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Legs Feel Heavy- Causes, Symptoms, And Useful Home Remedies!
Sometimes legs feel heavy and tired by the end of the day or throughout the day, and we keep wondering what could be the possible reason behind this. Heavy legs are described as legs that feel stiff, tired, and weighted.
When it happens, it becomes pretty hard to lift the legs to move forward. It may feel as if someone has assigned you to drag a bag of flour. Legs feel heavy due to a lot of reasons. The first thing you must do is figure out which condition is making your legs feel heavy. Once the state is determined or diagnosed, treatment becomes more accessible and faster.
Here are all the potential causes on why legs feel heavy and some remedies to fix your legs when you cannot walk.
Potential Causes- Why Legs Feel Heavy
Heavy legs can result due to a variety of reasons or wide-ranging disorders. These are some prominent reasons why your legs feel heavy.
1. Varicose veins
The varicose vein is veins present in your feet and legs, and these veins may become enlarged and start taking a knotted, bumpy appearance. Varicose veins often start appearing when:
- As we age.
- During other events as a result of hormonal changes like menopause.
- During pregnancy, due to fluctuating hormones and when the pressure on the uterus keeps increasing.
- In people who are overweight or obese.
- In people having a prior family history related to the same condition.
- In people who work in firms that require a lot of sitting or standing throughout the day. This, in turn, impacts the circulation giving rise to varicose veins condition.
These veins become bumpy and enlarged when the valves become weakened, and they start losing elasticity. Bumping veins allows the blood to stop, which should be circulating through the legs and body. This pooled blood in one area makes your legs feel heavy, stiff, and tired.
You will be surprised to know that nearly 23% of adults in the United States suffer from varicose veins due to their profession or other factors that may cause the condition. They are more frequent in women compared to men.
2. PAD or Peripheral Arterial Disease
This type of cardiovascular disease happens when desports of fatty acids start building up in artery walls, thus narrowing these walls. While peripheral artery disease may occur in any part of your body, it mainly occurs in the legs affecting blood circulation. Without sufficient blood circulating in the legs, the legs feel heavy, achy, crampy, and tired.
These symptoms are some of the initial signs indicating towards PAD condition. The same things that result in fatty buildup in the arteries cause then inside the legs also. Smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes are some of the top risk factors.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute reports that as much as 10 million people in the United States suffer from PAD.
3. OTS or Overstraining syndrome
Athletes constantly work and strive to enhance their performance in respected sports. But when they start training rigorously or excessively without giving any time to the body for recovering, they might get several issues related to one. One of these issues is the legs feeling heavy.
While performing any physical activity, if you push yourself a little bit harder than what you are capable of at that moment, your muscles would not repair fully like the way they should after a workout. Athletes often report that their legs feel heavy, particularly those involved in cycling and running. Push yourself, but make sure your body allows you to do so.
4. Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
This condition refers to spinal column narrowing. When the spinal column narrows, the bones of the spine, known as the vertebrae, and the bones which sit between the vertebra to absorb impact, known as discs, may pinch the spinal canal.
This generates pain and discomfort. This pain can also affect the lower back, and sometimes it affects your legs, causing heaviness, numbness, and weakness. This is one reason why legs feel heavy.
Some risk factors of this condition include:
- Smoking– Cigarettes have a compound inside of them that may restrict the blood vessels.
- Age- narrowing of the spinal column might occur naturally as we age.
- Obesity- Obesity or overweight can also cause the legs to feel heavy. Excess weight puts a lot of stress on your body, especially the spine and legs.
5. Restless legs syndrome
This condition is often marked by an annoying or uncomfortable feeling in the legs. The patients often describe this feeling as throbbing, aching, and crawling, which occurs when resting.
Once they start moving, the condition is relived on its own. The cause behind this is still not known, but researchers believe that a genetic component or dysfunction is how well the brain works or processes movement signals is what causes this condition.
People who are at high risk of restless leg syndrome include:
- Drink alcohol and smoke.
- Take some mediations that might alter the chemicals in the brain responsible for receiving the signals.
- Take cold medicines
- have damaged nerves.
There is also a strong link between conditions like fibromyalgia (which causes fatigue and chronic muscle pain) and restless legs. Researchers propose that people having fibromyalgia are nearly ten times more likely to acquire this restless leg syndrome.
These were some conditions that may cause the legs to feel heavy. Let’s see what common symptoms of these conditions are to detect them early and start the treatment.
If your legs feel heavy, these are some symptoms you might be facing, irrespective of the conditions you have.
- Aching legs
- Legs feel tired
- Legs feel stiff
- Creamy legs
heavy legs may also appear-
- Swollen due to circulatory issues
- Bumpy as a rest if varicose veins
- pale or bluish as a result of poor circulation
- Legs have sores that are slower at healing. It is because your skin requires an adequate blood supply to heal.
If your legs feel heavy due to issues related to veins like varicose veins or spider veins, there are some treatment options that the doctors will discuss with you before performing any. These options are quick, safe, and out-patient.
This method treats minor to medium vein issues, most commonly varicose veins and spider veins that cause the legs to feel heavy. The doctor performs it by injecting the vein with a liquid to close it, thus treating the damage.
EVLT or Endovenous laser therapy
Doctors use this treatment to treat large varicose veins and other prominent vein-related diseases. These veins are located below the surface and can only be seen using ultrasound. The doctors insert a small catheter in the damaged vein and then use laser lights to create heat which produces the vein to collapse.
This method to treat varicose veins is also mentioned as Endovenous Adhesive Ablation. Your doctor administers VenaSeal with the help of a small catheter to insert medical adhesive inside the damaged veins to seal that vein. This serves to redirect the flow of blood to remaining healthy veins.
This mode of treatment serves best for excluding varicose veins near the cover of your skin. Doctors execute Phlebectomy by forming a variety of tiny punctures in your skin, with the help of such holes, excluding the diseased vein. This vein treatment method typically occurs without stitches and is usually performed with radiofrequency ablation or ELVA.
Home remedies If legs feel heavy
There are a lot of home remedies you can follow to get relief pain and discomfort if your legs feel heavy. Here’s what to do:
- Lose weight if you are required to do so, or your doctor has recommended it. Obesity can direct you to varicose veins and other conditions like diabetes and an accumulation of fatty deposits inside the arteries, thus blocking blood flow.
- Stop smoking or limit smoking. Smoking is a severe risk factor for certain conditions that lead to heavy legs.
- Try to take days off from any work that leads to heavy legs or intense exercise.
- Raise your legs nearly 6 to 12 inches above your heart level. The aforementioned helps the blood pooled inside the legs flow out to the rest of the body, thus getting rid of the heavy leg feeling. Massaging the legs is an attached bonus.
- Use compression stockings to assist in promoting the flow of blood.
- Be more active. The most reliable and effective way to regulate body weight, low levels of cholesterol, and increase circulation is by staying active. You will also need to supervise your workout regimen to your fitness level and be sure to get supervision from a good doctor.
When to visit a doctor
Everyone and anyone might experience their legs feeling heavy or feeling of heavy legs now and then. You might have sat for too long or gone to work too hard for an extended period.
But when this feeling of heavy legs is more than occasional, or the symptoms such as heavy, stiff, or crampy legs become bothersome and frequent, you must unquestionably see your doctor. They will pay attention to your medical history, inquire about the symptoms, and run any tests required to pinpoint the particular cause leading to heavy legs.
For instance, to help diagnose Peripheral Artery Disorder, the doctors might suggest you have an ultrasound test to examine how blood is circulating through specific arteries reaching your legs in particular.
The Bottom Line
As you already know, heavy legs are a sign of some severe conditions, and you must seek medication or follow home remedies. After you see the reason or cause of the legs feeling heavy, you can develop a helpful treatment plan, and you will be able to regulate the pain and live a regular, wholesome life.
If you cannot determine the season behind your legs feeling heavy, you should visit a nearby healthcare expert and mention the symptoms. With proper diagnosis, they will be able to provide a suitable treatment plan.