Feeling tired , sore, swollen and even heavier legs than normal is a fairly common symptom that may or may not be associated with health conditions. Wearing very tight clothes, eating a diet rich in fat, not doing any type of physical activity, the heat, being on your feet for many hours and even not hydrating properly are some of the factors that can trigger tired legs , discomfort that can be accompanied by cramps in the limbs, tingling, numbness and swelling of the ankles.
Experiencing tired legs can happen to all of us at times, however, when this symptom becomes a constant discomfort it is important to check our health to find a cause that justifies said condition. ¿ How can we relieve tired legs ? Is it possible to combat this discomfort permanently?
If you want to find an answer to the previous questions, we invite you to carefully read this eHealth article on tired legs: causes and solutions.
Why are my legs tired?
This is one of the most common questions people ask when their legs feel so heavy that taking a couple of steps becomes an annoying and painful task. In most cases, tired legs affect women more than men and are the result of a circulatory problem that is causing inflammation of the veins because the blood does not return properly from the extremities to the heart. It can also happen that a person has tired legs due to fluid retention due to kidney disease or a diet rich in sodium. But, what conditions can alter our circulation or make us suffer from fluid retention? Many. For this reason, it is preferable to address each of the possible causes of tired legs in detail: learn about them below.
Causes of tired legs
The blood that leaves the heart through the arteries and travels throughout the body to the extremities, and then returns again to the muscle through the veins, that is, the valves that contain the veins of the legs constantly keep the blood flowing towards the heart. However, when the walls of the veins are weakened and the valves of the veins are damaged, the veins remain filled with blood for longer, especially when the person is standing for a long time. This condition is known as venous insufficiency and it is one of the main causes of tired legs.
Venous insufficiency can be chronic and is usually caused due to obesity, family history, being female, being pregnant, being too tall, or suffering from thrombosis in the past. Symptoms of venous insufficiency are: severe pain, itchy legs, tingling, pain when standing, varicose veins , swollen limbs, tired legs, and thickening of the skin. Losing weight, exercising, avoiding prolonged sitting in one position, and wearing compression stockings are all helpful actions to improve venous insufficiency and prevent the manifestation of its symptoms.
We tend to think that we are capable of controlling our body until we go through a hormonal imbalance. Hormones are substances that perform vital functions in all body processes and regulate absolutely everything that happens in our body. Therefore, any change in hormonal production can turn into a real health nightmare. Proof of this is the premenstrual syndrome that affects all women of childbearing age once a month and represents the second cause of tired legs that we will address in this article.
Days before the arrival of menstruation, the woman is going through a series of changes in her body that usually cause alteration in the production of female hormones and fluid retention, a lethal combination. The fluid retention experienced during PMS is usually greater than usual and triggers that feeling of heaviness in the legs that may or may not radiate pain from the hips to the thighs. Drinking plenty of water the days before the arrival of the period is of great help to prevent the pain of tired legs during menstruation.
Pregnancy is another time in life when hormones run amok and often cause conditions like tired legs. When a woman is pregnant, the uterus is compressed, which stimulates the circulation of more blood in the veins of the extremities, which causes inflammation of the venous system, fluid retention, pain, burning, itching and swelling of the feet and ankles. If you are pregnant and have tired legs, it is important that you consult with your doctor which options may be useful to improve your condition.
It is no secret to anyone that maintaining a diet rich in sugar and fat along with a sedentary life is a time bomb for the health of the body. Let’s start by explaining why unhealthy eating can affect our circulatory system : excessive consumption of alcoholic and carbonated beverages, fats, sugar, flours, sausages, fried foods, fast food, etc., increases the concentration of cholesterol in the blood in the body. . When this substance is abundant in the blood, it begins to concentrate in the arteries until they become narrow, which prevents the correct transit of blood flow in the body.
Cholesterol can be lowered through a healthy diet and physical activity, and exercise can also help improve blood circulation considerably. If the importance of eating healthy and exercising is ignored, signs of vascular deterioration such as tired legs begin to appear, for this reason it is essential to increase the intake of vegetables, cook food on the grill or steam, avoid the consumption of saturated fats, decrease your sugar intake, drink plenty of water, eat lean meats, lose weight and, of course, walk at least 30 minutes every day.
Being overweight is also one of the main causes of tired legs. As we mentioned before, diet plays a fundamental role in the health of the entire organism and in the case of overweight people, an extra factor must be added: the more weight the legs support, the more difficult it will be for the blood to return easily to the heart. Therefore, if you are overweight it is important that you consider going to a nutritionist to teach you how to eat healthy and suggest a physical activity plan according to your abilities.
Legs tired from medications
Some medications can cause tired legs as a side effect. In general, the drugs that are most associated with this type of discomfort are antihypertensives, antidepressants, anti-inflammatories and birth control pills. If your legs feel tired and you are taking any of these medications, we recommend that you consult your doctor about what options you have to avoid this discomfort without interrupting your treatment.
Solutions for tired legs
You have tired legs and you don’t know what to do to stop the pain and regain your usual mobility without feeling so heavy, calm, fortunately there are some solutions that can help you improve the discomfort, however, it is important that you make an appointment with your GP to rule out that this condition is not caused by a vascular disease or complication. Remember that symptoms may improve, but it will always be vital to adhere to the appropriate treatment for each condition.
- An excellent solution to prevent tired leg discomfort is to avoid sitting or standing for many hours at a time . Therefore, during the day, it does not matter if you are at home or in the office, move your legs from position every hour and take a short walk every 120 minutes. This will help your blood circulate and not concentrate in your veins, therefore, it will prevent you from feeling tired legs and all the discomfort that this suggests.
- Hydration is vital to promote good circulation throughout our body. Remember that the ideal is to drink 2 liters of water a day.
- Do some physical activity that you like to stimulate proper blood flow from your legs to the heart. Walk, jog, dance, run, bike, the options are endless. Swimming is a sport that helps to improve circulation in the legs.
- When you get home after a long day lie down on the bed and put your legs up , this will allow the blood from the extremities to flow more easily towards the heart. Stay in this position for at least 20 minutes.
- Another solution for tired legs is to massage yourself with lavender essential oil . Lavender has anti-inflammatory properties and if you massage your feet from the bottom up for 20 minutes you will help to guide the blood flow and you will feel relief.
Treatment for tired legs
Medical treatment for tired legs will depend on the cause of the condition. However, below we share with you what are the most common procedures to improve this condition when it is the product of venous insufficiency. It is important that you know that venous insufficiency has no definitive cure, the treatment consists of alleviating the symptoms or improving the affected veins, but the circulatory problem is permanent. Some ways to treat enlarged veins are:
- Ablation : This procedure offers to progressively destroy the affected vein through heat.
- Sclerotherapy : this treatment is one of the most used to improve varicose veins. It consists of injecting saline solution into the affected vein to harden it and make it disappear.
- Microfeblectomy : consists of making small incisions in the leg to remove an inflamed vein. The procedure is non-invasive and is recommended only to improve the condition of very large veins.
- Angioplasty : This treatment is much more complicated and aims to uncover a vein with excess blood. The affected vein is opened and widened with the help of a kind of balloon to stimulate the circulation of blood flow. Finally, a metal mesh is inserted into the vein to prevent it from clogging again.
- Bypass : it is a surgery that seeks to restore blood flow to one or more affected veins.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.