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Leg Cramps During Pregnancy

Leg Cramps During Pregnancy

Leg cramps are sudden, involuntary contractions or spasms in one or more of your muscles. Leg cramps usually affects calves, feet and at time the upper leg.  

Many women experience painful sensation usually occurs at night. Leg cramps usually occur during the third trimester but its not uncommon if you experience it during the first and second trimester.

What Causes Leg Cramps During Pregnancy?

There is not exact cause of why leg cramps happen during pregnancy.  Many doctors believe that leg cramps are a result of the extra weight carrying around because of pregnancy. The uterus continues to grown placing pressure on the main vein that runs in your legs. 

Other risk factors that cause leg cramps are:

Why Are Pregnancy Leg Cramps More Common At Night?

Many women get leg cramps during pregnancy when lying down.  These painful spasms radiate through the calves and up the legs.  Due to high body fluid and severe fatigue is the leading cause of nighttime leg cramps.

How To Prevent Cramps In Pregnancy?

There are many things you can do to prevent leg cramps during pregnancy:

  • Straighten your leg
  • Avoid standing for long extended time
  • Stay hydrated
  • Exercise lightly
  • Wear support hose during the day
  • Maintain a healthy balance diet
  • Stretch regularly
  • Rotate your ankles and wiggle your toes daily
  • Take a warm bath before bed to relax your muscles

Pregnancy Leg Cramps Treatment

  • Wear supportive stockings
  • Get calves massage
  • Stan on a cold surface
  • Take a warm bath to relax the muscle
  • Walk around to get your blood circulation
  • Keep your legs elevated with pillows when lying down
  • Apply a heating pad

Stretching Exercise For
Leg Cramp Relief

Get rid of the pain from leg cramps by stretching.  Making sure both of your legs are straighten and maintaining the heels in the floor.  

Gently flex your ankles and toes. Having a consistent schedule of stretching before bed helps prevent leg cramps during pregnancy.

Medical Treatment

Before taking any type of medication during pregnancy consult with your physician. Many women take acetaminophen to help them relieve pain.

When To Call The Doctor

  • You’re experiencing muscle cramping that does not go away
  • Your legs are accompanied by symptoms like swelling
  • Leg cramps with ankle swelling
  • Severe headache
  • Extreme diarrhea

ICD-9 And ICD-10 Codes
For Leg Cramps

The ICD-9 code used for indicating cramp is 729.82 [11], while its ICD-10 code is R25.2

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