5 Ways to Help Ease Leg Pain During Pregnancy

5 Ways to Help Ease Leg Pain During Pregnancy
In the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, many women suffer from painful leg cramps, or charley horses, at night. These nighttime cramps can make it impossible to achieve restful sleep, creating a cycle of pain, stress, and exhaustion. Learn more about what causes this disruptive phenomenon and what steps you can take to help get a better night’s sleep.

Causes Of Leg Pain During Pregnancy

Knowing what’s causing your leg pain or charley horses while pregnant is the first step towards finding relief. You could be experiencing frequent leg cramps in your second or third trimester for several reasons. However, some of the more probable causes of these pregnancy-related leg pains may include:

  • Low calcium levels
  • Joint stress
  • Changes in blood circulation
  • Nerve pressure
  • Dehydration

Tips To Help Relieve Leg Pain During Pregnancy

If you’re currently struggling with frequent leg cramps, charley horses, or other kinds of leg pain, here are some effective home remedies that may help curb the problem:

  1. Heat Therapy: Take a warm bath before bedtime to help improve circulation.
  2. Practice Proper Posture: Avoid crossing your legs while sitting to minimize nerve pressure. Sitting or standing properly can also help to relieve or reduce pain while pregnant.
  3. Low-Impact Exercise: Take short walks throughout the day, as recommended by your doctor.
  4. Vitamin Supplements: Take any doctor-recommended vitamins and supplements to help reduce vitamin deficiencies.
  5. Stay Hydrated: Muscles need to stay hydrated to prevent cramping. Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated can help reduce and prevent leg cramps while pregnant.

Exercises For Leg Pain Relief During Pregnancy

Tension and muscle imbalance in the hips or lower back can also lead to leg problems. Daily stretching and exercise can help keep these muscles from tightening up and causing pain. Watch as Airrosti’s Brittany Bankson, DC walks through a few quick stretches and exercises that may help leg pain during pregnancy.

*Disclaimer: Always consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program.  If you experience any numbness, tingling, or reproduction of your symptoms, please contact your doctor.

Half Kneeling Stretch

1. Grab a chair or something sturdy for support.
2. Come down onto one knee with the other foot out in front of you.
3. Once you are in this position, get into a pelvic tilt by squeezing the glute on the same side, bringing your pelvis forward.
4. This will help to activate the stretch into the front of your hip and your thigh.
5. Hold this for a minute and a half, then switch to the other side.
6. Perform this in sets of two, twice a day

Seated Piriformis Stretch

1. Sit in a chair, then bring cross one leg over your knee, so you are in a figure 4 position.
2. You will feel a stretch in the back of your hip into your lower back.
3. If not, you may lift tall and slightly hip hinge, which can help intensify the stretch.
4. There should be no pain with this movement, just a stretch.
5. Hold for a minute to a minute and a half, then switch sides.
6. Perform this twice a day.

Cat Camel Stretch

1. Get onto the floor in a tabletop position, or on your hands and knees.
2. Arch your mid-back up towards the ceiling, like a cat.
3. Hold a few seconds, then release back to the ground.
4. Try to minimize the amount you arch in your lower back by returning to a neutral spine position.
5. Then repeat the arching movement, and return.
6. Make sure you are breathing normally the entire, and you have no tightness in your belly.
7. Repeat this for 30 seconds, rest, then repeat it once more.
8. You can do this stretch two to three times a day.

Seated Glute Squeeze

1. Sit down on the edge of a chair.
2.Wrap a resistance band around your knees.
3. Rotate your pelvis back by tucking your stomach as much as possible, then squeeze your glutes.
4. Hold for three to five seconds, then relax.
5. Squeeze again, relax, then apply resistance by pushing your knees apart.6. If you do not have a band, you can push out against your hands for resistance.
7. Perform two sets of three to five-second holds, twice a day.

Support Every Step Of The Way

While preparing for a new addition to your family can be exciting, remember to care for yourself. Pregnancy can take a toll on your body in multiple ways, from leg cramps and low back pain to stress and exhaustion.

If you’ve been struggling with pregnancy-related leg, hip, or lower back pain and need some relief, schedule an appointment with Airrosti today. Our Providers are dedicated to finding and treating pain at the source for effective pain relief.

We offer both in-office and virtual appointments. For more information, call us at (800) 404-5060.

Read our Medical Disclaimer here.

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