It is not very surprising or strange for pregnant women to experience leg spasms during their pregnancy. It is mostly very common in the third trimester of pregnancy where the growing weight of the baby adds additional pressure on the nerves and cause discomfort.

1. The Most General Causes of Leg Pain During Pregnancy:

1.1. Stress

Stress in general affects body and mind. It directly impacts the physical well-being and causes discomfort. When the body is under stress, a group of muscles remain tight and cause anxiety related muscle tensions. Throughout pregnancy, a women’s body goes through stress and adapting to new changes, this stress causes muscle tensions which can also lead to ache all over the body including legs.

1.2. DVT (deep vein thrombosis)

DVT is a more serious condition, where the blood gets the clot in the vein deep into the body. It causes severe pain in the upper or lower leg during the pregnancy. However, the symptoms vary from a normal muscle pull or cramps, including swelling, warmth and severe pain in the leg with the blood clot. It is recommended to consult a doctor immediately.

1.3. Inactivity

Sitting in a position for too long and not performing any stretching can lead to leg pains during pregnancy. It is important to keep a good circulation in the body while pregnant, and lack of exercise, yoga, and stretches contribute to poor blood circulations particularly in the legs. Legs are carrying the weight of a growing baby and as time gets closer, the feet get swollen and there is a lack of circulation. Therefore, it is necessary to have some sort of activity throughout pregnancy.

1.4. Pressured Blood Vessels

The extra added weight on the leg blood vessels lead to swelling feet and blocks the blood flow to specific areas. This leads to sudden cramp and swollen feet. A more serious condition of the compressed blood vessel is called DVT, where the blood gets a clot.

1.5. Sciatica

The first body part is the back that gets exhausted and one can feel the pain as the baby grows. There is a tremendous pressure on the back especially on the Sciatica nerve, which causes the pain and pushes it through the buttocks to the upper thighs.

1.6. Dehydration

According to The American Medical Association Council on Scientific Affairs, lack of water or dehydration is a major problem for pregnant women. Ache in the legs or uterus muscles cramping caused by poor hydration feels like gas or contractions. Therefore, it is necessary to main a well-balanced nutrition and water intake.

1.7. Mineral deficiencies

Poor diet and lack of essential minerals such as Calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium in the body can become one of the main causes of leg pain during pregnancy.

2. The Following Measurements are Taken to Treat The Leg Pain During Pregnancy.

2.1. Massage and Stretch

Take time on a daily basis to massage the calves and feet to reduce muscle tension. Almost half of the women complain about aching leg in the evening. According to Doctor Myra Wick, M.D., Ph.D., one should stretch before going to bed to keep the muscles loose and improve circulations.

How to stretch the leg muscles?

  • Stand on a mat with feet wider apart and toes pointing forward.
  • Inhale and slowly lean forward as you exhale, keep your back flat and do not touch your knees with your hand. You should not put pressure on your back, you should feel a stretch on your upper thighs and lower leg.
  • To make this safer and easier, you can stand in front of a wall and put your hands flat on the wall, then lean forward and stretch the calf muscles.

Note: Please talk to your healthcare provider to advise you if exercise and certain stretches are good for you.

2.2. Medications

There are certain medications prescribed by doctors such as acetaminophen, Tynelol, magnesium and Calcium supplements, and prenatal vitamins. However, pregnant women should always consult their doctor to get prescribed and not try over the counter medications for comfort.

2.3. Heat Therapy

Heat application on the stiff muscles help to relax the tendon muscles and increase the blood flow. Heat Therapy is an alternate and more simple way of pain management. It’s safer and more convenient in pregnancy. Many people tend to take a warm bath, use a warm water bottle, or a form of Heat pad. It is recommended to use moist heat to avoid any sort of dehydration and skin irritation. The La Naturess Himalayan Salt Heating Pad is the only microwavable heating pad that does not stink and offers moist heat that penetrates heat deeper into the stiff tissues to ease the pain.

3. Questions

What causes pain between legs during pregnancy?

During the second and third trimester of pregnancy, the uterus starts expanding and body needs time to adjust to the growing weight. The nerves come under pressure and the muscles contract which causes low back pain and leg cramps during pregnancy.

Is it normal to have leg pain during early pregnancy?

Yes, it is very common for women to get lower back pain and leg cramps during pregnancy. Normally the leg pain starts in the second or third semester of pregnancy. If one experiences a severe leg pain, it can be due to other reasons other than just normal muscle spasms.

Is it possible to have leg pain during early pregnancy before missed period?

Early signs and symptoms of pregnancy and period are sorts of the same. Before and during the period women expect abdominal cramps, which spreads towards the legs and cause pain. Likewise, one of the early signs of pregnancy before the missed period is stomach cramps, which spreads to the legs too. Therefore, it is possible to have leg pain before a missed period. However, this is supposed to be a minor cramp or ache. A severe pain could be due to a more serious condition such as DVT or uterine fibroids and needs immediate attention.

4. References

Leg Cramps During Pregnancy

Pregnancy Yoga Stretches for Legs

Activity & Exercise During Pregnancy

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