Have you been suffering from swollen, aching legs? Many women begin to notice leg pain as early as their second trimester. By the third trimester, you may be cursing your legs. Leg pain during pregnancy isn’t just reserved for the end of the day, either. It can strike first thing in the morning, or even during the middle of the night. Ouch!
The last two trimesters of pregnancy are often the most difficult because your baby is gaining weight and you’re less active than before. These two factors combine to impede your circulation, which can lead to sore, swollen legs, ankles, and feet. Thankfully, there are some simple yet effective remedies for this condition. Have no fear, Mustela is here with the 5 best treatments for leg pain during pregnancy.
1. Cool Your Legs To Feel Better Fast
Want a quick remedy for your third-trimester leg pain? Try taking a cool shower or bath. Water temperatures between cold and lukewarm can help relieve sore, inflamed muscles and tighten blood vessels. This can improve circulation and lessen pain. Plus, you can put more moisture in your dry, itchy skin when you combine cold water with our soothing products.
You can give yourself the same relief without the water by wrapping an ice pack in a towel and rubbing it over your sore legs. Focus on one leg for 10 minutes and then move to the other leg. For added benefit, add a little pressure for a gentle massage. It can help you relax after a hard day. Now doesn’t that feel better?
2. Elevate Your Legs To Improve Circulation
Elevating your legs is a great way to relieve leg pain during pregnancy. Lie back on your couch or bed and place your legs on a pillow. Raising your legs just 6-12 inches above your heart allows gravity to help pull the blood back toward your heart. This gives your heart and your veins a break and relieves swelling in the process.
We recommend arranging pillows under your thighs, knees, and calves while you watch TV or relax in bed. It’s a great excuse to start that new TV series you’ve been eyeing! Just 20 minutes in this position can be enough to have your sore legs feeling better fast. It’s even great for relieving back pain during pregnancy. So lie back and let those legs relax. Growing a baby is hard work, and you deserve to lounge for a while!
3. Perform Light Exercise To Alleviate Leg Pain During Pregnancy
As your due date approaches, your activity level may naturally decline. This can lead to even more leg swelling and pain due to decreased circulation. Thankfully, there are some very simple exercises you can do to help reduce this discomfort. Here’s a simple yet effective exercise we recommend.
Stand facing the back of a chair. Place your hands on top of the chair for balance, and then slowly rise up onto your toes. Hold that position for a count of two, and then slowly lower yourself back down. That’s one calf raise. If you haven’t done these before, start with just five and work your way up to ten or more. This exercise is a great way to improve your circulation while at the same time toning your calves. Plus, exercise is an instant mood booster!
4. Stretch Your Legs To Keep Muscles Loose
Tight muscles can make leg pain during pregnancy even worse. If you’ve ever been jolted awake while sleeping by a painful leg cramp, you know what we’re talking about. To prevent tight muscles from keeping you up at night, we recommend stretching your calves and your hamstrings when your legs feel most achey.
It’s easy to get started. After your calf raises, find a small step and place the balls of your feet on the edge with the arch and heel hanging off the back. Hang on to the handrail or balance against the wall while you slowly lower your heel until you feel a stretch in the back of your leg. Hold this stretch for a count of two and then relax. That’s one rep. Repeat the stretch five times.
To stretch your hamstrings, lie down on your back, loop a resistance band or rope over the sole of your foot, and slowly pull your leg up until you feel a nice stretch. Hold this position for 5 seconds and then lower your leg back to the floor. Start with three reps for each leg and work your way up to five reps.
5. Refresh Your Legs With A Massage
Massaging sore and tired legs is one of our favorite ways to relieve leg pain during pregnancy. Who doesn’t love a good massage, right? The gentle kneading action increases blood flow, decreases inflammation, loosens sore muscles, and relaxes your body and mind. You don’t even have to head to the spa for an expensive, fancy massage. You can do it yourself in the comfort of your own home.
First, find an oil or cream like Mustela’s Stretch Marks Prevention Oil or Soothing Moisturizing Balm, and apply a bit to the palms of your hands. Then, starting at the top of your right leg, begin to gently massage both the front and back of your thighs. Slowly work your way down to your calves, reapplying the oil or cream whenever your skin starts to feel dry. When you’re done with your right leg, repeat the process on your left leg. You should feel instant relief! Goodbye pain and swelling, hello happy pregnancy.