Relief for Pregnancy-induced leg cramps
Leg cramps are a common complaint for pregnant women, however there is no current standard treatment. Naturopaths and nutritionists often recommend a magnesium supplement for leg cramps, as magnesium is helpful for relaxing muscles and nerves.
A recent study proved the effectiveness of magnesium supplementation for leg cramps.
The 4 week study looked at 86 pregnant women between 14-34 weeks gestation and analysed the use of oral magnesium supplementation on leg cramps. 80 women completed the study.
41 women were assigned to magnesium bisglycinate chelate (300 mg per day) and 39 women to placebo.
Details of leg cramps were recorded before beginning the treatment and the fourth week of study. Outcome measure was the reduction of cramp frequency after treatment and cramp intensity measured by 100-mm visual analogue scale.
50% reduction of cramp frequency was significantly higher in the magnesium group than the placebo group. Results included:
- The 50% reduction of cramp intensity was also significantly higher in the treatment group than in the placebo group.
- There were no significant differences between the two groups in terms of side effects such as nausea and diarrhoea.
These results demonstrated that oral magnesium supplement can improve the frequency and intensity of pregnancy-induced leg cramps. Therefore, oral magnesium may be a treatment option for women suffering from pregnancy-induced leg cramps.
Supakatisant C, Phupong V. Oral magnesium for relief in pregnancy-induced leg cramps: a randomised controlled trial. Matern Child Nutr. 2012 Aug 22. doi: 10.1111/j.1740-8709.2012.00440.x. [Epub ahead of print][fb_button]