Top tips to avoid leg cramps during pregnancy
Leg cramps are very common during pregnancy and can be very exhausting. There a number of factors such as nutritional deficiencies, a build up of acid in the muscle fibres, changes in circulation and electrolyte imbalances that can cause this condition. The extra strain placed on the legs by the weight of the baby can also cause leg cramps.
Leg cramps at night can be painful and can wake you up. This can lead to you not getting enough rest, which can cause a cascade of problems. On a positive note, there are many simple and effective ways of treating and avoiding leg cramps.
Top Tips to Avoid Leg Cramps During Pregnancy:
1. Make sure you get enough exercise. Walking for 15-20mins a day will stimulate the circulation through your legs. You can also do calf stretches. Stand an arms length away from a wall, keeping your feet flat on the floor. Place one foot two feet behind the other, and push against the wall. Hold this stretch for 20 seconds and repeat with the other leg. You can repeat this twice on each leg. This stretch should ideally be done before bed.
2. Prop your legs on a pillow when sleeping. This will improve circulation and blood flow. Elevate your legs when sitting down.
3. Try not to stand in one place for long periods.
4. Increase your intake of Calcium and Magnesium. These nutrients will help to relax the muscles and prevent leg cramps. Extra Calcium can be obtained from dairy foods, dark green leafy vegetables, almonds, cabbage and seafood. Magnesium is found in bananas, apples, lentils, pulses, brown rice and whole grains. If you are still getting leg cramps at night, try supplementing with 100mg of Magnesium Citrate an hour before bed.
5. Do not point your toes downwards. To relieve calf pain, stretch your feet, with your toes pointing upward.
Homeopathic Remedies to Treat Leg Cramps
The tissue salt, Mag Phos 6X, should be taken alongside the indicated remedy below. Mag Phos is one of the main remedies for relaxing cramping muscles. This tissue salt will often work more rapidly when the tablets are taken with a sip of hot water. These tablets should be taken three times a day. Mag Phos can be throughout the pregnancy if required.
The remedies below should be taken in the 30c potency, four to five times a day, for up to a week.
Ledum is a natural remedy that is indicated for leg cramps that feel cold and numb, but are better for cold applications.
Colocynthis should be taken for leg cramps that are worse at night, but wear off when hard pressure is applied. The pains are also improved by heat.
Nux Vomica is a homeopathic remedy that is effective for legs cramps that are worse in the mornings, for the cold and if massaged. You should take this remedy if the cramping is relieved by rest.