesium-rich foods, such as whole grains, beans, dried fruits, nuts and seeds.
Stay hydrated. Keeping your muscles hydrated might help prevent cramps. Your urine should be relatively clear or light yellow in color if you are properly hydrated. If your urine is darker yellow, it might mean that you're not getting enough water. Choose proper footwear. Choose shoes with comfort, support and utility in mind. It might help to wear shoes with a firm heel counter the part of the shoe that surrounds the heel and helps lock the foot into the shoe. If a leg cramp strikes, stretch the calf muscle on the affected side. Walking and then elevating your legs might help keep the leg cramp from returning. A hot shower, warm bath, ice massage or muscle massage also might help. April 06, 2016 You're probably already having a these days, with your belly getting bigger by the day and your mind on overdrive and leg cramps aren't helping. These painful spasms that radiate through the calves and up the legs are very common among the expectant set. The spasms can be felt during the day, but they're usually more noticeable at night, when fatigue and fluid accumulation are at their peak (and when you have all that quiet and stillness to ponder them). When Do Leg Cramps Generally Start During Pregnancy?
Leg cramps usually start in the or of pregnancy. What Causes Leg Cramps During Pregnancy? Short answer: Nobody's quite sure. Various theories blame fatigue from carrying pregnancy weight, compression of the blood vessels in the legs, and possibly diet an excess of phosphorus and a shortage of calcium or magnesium. (You might as well blame, too, since they seem to cause so many pregnancy aches and pains. ) What Can I Do About Leg Cramps When I'm Pregnant? When you get a leg cramp, try the following: Straighten your leg and gently flex your ankle and toes back toward your shins several times. You can do this in bed, but you may find you get faster relief if you get up and do it on your feet. Try standing on a cold surface, which can sometimes stop a spasm. An ice pack or cool compress may also help. If stretching and cold help subside the pain, try a or a heating pad for added relief. Don't massage or add heat if pain persists. Can I Prevent Leg Cramps During Pregnancy? While leg cramps during pregnancy aren't exactly preventable, there are a few steps you can take to minimize the frequency and duration: can help stop cramps before they strike. Before you head to bed, stand about two feet away from a wall and put your palms flat against it. Lean forward, keeping your heels on the floor.
Hold the stretch for 10 seconds, then relax for five. Try this three times. Alternate periods of activity with periods of rest throughout the day. Put your feet up as often as you can when you're seated. Wear support hose during the day. Make sure you're drinking at least 12 to 13 glasses of fluids a day. Eat a well-balanced diet that includes lots of calcium (try yogurt, which may also help with ) and magnesium (bananas are full of it). Talk to your practitioner to find out if you should be taking a magnesium supplement before going to bed. When Can I Expect Leg Cramps to End While I'm Pregnant? Really bad cramps (like a charley horse) can cause pain for a few days, and that's nothing to worry about. Leg cramps are especially common in the second half of pregnancy, when, and are at their high points and interruptions to your sleep are most frustrating. Unfortunately for most women, leg cramps last through the of pregnancy. However taking steps to reduce leg cramps (drinking lots of water, eating a well-balanced diet, stretching) can help keep them at bay. If the pain is severe and persistent (and if you notice swelling or redness in the area), talk to your practitioner. In very rare cases you could have a blood clot in a vein that requires medical attention.
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