Stretch for Pregnancy and Post Pregnancy Leg Pains (side of leg tendon)

By Michelle Ishio (Resident Post Pregnancy Rehab Specialist and Fitness Expert)



During pregnancy and even post pregnancy, often time, we have leg pains that we can't pin-point exactly where it is coming from. You don't really feel any "soreness" in your muscles, or "knots" for that matter.

Eventually the extra hormones and weight will take it's toll on our legs. Even though it might not be "sore", there is lot's of a pressure feeling, in general, it just doesn't feel good, and in some cases, it is painful.

Often times, we don't realize that it is our I.T. band that is causing this uncomfortable, pressured feeling. Keeping it basic, the I.T. band is the tendon that goes down the side of our thigh.

With proper stretching, you can get immediate relief from this uncomfortable, (and even painful), symptom of pregnancy leg pains.

To keep the symptom or it's severity limited, do this stretch before going to bed and after waking up in the morning. It is also important to do this stretch after exercising of any kind, (including walking). Doing this stretch after exercising and being warmed up, you body will be even more responsive to the positive effects of this stretch.

Leg Tendon Stretch

This stretch is great throughout your entire pregnancy. You can do it anytime you feel leg discomfort.

* Find a low base to lift your heel up to, (it can be a chair seat, sofa arm, bed, and if you are pretty flexible, it can be the backing of a chair). If you are at all worried about your flexibility, then you can have a chair next to you for you to hold onto as you lift your heel up into your chosen base.

* Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, keep your knees relaxed, and both feet facing the stretching base.
Tip: The distance that you stand from the stretching base would be determined by the length of you leg. You want to be far enough away that you can have a relaxed, fully extended leg, and with you heel comfortably placed on the stretching base. Be sure that your heel is what is placed on the stretching base, not any higher on your leg, (i.e. tendon behind your ankle, your calf, etc).

* Lift one heel up onto your stretching base.
Tip: For the leg that is still on the ground, make sure that your foot is still facing the stretching base, (as in don't rotate that foot outward). If you feel that you must rotate it to stay comfortable, that means that the stretching base that you have chosen is too high and find something lower to put your heel up on.

*Keep both hands on your hip. If you are using a chair to hold onto, that is fine, just put the other hand on your hip.

*The side that you have the heel raised up onto the stretching base, take that sides hip and drop it down and back...this is where you should feel a lot of stretching along the side of your leg, (I.T. band).
Tip: If you are very flexible and still do not feel the stretch exactly as you would like, you can either lean forward moving your stomach down towards your thigh, (not head towards the knee), or you can choose a slightly higher stretching base.

* Hold for approximately 30 - 40 sec, (more is okay if your feel you need it). Repeat on other side.

You have just completed one of the three stretches that is great for cramping legs. The next two stretches are great for the lower back and cramping legs.

Lower Back and Leg Stretch # 1


The next stretch starts out very similar to the one we just did.

* Use the same stretching base that you choose for stretch you just did.

*
Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, keep your knees relaxed, and both feet facing the stretching base.
Tip: Remember, the distance that you stand from the stretching base would be determined by the length of you leg. You want to be far enough away that you can have a relaxed, fully extended leg, and with you heel comfortably placed on the stretching base. Be sure that your heel is what is placed on the stretching base, not any higher on your leg, (i.e. tendon behind your ankle, your calf, etc).

* As with the last stretch, lift one heel up onto the stretching base.

* This time, (unlike the other stretch), the foot that is on the ground, take that foot and rotate it outwards so that you foot is parallel with the stretching base.

* Take your pelvis and push it slightly forward.

* Next, take the hand that is on the same side as the foot that is on the ground and stretch it towards the ceiling and over towards your foot.
Tip: Remember, only push your pelvis slightly forward within your comfort level, as well, only lift your arm up and over within your comfort level as well.


* Hold for approximately 30 - 40 sec, (more is okay if your feel you need it). Repeat on other side.


Have a great stretching session, and reducing, if not, eliminating, your pregnancy leg pains.

 

www.PostPregnancyRehab.com

Michelle's Fit Club