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Leg cramps are not an uncommon feature during pregnancy, especially during the last trimester. Many women experience painful cramps during the last months of pregnancy, especially at night or while sleeping.
What Causes Leg Cramps?
Leg cramps are basically the tightening of muscles which can cause severe pain all of a sudden. A number of reasons could be responsible for tightening of muscles such as blood circulation problems, standing for long periods of time or due to the weight one carries. Leg cramps are more prominent during pregnancy. However, the reason for the same is not clear. Most doctors are of the opinion that due to the extra weight of the baby during pregnancy, the leg muscles are stressed out.
Also, there is a change in the blood circulation during this time. The blood vessels and nerves that reach out to the legs are pressurized due to the weight of growing baby, especially during the last phase of pregnancy. All these changes explain the occurrence of leg cramps causing discomfort to the pregnant woman. Another factor that is thought to cause leg cramps is having a shortage of calcium or excess of phosphorous in the woman’s diet.
How to get Relief?
Although leg cramps cannot be eliminated totally, you can do your bit to reduce the pain and discomfort. These tips are surely going to help you:
When should you consult the doctor?
Usually the leg cramps disappear on own. However, if the pain is intense and the cramps are accompanied by certain other symptoms like swelling, tenderness, or any redness in your legs, contact your doctor. It could point to something complicated like thrombosis, which must be treated immediately.