10 Effective Home Remedies For Leg Pain During Pregnancy

updated: 11/09/2019

Leg pain in pregnant women is also known by a different name as leg cramp. This is a common phenomenon, occurring mostly in pregnant women, especially at night. According to statistics, up to 75% of women in pregnancy encounter this condition. Pregnant women start showing signs of leg pain, particularly in the last trimester[1]. There are many causes of leg pain in pregnant women. Although leg pain does not endanger the health of pregnant women and their baby, it makes pregnant women have difficulty walking and exercising. They always feel uncomfortable and painful.

This article will give you general knowledge about causes of leg pain during pregnancy and home remedies for leg pain relief. First of all, let’s take a look at the most basic information about this problem to get an overview of it!

What Is Leg Pain During Pregnancy?

Leg pain in pregnant women is also called as leg cramps. Almost all pregnant women suffer from this condition, especially in the last 3-4 months of pregnancy[2]. If this condition is not soon treated and corrected in time, it will inevitably cause swelling in the leg. As you all know, swelling in the leg is an early symptom of a premature birth that warns the risk of a severe hypertension syndrome to both pregnant women and their baby. In many cases, this condition may endanger the lives of both pregnant women and their unborn babies.

Leg pain is a common manifestation of pregnancy. Sometimes you may have swelling in both hands and face, but if you rest properly and know the proper ways to take care of your body, then the swelling will decrease. Leg pain will disappear after you give birth due to a drop in pressure on the abdomen. Then, if you travel a lot, the leg pain may begin to reappear. The extent and duration of pain depend on the size of previous damage to the vein.

How does pregnancy increase the pressure on veins? This is the question of so many people. Pregnancy is an exciting process – new life is forming in your body! All pregnant women undergo hormonal changes in their bodies. Sometimes, this change causes nausea, occasional hunger, and usually has a feeling of tightness in the breast. Weight gain significantly increases the pressure on your leg vein. This causes veins to work harder. The uterus grows and the weight of the fetus increases. This also presses on the pelvic veins and blocks blood flow to the heart. That is why leg veins are always under high pressure, causing pain and discomfort for pregnant women[3].

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What Are Common Causes Of Leg Pain During Pregnancy?

Here are common causes of leg pain in pregnant women:

  • The Impedance Of Blood Returns To The Heart

When you are pregnant, the fetus will grow as you reach the end of pregnancy. This increases the intra-abdominal pressure and generates a considerable amount of pressure on the pelvic veins. This is why it is hard for the blood to flow back to the heart[4]. The weight of the fetus is also one of the causes of this condition. Pregnant women who regularly wear tight clothing, play heavy sports that increase pressure in the abdomen or in the chest, frequently cough, or often suffer from constipation may also encounter the same situation. Disorders of the hormone during pregnancy also dilate the veins, contributing to the circulatory retardation and the difficulty in bringing blood to the heart[5].

  • Reduction In Blood Pump Activity Of The Leg Muscles

This may happen if a pregnant woman has to stand or work for a long time. In addition, the habit of wearing high heels in women also causes this situation. It may not be denied that if a pregnant woman is paralyzed due to a cerebrovascular accident or a neurological illness, the blood pump action of her leg muscles is also affected.

  • Low Potassium Diet

Low potassium diet is also one of the causes[6]. Therefore, remember to have enough daily intake of potassium through foods such as green veggies.

What Are Symptoms Of Leg Pain During Pregnancy?

Leg pain during pregnancy is quite common. You need to pay attention to detect and handle it promptly, avoid the consequences later. The most obvious sign of leg pain during pregnancy is that your legs are swollen, causing your legs to be bigger than usual. Swelling occurs in both legs and feet. This situation causes you pain and discomfort. You are difficult to move with such swollen feet. It is difficult for you to find a pair of sandals or shoes that fit your leg. Use your fingers to press on the area where the bones lay beneath the skin, such as the ankles. If the skin in that area needs a long period to return to its original state, it is likely that you have had leg cramps. Besides, you may also notice that your face may be bigger than normal, the eyelids look swollen[7]

When To See A Doctor?

If you suffer from leg pain for a long time, even if you are resting, this condition is not reduced. Besides, you will also suffer from headaches, visual disturbances, blurred vision, preeclampsia, and abdominal pain. Once the situation becomes very dangerous, you have to see a doctor as soon as possible because leg pain may also be a sign of preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a syndrome of hypertension during pregnancy. It may become severe if left untreated.

You have discovered some information about leg pain. It is time for you to find out what the effective home remedies for leg pain during pregnancy are.

Top 10 Effective Home Remedies For Leg Pain During Pregnancy

1. Daily Diet

home remedies for leg pain

You need to follow a balanced and scientific diet. Let’s eat plenty of green vegetables like cabbage, lettuce, and fresh fruits. You should also eat a variety of foods rich in vitamins, calcium, and zinc like broccoli, almonds, salmon, whole grains, pumpkin seeds, etc.

Pregnant women should be supplemented with the necessary amount of protein for their body. Every day, women need to eat enough high-protein foods such as meat, fish, eggs, milk, and beans[8]. In addition, women need to prevent iron deficiency in pregnancy to provide enough red blood cells to feed their bodies and their fetuses[9]. Pregnant women should eat animal liver 2-3 times a week to supplement iron.

If you are swollen due to the lack of potassium, then quickly add potassium to the daily menu[10]. Some foods rich in potassium are fruits, vegetables, chicken, red meat, fish, fresh milk, yogurt, and soy products. Besides, potassium also has existed in spinach, dried apricots, orange juice, and watermelon. To determine if you have a potassium deficiency, you may rely on these signs: frequent vomiting (or diarrhea), feeling of fatigue, frequent cramps and constipation, and irregular heartbeat. It is best to see a doctor to be identified in time[11].

Salt and electrolyte are essential in the storage of water in the body[12]. Limit salty foods and seafood. Too much salt makes it easier for the body to store water and cause the swelling of the legs more severe. Besides, you should limit salty foods as they increase the pressure on the kidneys. Therefore, in the last months of pregnancy, most doctors advise pregnant women to limit the intake of salt into the body.

When you have leg pain, you should choose easy-to-digest foods. You should not eat indigestible foods, such as glutinous rice, sweet potatoes, onions, and potatoes because these foods cause bloating (like glutinous rice, sweet potatoes, onions, potatoes, etc). Avoid flatulence to help smooth blood flow and avoid swelling.

2. Do Not Drink Alcohol And Caffeinated Beverages

You should limit your intake of caffeinated beverages and alcohol, as they are harmful to the fetus[13] and they cause leg pain in the pregnant woman. Caffeine is a diuretic. This means it increases the amount of fluid you remove through urine. However, it also causes dehydration[14]. This causes the body to promote more water retention. Try to reduce the amount of caffeine you have each day – that’s also good advice for pregnancy.

3. The Habit Of Standing, Sitting, And Lying

This is another must-try home treatment in this list of home remedies for leg pain. One of the causes of leg pain in pregnant women is sitting or standing in a position for a long time[15]. This causes poor circulation. This often happens to women who work in the office and often sit for a long time. Do not stand too long because then all the weight of the body is down to the feet. This will make your legs hurt.

You should not sit too long. During work hours, you should take a break by stretching your legs frequently to help keep blood flowing. Do not let one leg cross the other leg, as these positions may block blood flow to the legs, which may lead to numbness.

Changing your position regularly may reduce leg pain during pregnancy. You should add a small chair under the table. This makes your legs comfortable. If possible, you may often stand up for a walk or simply get more water to get better circulation.

You may relieve pressure on the veins by lying on one side[16]. Besides, when sleeping, putting a pillow under your leg is also a great way to soothe and reduce leg pain. At the end of pregnancy, the legs will be more tired and painful. Therefore, before going to bed, soak your feet in warm water mixed with some Epsom salt. You will feel more comfortable and have a deeper sleep. Getting enough sleep will also help you improve your leg pain. Note that the bedroom should be airy and at room temperature.

4. Home Remedies For Leg Pain – Change Your Dressings

home remedies for leg pain

This is the next treatment in this list to reduce your leg pain. You should not wear too tight. This makes you feel uncomfortable. It also makes your leg pain worse. When choosing clothes or socks, you should also choose large clothes and socks. It’s better to choose cotton clothes and socks.

They make you feel comfortable and help you limit leg pain. In some cases, it is possible for you to use the medical socks prescribed by the doctor to increase the mechanical effect on the vein wall, reduce the diameter of the veins of the legs, and make the venous valves are always close together.

Too tight shoes and sandals make your legs lose their beauty. They also make you feel uncomfortable. Do not use high heels because the height of the shoes also affects the bones, making your body unbalanced. Besides, the high heels cause the pelvis to tilt, causing more pain in the lower back[17]. Even this may have disastrous consequences for the unborn child if you fall.

When sitting in the office or at home, you should let your legs relax by taking off your shoes, your sandals and replacing them with soft slippers. When your legs are swollen, buy a pair of new shoes. Trying to use tight shoes will make you uncomfortable.

5. Home Remedies For Leg Pain – Perform Exercise

This remedy is one of little – known home remedies for leg pain during pregnancy. Regular exercise is also one of the most effective ways to improve your leg pain. Exercises such as walking and yoga are two of the methods to help reduce leg pain during pregnancy.

Exercise helps promote metabolism in the circulatory system, so that excess water is not stored in your legs or hands. You may do some foot exercises yourself. The method of performing foot exercises such as pivoting feet is also beneficial. This method is very simple. All you need to do is:

  • Turn your ankles in a large circle
  • Curl your feet
  • Then rotate each toe clockwise

Do this in both the right and left leg. You should exercise regularly every day 2-3 times, each time for about 10 minutes. In addition, you may also perform another exercise. You only need to lie on the mattress or floor, slowly raise one foot high and then lower it. Do this in both the right and left leg. These exercises will help you improve blood circulation, thereby reducing leg pain.

These physical activities have a low-risk level of injury. They have a positive effect on the legs. You may do this until you give birth. You should notice that you should not do heavy exercises. In particular, do not exercise too much. You should practice lightly and calmly. You may talk to others usually while practicing.

During pregnancy, it is a good idea to keep a gentle walk in the evening to make it easier for you to give birth. The gentle movement is not only good for the fetus but also good for the mother[18]. When walking, the calf muscles are active, the blood vessels strengthened and the circulation improved. This helps the lymphatic system not to get clogged. You may walk lightly or turn your feet to increase blood circulation, strengthen muscles, and minimize the pain[19].

6. Swim

The best way to deal with swelling during pregnancy is to go swimming[20]. When swimming, water covers the entire body, thereby putting pressure on the skin to effectively stimulate lymphatic circulation. Swimming also helps tighten buttocks and relaxes lower back. Furthermore, the activity of the calf muscles during swimming stimulates the circulation of blood from the legs to the heart. If possible, women during pregnancy should go swimming about 2-3 times a week, each for about 30 minutes.

7. Drink Enough Water

home remedies for leg pain - drink enough water

This remedy may sound ridiculous because leg pain is partly due to increased fluid flow in the pregnant woman’s body. However, drinking plenty of water will help the blood flow better. When your body is dehydrated, the brain thinks that you need to be kept as much water as possible, and therefore the swelling will be more severe. The best way is to provide enough water for the body to ensure normal blood flow[21]. Drinking enough water during pregnancy also helps the digestive and urinary system to work well.

8. Do Not Refrain From Urinating

Pregnant women should not refrain from urinating because the storage of urine in the bladder also increases the level of swelling[22]. Urine contains excess substances that need to be excreted out. Therefore, if you refrain from urinating, it will cause your health to be affected, and parts of the urine will harm your body. Besides, another part of this fluid will also make it easier for bacteria to enter into the body from the outside. Continuing to go to the toilet makes pregnant women feel shy and embarrassed, so some women choose to refrain often urinating. However, it is normal for pregnant women to urinate frequently. You should not worry or be shy about this problem. In addition to increasing the risk of leg pain, refraining from urinating also leads to some other consequences, such as urinary tract infections, fetal distress, and premature birth. Therefore, it is essential that pregnant mothers do not refrain from urinating during their pregnancy.

9. Avoid Increasing Body Temperature

This is one of the little-known home remedies for leg pain during pregnancy. As we all know that pregnant women often experience hot symptoms in their body, such as constipation, thirst, dry skin, and redness. Frequent exposure to these conditions may aggravate their leg pain problem. Therefore, keeping the body temperature stable is very important. To do this, pregnant women should limit the intake of some kind of fruits and foods, such as litchi, guava, bake foods, and greasy foods. Besides, the temperature of the bedroom should also be room temperature.

10. Limit Weight Gain In The Last Months Of Pregnancy

Uncontrolled weight gain will increase the pressure that the body puts on the legs. This presses on the pelvic veins and blocks blood flow to the heart. This is one of the reasons why the leg pain. Therefore, pregnant women should limit weight gain in the last months of pregnancy. During the 3 months between and at the end of pregnancy, their weight should increase on average by 1-2 pounds per week[23].

These are the simple but effective remedies for leg pain during pregnancy that you can do at home. However, all content provided is for informational & educational purposes. We recommend you consult a healthcare professional to determine which method is appropriate for you and to avoid the side effects when applying these methods, especially for pregnant women who are in the sensitive period. In addition, asking for healthcare professional’s advice may help you know that you have to take medicine or not.

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