Legs Cramping Your Style?

By Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center
March 08, 2018
Category: Leg Conditions
Tags: Pregnancy   cramps  

When carrying a child, you go on a journey that is both amazing and unique. Your body slowly grows to help sustain the life inside you and, as it grows, you experience all kinds of new things. Some of these new experiences are exciting like the kick of a tiny foot, other experiences are much less exciting, such as leg cramps, especially when you are sleeping. Although not every pregnant woman experiences leg cramps while pregnant, a vast majority do. These leg cramps can be so painful that they jolt you awake and make it hard to stand. Why do they happen and how can you prevent them?

Some women can't escape leg cramps during pregnancy. These painful muscle contractions usually occur in the calf. Leg cramps occur because of a calcium deficiency. They also occur because of too much phosphorous found in diet sodas and processed meats. Cramps are common at night when legs and feet are tired. In order to combat this tiredness and lack of nutritional value, it is important to consider taking calcium while pregnant.  Women who get leg cramps may also have a potassium deficiency. Some expectant mothers report that snacking on potassium-rich bananas or dried apricots can help the cramps go away entirely so that they can sleep more easily.

You can also prevent cramps in the calf by increasing the circulation in the body. Be sure to get approval from your practitioner before taking on any exercise. Once approved for exercise consider taking a 15- to 20-minute walk in the evening. Also, avoid standing or sitting in one position for too long; both cause fluid to accumulate, making your legs feel heavy or full of pressure. It can also cause them to swell.

While in the middle of a leg cramp, try to ease the pain by resting your calf by flexing your foot to stretch the calf. Another helpful trick is to rest the afflicted calf on a warm water bottle to release the cramp. The most efficient way to get rid of a foot cramp is to simply walk it out and allow it to stretch naturally. If you don't feel like getting out of bed, try grasping your foot with both hands and gently pressing your thumbs into the arch, pushing toward your toes.

Severe cramping on a regular basis should not be ignored. Overuse, tears, and other foot and ankle problems could be causing this pain. See a podiatrist to determine whether your pain is from pregnancy or due to something more. Call Dr. Andrew H. Cohen of Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center located in Saginaw and Bay City, Michigan. Call 989-790-8009 or make an appointment online today. Choosing a podiatrist means choosing the path to a healthier pregnancy.