On average, most people will experience heavy legs, which is normal — especially after a workout. However, if you live a sedentary life and feel the heaviness most of the time, there could be an underlying medical problem.
Rushing to a doctor for a proper diagnosis could give two results; one outcome could be nothing to concern you, the other being a case of Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD). PVD presents many symptoms depending on its progression and stage. The most common symptom is the feeling of tiredness and heavy legs. When blood flow is interrupted, you are bound to experience some heaviness, leg swellings, and generally feel uncomfortable.
Poor blood circulation is one of the leading causes of heavy legs. PVD is primarily caused by poor blood flow in the leg region which results in difficulty in walking or climbing up the stairs. Medically, the condition is explained as constriction of your blood vessels due to cholesterol and plaque lodged in the arteries.
Other Causes of Leg Heaviness
- Several causes can be attributed to leg heaviness such as during pregnancy, sitting, or standing for too long, which are all considered normal. Unlike the situation in pregnancy, standing or sitting for too long may cause your feet to swell and feel heavy. This feeling can be remedied by taking a walk to enhance blood flow.
- On a hot day, you are likely to experience swelling on the feet due to dilation of the veins.
- It has been argued that taking alcoholic beverages in the heat slows down blood circulation causing blood to settle for long before moving upwards
- Putting on tight clothing may constrict your veins and prevent proper blood flow leading to feeling of heaviness.
How to Deal With Heavy Legs?
After diagnosis, your doctor will be able to tell you the causes of your heavy legs, and also provide you with the right medication and advice. If your Heavy legs symptoms are as a result of PVD, then your doctor might recommend some lifestyle changes to help you ease the condition, and prevent it from getting worse.
Other than lifestyle changes, they may also advice that you get massage therapy to enhance your blood flow.
Exercise is also good. You can;
Walk More Often
Start by walking over short distances, and advance as you get used to it. Walking helps to improve circulation, and is a great way to minimize leg heaviness.
Yoga or Martial Arts
Yoga is a relaxing activity that is supposed to help you feel at ease and cure all numbness in the body. Different yoga techniques can be used to improve circulation around the legs leaving you refreshed and active.
The twists and turns you experience in martial arts reduces anxiety and enhances blood flow through your joints leaving you feeling comfortable and capable of standing or sitting for more extended periods.
What are the Risk Factors?
Anyone is at risk of experiencing heaviness in the leg, however, there’s a high risk group, including:
- Pregnant women
- Obese individuals
- People with specific medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and arterial disease