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Alleviating leg cramps

Leg cramps are not the most pleasant pregnancy symptom. However, in addition to several methods you can use to avoid leg cramps, there are also some steps you can take in order to alleviate the pain and discomfort caused by pregnancy leg cramps.

These steps are as follows:

woman flexing toes to alleviate cramp in her calf

Flex your toes toward you shin to alleviate a leg cramp.
Image courtesy of S.Fissore

1. As soon as you feel a leg cramp stretch your leg out, flex your foot and push your toes towards your shin. You can then stand up, assuming the leg cramp has occurred while you were sleeping as most do, and do some more leg stretches until you are sure the cramp is 100% gone.

2. Massage your leg where it has cramped or get your partner to do it for you too.

3. Walk around for a bit as this will help to stretch your leg out and get your circulation flowing.

4. Apply a heating pad or a hot water bottle to the muscle, but for no longer than 15 minutes.

5. Drink a glass of water, just in case dehydration has caused the cramp.

These steps should alleviate your pregnancy leg cramp. However, in the event the pain is continuous and you notice any redness, swelling, tenderness or warmth of your leg muscle, contact your doctor immediately. These are the signs of a blood clot, which can sometimes occur, but are very rare. If you suspect your “leg cramp” is actually a blood clot, do not massage your muscle or apply a heat source to it as these can both cause complications.

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