Heavy and tired legs: causes and remedies

Having heavy and tired legs is a problem that should not be underestimated. The legs in these cases are perceived as stiff, tired, and you have the sensation that they are difficult to lift and move.

Legs and ankles are areas of the body where swelling commonly occurs due to the effect of gravity on the fluids in the human body. However, water retention due to gravity isn't the only cause of a swollen ankle or leg.

Injury and subsequent inflammation can also lead to water retention and bloating.

Dicover  Cooling Gel Nuvò Cosmetic, our cooling effect gel for heavy legs, rich in snail slime, menthol and peppermint.

Tired and aching legs

symptoms swollen and heavy legs

Tired, aching legs are typically described as a feeling of discomfort and pain, even if not acute. You suffer from this problem but cannot identify where exactly the pain is coming from.

What are the symptoms of aching and tired legs?

  • Pain or burning : Obviously, there is a sensation of pain or even burning in the muscles of the legs.
  • Further pain when walking : In these cases, the pain is relieved by rest. It's called intermittent claudication and it is a kind of muscle cramp.
  • Pain when standing : If your legs ache after standing for long periods it may be a sign of varicose veins.

What causes tired and aching legs?

The causes of tired and aching legs are many. Some of the more common causes encompass:

  • Muscle cramps : They can be due to excessive exercise or intense and prolonged physical activity without adequate training. In these cases, an accumulation of lactic acid may build up in the muscles.
  • Insufficiency of movements : even a sedentary lifestyle can cause tired legs, especially if you are forced to always stay in the same position or in bed for long periods of time.
  • Circulation problems : Those who suffer from diabetes or smokers may experience poor circulation in their legs. A sharp pain and burning sensation may be the result of blockage of the arteries (blood cannot flow properly). It's called peripheral vascular disease, and it often causes tired, aching legs.
  • Varicose veins : Blood can pool and cause a blockage when the small valves in the veins in your legs collapse. This causes the veins to swell and expand.
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis : If one of your deep veins in the leg is blocked by a clot, it causes the leg to swell hence leading to experience a severe pain difficult to relieve. Deep vein thrombosis usually occurs in one leg, rather than in both at the same time.
  • Poor functionality of microcirculation: microcirculation is the circulation of blood in blood vessels smaller than 200 microns (arterioles, metarterioles, capillaries and venules). Poor  functionality of the microcirculation can cause swollen ankles, feet and legs, but also many other problems such as hemorrhoids, mood disorders, concentration difficulties. In these cases, the doctor usually prescribes supplements for microcirculation based on flavonoids, mainly diosmin .

How to prevent tired and aching legs?

Having your legs always tired and constantly painful is a rather unbearable situation. How could you prevent this from happening?

Most pharmacists and doctors recommend wearing compression stockings because:

  • they are an easy, non-invasive way to relieve tired, aching legs
  • they help prevent varicose veins, poor circulation and deep vein thrombosis
  • they exist fo women and men alike and are available in many styles and colors
  • they are easy to put on and take off
  • they are durable and easy to wash and dry

But there are also many lifestyle changes and personal choices that help prevent tired, aching legs:

  • Exercise : Get more physical exercise, especially walking and swimming.
  • Avoid being overweight : Extra weight puts pressure on the circulation in your legs.

Swollen legs

Standing a lot can cause leg swelling, especially in old age, but this is not the only reason.

What causes swollen legs?

There are several conditions that can cause swelling in the legs and feet:

  • Overweight
  • venous insufficiency
  • Pregnancy
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Blood clots in the leg
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Kidney failure
  • Leg infection
  • Liver failure
  • Lymphoedema, swelling caused by a blockage in the lymphatic system
  • Previous surgery, such as pelvic, hip, knee, ankle, or foot surgery

But swollen ankles and legs can also be caused by inflammation following acute or chronic injuries:

  • Ankle sprain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Gout
  • Leg fracture
  • Achilles tendon rupture

There is also another type of swelling, called oedema , which occurs when extra fluid flows into various areas of the body: legs, arms, hands, ankles and feet. A slight oedema can also occur in particular situations such as pregnancy, premenstrual symptoms, consumption of too much salt.

But an oedema can also be the symptom of a more serious problem:

  • Kidney disease
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Weak or damaged veins
  • Malfunctioning lymphatic system

What can you do to reduce leg swelling?

Some remedies and treatments are almost the same as tose for tired and heavy legs.

  • When your legs are swollen, try foot baths during which you alternate hot and cold water.
  • Elevating the legs relieves some of the pressure and promotes the flow of fluids from the extremities of the body.
  • Avoid prolonged periods standing or sitting, in order not to further aggravate the weight of the body on the already swollen legs.
  • A low sodium diet prevents excessive water retention and promotes effective exchange of body fluids.
  • Consuming diuretic foods and drinks, recommended by a doctor, is helpful in cleansing the kidneys and relieving swelling.
  • Wear compression stockings on swollen legs – they create pressure on the legs and prevent water from accumulating in those areas.
  • Regular physical activity - such as jogging, stretching, yoga, walking, cycling - stimulates healthy blood flow and promotes the elimination of harmful substances from the tissues.

Also read: Swollen Legs – Causes and remedies, both immediate and in the long term

Causes of heavy legs

Feeling heavy in your legs after a workout or after long walks or from standing for long periods of time is normal. But if the sensation of heavy legs occurs in other conditions, then the problem must be sought elsewhere.

Determining the cause of heavy legs will help you find proper treatment and ease the discomfort.

The causes can vary, even in severity, and only a doctor can make a complete diagnosis, based on the symptoms you feel, to find the right treatment.

However, heavy legs can be due to the following causes:

Varicose veins

They appear on the legs and feet and have an irregular pattern. Varicose veins occur for several reasons:

  • Old age
  • Pregnancy
  • Menopause
  • Obesity
  • Inheritance
  • Sedentary life or jobs that require a prolonged standing position

Peripheral arterial disease

It is a cardiovascular disease that occurs when fatty deposits build up in the walls of the arteries, narrowing them. Without enough blood circulating, legs can feel tired and achy.

Lumbar spinal stenosis

It is a narrowing of the spine that causes pain in both the lower back and legs, where you will feel heaviness, weakness and numbness.

Overtraining syndrome

When an athlete, particularly runners and cyclists, trains excessively, without giving their body – their muscles – time to recover, they may experience leg problems.

Heavy legs in summer

Heavy legs are quite frequent especially during the summer. What's the real reason?

Each day, the veins in your legs carry blood pumped from your heart through your body's arteries, then back to your heart. We are talking about thousands of liters a day. Not only that, but the veins in your legs also have to work against gravity to get back to your heart.

During the summer, with the heat, the venous valves may not close and the transport from the veins to the heart is often not guaranteed in an optimal way. Then blood builds up in the veins, causing these areas to swell. This phenomenon is called vasodilation .

What to do for heavy legs in summer?

  • Walking and cycling : Constant effort of the calf muscles results in better venous blood reflux from the legs. At the same time, the leg muscles are invigorated and strengthened.
  • Avoid standing or sitting for long periods .
  • Swimming : through its higher density the external pressure of the water supports the venous pressure (created by the venous valves) and facilitates the reflux of blood to the heart. Additionally, the hydrostatic lift of the water reduces body weight and relieves strain on your joints.

Heavy legs symptoms

What exactly do you feel when you have heavy legs? Patients describe their legs as aching, tired, crampy, or stiff.

Other symptoms encountered are:

  • numbness in the legs
  • shooting pain in one or both legs
  • cold or tingling sensation in the legs
  • difficulty walking or standing during the day
  • swelling
  • more visible veins

Habits to adopt in case of heavy legs

How to take steps to relieve heavy legs ? Here are some best practices and habits you could adopt if you have this problem:

  • Walking : walk at least half an hour a day to strengthen the vein walls. You will activate the return of the venous flow.
  • Do not wear very tight clothes : especially shoes. The instep is a key point of venous return. Also avoid clothes that constrict the calf, as these prevent the muscle from contracting and block blood flow.
  • Pay attention to your diet : you must avoid excessive weight gain and fight water retention. Consume vitamins and fiber. Hydrate to eliminate toxins.
  • Elevate your feet in bed : At the end of the bed your feet should be about 10cm off the bed.
  • Do vascular gymnastics : it is gymnastics that stimulates the postural muscles.
  • Avoid crossing your legs when sitting .
  • Avoid staying in one position for too long , even when standing. Regular moving of the legs improves blood flow.
  • Quit smoking : Smoking can negatively affect circulation and affect the symptoms of heavy legs.
  • Avoid very hot baths : The heat promotes dilation of the veins, which can make it more difficult for blood to flow through the legs.

Medical remedies for heavy legs

There are also medical techniques for heavy legs, if the pain increases and is not relieved despite the habits taken. In this case it is advisable to consult your doctor.

  • Pressure therapy . It is a medical and aesthetic treatment to improve the circulatory and lymphatic system. It consists of pressure exerted on the ankles to stimulate return blood flow.
  • Lymphatic drainage . It is a massage, performed by a physiotherapist, with an alternation of pressure to break up the edema and restart the lymphatic return.

Natural remedies for tired and heavy legs

How to deal with the problem of heavy legs? We are now listing a series of natural remedies and treatments that you can do at home to relieve the discomfort caused by heaviness and tiredness in your legs.

  • Dry brush your legs . Stimulates blood circulation and lymphatic drainage. Plus it also exfoliates the skin. Using a natural bristle brush you start at the feet and work your way up. It is a treatment that lasts 10-15 minutes.
  • Rest . Take a break and rest your legs. Let your body recover.
  • Compression . Wrap your legs in a compression bandage to reduce swelling.
  • Lifting . Keep your legs elevated with pillows. This technique can improve circulation to reduce swelling or discomfort.
  • Footbath . Revives tired feet by reducing pain and inflammation. Add a cup of sea salt and vinegar to a basin of warm water. Soak your feet for at least 20 minutes.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar . Topical use of apple cider vinegar can help reduce varicose vein symptoms, such as cramping, pain, and fatigue. You can rub vinegar on your legs or try adding some to a warm bath.
  • Massage . A massage can help relieve tired legs. Book a massage with a certified masseur. You can also practice self-massage by rubbing an oil or ointment on your feet and legs.
  • Ice pack . In a plastic bag or towel, put ice and massage the affected area, placing it on tired or sore muscles, with circular movements.

How to prevent tired legs?

Is it possible to prevent or reduce the risk of tired legs ? Yes, try the following recommendations.

  • Follow a balanced, healthy diet to ensure you're getting the recommended daily amount of nutrients. This will help provide your body with the energy it needs to get through the workday.
  • Limit or avoid alcohol, sugar, and caffeine .
  • Avoid getting overweight .
  • Wear appropriate footwear that offers ample support for your feet, especially if you have to stand for a long time. Choose comfortable shoes and add cushioned insoles for extra support.
  • Wear compression stockings .
  • Get up and move around as often as possible . Make an effort to exercise for at least 15 minutes every day. If you have a desk job, move or stretch your legs for at least five minutes every hour.
  • Exercise regularly to keep your bones and muscles in top health , even a simple walk every day for 30 minutes.
  • Always maintain correct body posture .
  • Don't cross your legs while sitting .

Nuvò Cosmetic gel cream for tired and heavy legs

An innovative formulation, 100% Italian, dermatologically tested, which gives immediate relief to heavy legs. Cooling Gel is an anti-fatigue that you can use in summer and winter after a long working day. It is also indicated for swollen ankles and feet and after a workout.

gel cream as a remedy for heavy and tired legs

The gel cream contains important natural active ingredients:

  • Snail slime
  • Crystal menthol
  • Blueberry extract
  • Peppermint essential oil
  • Star anise and eucalyptus essential oil

It is a natural product: it does not contain parabens, mineral oils or silicones.

How does Cooling Gel heavy leg cream work?

The cream promotes muscle relaxation , accelerating recovery times. After applying the product, thanks to the high concentration of its active ingredients and the cold effect, your legs will immediately feel light again.

It is a cream suitable both for those who spend a lot of time on their feet - and therefore feel heaviness and fatigue at the end of the day - and for those who play sports - and can thus reduce the feeling of tiredness after a training session.

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