Pregnancy places a lot of pressure on your legs, knees, back, and hips. Sometimes that pressure results in aches and pains. It's nothing serious, but is annoying nonetheless. Ice and/or heat can often bring relief. Experiment with heat and ice to see which works better for you.
Heat. Wrap a heating pad, hot-water bottle, or microwaveable heat pack in a towel and apply it to the sore area for 20 minutes several times a day. Microwaveable packs, which are available in most pharmacies, heat up in a minute or two and are very convenient to use. The towel prevents your skin from getting too hot. Soaking in a warm bath or standing under a stream of warm water in the shower may also help.
Ice. To make an ice pack, partly fill a plastic bag with crushed ice. Wrap a thin, wet cloth around the bag and apply it to the sore area. Or wrap a wet paper towel around a bag of frozen peas and use that as an ice pack. Be careful with ice because the cold can damage nerves if it is left in place too long. Remove ice within 20 minutes and wait two to four hours to repeat.
Heat and ice. Alternating heat and ice sometimes relieves pain that neither can take care of alone.
Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.
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