5 ways to manage or prevent leg cramps
Although it is very common to have leg cramps it is NOT normal. Pregnant women tend to get them more frequently than the general population but that is solely due to the fact that their bodies are even more depleted of key nutrients because it all goes to that precious baby first. Getting regular chiropractic adjustments is crucial to keeping your body aligned during pregnancy and non-pregnancy. I would also highly recommend incorporating these 5 things into your daily routine.
Cramping is a sign your body is depleted in micronutrients. Most common ones would be Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium. Finding a good supplement might be the easiest way to replenish these nutrients. I carry all sorts of options for that in the office. BUT getting some of it in your diet is very important too. Rich in minerals are green leafy vegetables such as spinach or kale, bananas, nuts, beans, avocados, and seeds.
Drinking WATER is a super important daily task. You have to make it part of your schedule. Carry a water bottle around with you if you need to. I also like to enjoy herbal teas during the day to help with getting more fluids. If you aren't drinking water right now I would not recommend starting out drinking the recommended daily amount (typically half your body weight in ounces) right away. It should be a gradual increase to allow your systems to get used to the idea of increased fluids. You might also notice that the more water you drink the more thirsty you feel. This is totally normal. Your body is finally feeling hydrated and it craves water again. If you haven't been drinking enough water your body stops telling you that you are thirsty because it tried and wasn't answered.
If you stretch at least twice per day (upon rising, and before bed) you can help with the nighttime leg cramps. To stretch your calf muscle you can use the wall or a chair. See picture below of a wall stretch. It is best to do the stretch with your back leg straight and bent since it stretches two different calf muscles.
Going for light walks, yoga, and swimming can all be excellent ways to get your body moving while you are pregnant or otherwise. Find something that is enjoyable for you and put it in your schedule to do it. Let's face it... life is busy! But we need to take time out of our busy schedules to make our body a priority. Start with 20 minutes a couple times per week and work up to at least 30 minutes per day if you can. Always check with your health care provider if you have any restrictions.
5. Epsom Salt!
A relaxing way to get your salts replenished is through an Epsom Salt bath. (Make sure the water temperature is not too hot during pregnancy.) Pour about a 1/2 cup of Epsom salt into the bath as the water is filling in the tub. Soak for 30 minutes. I also sell an excellent Epsom salt lotion at my office that can be massaged into the problem areas.
If you are interested in seeing Dr. Felicia Conner at Child and Family Chiropractic click here.