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Leg Pain During Pregnancy

Narayani Karthik Jun 18, 2019
Many women complain of a disconcerting tingling sensation, accompanied by an uncomfortable feeling and pain in the legs and feet during pregnancy. Leg pain can be experienced during any term.
Pregnancy is one of the most assailable times in the life of a woman.
So, it is very important to be proactive and sensitive to the slightest pain that does not seem normal during this period. Leg pain during pregnancy is common because of the additional weight that a woman carries during this period, as it puts more pressure on the legs. This problem mostly clings during the last few months prior to the due date.

Causes of Pain in the Legs During Pregnancy

Leg pain during pregnancy is a result of sudden muscle tightening that can happen due to many reasons, like muscle strain, lack of fluids in body, irregularities in blood circulation, very limited body movement, and undue pressure on the spinal nerves. Hence for a pregnant woman, movement of leg muscles is a must.
The uterus expansion is also one of the causative factors, as it puts pressure on the blood vessels that connect the leg and the heart.


Given here are a few tips to be followed whenever a shooting pain in either leg is encountered during pregnancy:
  • Stretch the calf muscles at regular intervals throughout the day. Exercising the leg muscles is an important activity during pregnancy to enhance the stamina in legs.
  • Regular walking keeps the leg muscles active and toned. This is a very important activity for pregnant ladies.
  • Rotate the ankles and wrists frequently. This also includes wriggling the toes.
  • Drink a lot of water to keep the body hydrated.
  • Take bath in lukewarm water to relax the muscles of the body.
Besides all the stated remedies, one should include enough calcium and magnesium supplements in the daily diet. At times, lack of calcium is a factor for leg pain, though this is not the case always. Leg pain while sleeping is also quite common, and hence, it is recommended that pregnant women use lighter blankets to sleep at night.

Types of Leg Pain Encountered During Pregnancy

There are other types of leg pain as well that are encountered during pregnancy. One of them is the sciatic nerve pain which can lead to complications in a normal delivery. This is felt when the sciatic nerve that runs from the lower back to the feet is inflamed due to the increased weight of the body during pregnancy.
This excruciating pain shoots all along the back and down to the feet. This kind of backache and leg pain during pregnancy occurs if a woman is subjected to standing for long durations, lifting heavy objects, or due to excessive weight gain.
The pain due to sciatica can be reduced by gentle massages and prenatal yoga, which aid in strengthening the back muscles and nerves.
Upper leg pain is also a consequence of a pressurized sciatic nerve. Therapeutic baths are recommended for pregnant women suffering from sciatica. Before bath, the patient is given a glass of cold water to drink.
When taking bath, she should use lukewarm water with some Epsom salt in it. Make sure to keep your head wrapped in a towel while having bath. These baths are supervised by a therapeutic bath specialist.
In case of pain in the right leg, the doctors usually recommend changing postures and lying on the left side of the body to reduce the pressure on the nerves.
Pregnancy is the happiest period in a woman's life. A new life growing inside her gives her the utmost contentment which at times get disrupted by leg pain during pregnancy. So, mild exercises, yoga, and walking are a must for her to combat these discomforts.