Heavy legs refer to legs that feel stiff, weighted, and tired no clear reason. It is a feeling where the legs are hard to lift and move forward. Getting this feeling after a workout is most expected and is normal.
There is a variety of conditions that can lead to a problem of heavy legs. Dr Ashwani Maichand, a leading orthopaedist in Delhi, stated this state points towards is an issue in the veins. Yet, there are other causes, which vary in severity. In this article, we have listed a range of the possible reasons for heavy legs. Take a look:
Varicose veins refer to a condition where the affected veins of a person look more apparent, larger, and complex, as compared to the adjacent veins. In this situation, blood circulation gets worse and it starts to accumulate in the legs. Dr Maichand highlighted that blood accumulation occurs mainly because the veins lose their elasticity or because of gravity.
A number of reasons can lead to a condition of varicose veins, including:
- Lack of physical activity
- People spending long hours standing or sitting at work
- Hormonal imbalances like those during perimenopause and pregnancy
- This condition can lead blood clots, which consecutively causes pain and swelling. Besides, skin sores, a condition difficult to heal can also be an outcome of this condition.
It is normal for a person to feel a bit tired in the legs for some days after an intense workout. But athletes push their limits regularly while training themselves. They take a risk of overtraining their muscles.
Dr Ashwani Maichand informed that muscles when overtrained, get no time to repair themselves, before a person uses them again. This results in weak, sluggish, or heavy muscles. Therefore, athletes such as runners and cyclists, frequently complain of heavy legs.
Peripheral Arterial Disease
Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) is a form of cardiovascular disease that can affect the arteries and veins of a person. The symptoms of PAD appear when fat develops in the walls of the arteries, which causes difficulty in blood circulation.
The condition is common in the legs, where the circulation of blood is cut off to the feet and legs. This causes pain or cramps in the legs and makes them feel heavy. Dr Maichand says that a person with high blood pressure and cholesterol, diabetes, as well as smoking habits is more prone to risks under PAD.
Chronic venous insufficiency
Heavy legs can also be a sign of Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI). The pressure of gravity makes it difficult for the heart to pump the blood back up to the heart from the legs. There is a series of one-way valves in the legs, which are designed to prevent blood from falling back down.
In a person with CVI, the veins and valves become weak. This causes the problem of heavy and tired legs, swelling, as well as spider veins.
People who stand for long periods of time, are more prone to CVI. This is because, standing puts immense strain on the veins in the lower legs. Dr Ashwani Maichand marked few risk factors that involved in CVI – Sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise, extra weight, poor nutrition, aging, and pregnancy, among others.
Restless leg syndrome
Nervousness or restless leg syndrome often causes an uncontrollable sensation like jittery, shaky, or numbness in the legs. Moving the legs is a simple and a temporary remedy. In case of no movement at all, the legs may feel heavy. People affected by the syndrome tap their feet or shake their legs to relieve the symptoms.
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