8 Effective Home Remedies To Treat Leg Cramps During Pregnancy
By: Kratika Sat, 23 Jan 2021 4:39 PM
Many expecting mothers have to deal with leg cramps. Nearly 50 percent of all pregnant women experience muscle cramps during pregnancy, according to the American Pregnancy Association.
Leg cramps are involuntary contractions of muscles at the back of the calf. They often occur at night, especially in the second and third trimesters. While cramps in the legs are common, some women also have to deal with muscle spasms in the back, abdomen, feet or hands.
Health experts are still not clear as to why leg cramps are common during pregnancy. But some theories suggest that it may be due to fatigue, the uterus pressing on certain nerves or decreased circulation in the legs from the pressure of the baby on blood vessels.
# Walking or Stretching
A 2012 study published in the Journal of Physiotherapy reports that nightly stretching before going to sleep reduces the frequency and severity of nocturnal leg cramps in older adults.
Although the study was not done on pregnant women, you can always try stretching your muscles. As soon as you have a leg cramp, stretch your legs and mildly jerk your feet in a fast, repeated fashion. It’ll help you avoid persistent pregnancy leg cramps.
# Ice Pack
For quick relief from the throbbing pain of sudden cramps in the legs, using a cold compress on the sore muscles is very effective.The cold temperature will numb the pain, reduce inflammation and allow the affected muscles to relax. Plus, once the cramp is gone, a cold compress will help reduce soreness by constricting the blood vessels.
# Warm Compress
Applying a warm compress on the area of your leg that is cramping can also help.
The heat from the compress relaxes muscles and helps reduce the pain, tightness or cramping. Also, it promotes increased blood flow and speeds up the healing process.
# Epsom Salt Soak
An Epsom salt soak is an age-old remedy for leg cramps, whether you are pregnant or not.
The magnesium in Epsom salt promotes muscle relaxation and healing, thereby reducing the symptoms of cramps.
Massage is one of the most popular methods to alleviate a cramped muscle and reduce the pain associated with leg cramps.
Massaging the cramped area increases circulation in the tissue, which provides a rush of new fluid to relax the tense muscle. Bear in mind, massage can cause some pain initially, but soon the cramp will be gone.
# Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another great remedy to soothe away leg cramps during pregnancy. It is rich in minerals like potassium that help reduce the frequency, intensity and pain of leg cramps.
Plus, it helps control the balance of fluids in the body, thus preventing dehydration, a common cause of leg cramps.
Magnesium deficiency is frequently related to leg cramps. In fact, doctors often recommend magnesium for treating muscle cramps in pregnant women.
This mineral is important for muscle health, as it stimulates calcium re-uptake that helps maintain strong muscles and prevent cramps.
Just like magnesium, a potassium deficiency in the body can contribute to leg cramps. In fact, the mineral potassium is an important factor in the function of the muscles and nerves.
Potassium is an electrolyte that aids the electrical exchanges in the body and prevents cramping by facilitating effective functioning of the muscles. Plus, potassium aids the absorption of calcium and magnesium.