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Lower Leg Problems and Pains During Pregnancy

Lower Leg Problems and Pains during Pregnancy West Ryde

During pregnancy, your body experiences a number of physical and chemical changes to grow your baby and allow your body to give birth. Unfortunately, some of these changes can cause conditions in the lower leg such as swelling, pain or cramping.

Speak with your physiotherapist if you are experiencing any lower leg symptoms during pregnancy, as there are treatments available to reduce your discomfort. Some of the common lower leg problems that occur during pregnancy are discussed below.

Foot and Heel Problems


Hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause the ligaments in the feet to relax, leading to potential fallen arches, often called flat feet, or over-pronation. Some women have to increase their shoe size to accommodate these changes.

Another common foot related pregnancy condition is heel pain, called plantar fasciitis. The extra weight on the body from pregnancy can cause extra stress on the feet, leading to this condition.

Treatment / Prevention

  Physiotherapists recommend ensuring you have supportive footwear to ensure your feet are in the correct position.

  Avoid standing for long periods.

  Elevate your feet when possible.

  Seek treatment after childbirth if you continue to experience symptoms or pain.

Foot and Ankle Swelling


Swelling in the feet and ankle area is very common for pregnant women. This is caused by increased fluids or blood volume and changes in the blood vessels due to hormone levels.

Treatments/ Prevention

  Drink plenty of water.

  Try compression stockings to reduce swelling.

  Rest on your left side as it decreases the pressure in the blood vessels.

  Reduce standing and walking time.

  Go swimming or have a bath.

Leg Cramps


Leg cramps, particularly in the calf muscles are common in pregnant women, especially in the second trimester. They can occur during the day and night and may be caused due to:

  Tired muscles caused by weight gain.

  Calcium concentration changes.

  Or increased pressure on the nerves and blood vessels.

Treatments/ Prevention

  Stretch the area that is cramping.

  Drink plenty of water.

  Stay active.

  Speak with your doctor about supplements to ease the muscles.

  Have a warm bath.

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Northern Districts Physiotherapy

Northern Districts Physiotherapy & Sports Clinic was established in 1995 and consists of an energetic team of highly qualified and experienced professionals who take the time to understand ...


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95 Ryedale Road
West Ryde NSW 2114

Ph 02 9874 8410
Fax 02 9874 6192

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