Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD): Heavy Legs Causes & Treatments
The feeling of heavy, tired legs is well known, especially to the warm summer time. Frequently, after a long, busy day of sitting or standing, the symptoms are increased. Heavy legs like lead – who is affected by it and what can you do about it?
Heavy legs. An indication of venous weakness.
In Germany, some 22 million people suffer from a venous deficiency, and only a few of them know that an existing venous disease can be responsible for the feeling of heavy, tired both. Symptoms that are indicative of a venous weakness include, for example, swollen ankles and itching, tingling, and pains in the legs. The presence of broom sprays and varicose veins is another sign.
If there is a weakness of the veins, the venous valves can not close properly, resulting in a return flow of the blood. The result is that the veins expand further; the increased venous blood pressure can create gaps from which fluid can escape. Edema, the accumulation of tissue water due to a lack of transport through the vascular system, is called edema.
If severe, tired legs can be attributed to a venous weakness, sufferers can counteract the complaints: long sitting and standing in the workplace should be avoided. Changing midsels can relieve discomfort and the erection of the painful legs can also improve. Movement is also beneficial: the muscles in the calves and thighs during a gymnastics exert pressure on the veins, which compresses them, and the blood can be conveyed unhindered towards the heart. As a result, the blood can not “spill” in the legs and lead to unwanted edema. Heavy legs can also be prevented by wearing compression stockings prescribed by the doctor: the veins are compressed,
Heavy legs after jogging
Even after a sports program, athletes can have the feeling of heavy, tired legs. If this condition occurs more frequently and disease-related causes can be ruled out, the intensity of the sport may be responsible. Because the most common cause for heavy, tired legs after jogging are too hard training and too short recovery phases. They point to a fatigue of the muscles, the body sets a warning sign that the regeneration process has not yet been completed and a performance is not achieved. Also a deficiency of minerals such as calcium, iron or magnesium can cause severe, tired legs. Especially athletes should ensure that their mineral storage tank is filled.
In addition to sufficient rest breaks between the sporting units, it also helps the legs to jog up after jogging or to massage them always towards the heart.
Heavy legs in pregnancy
Even in pregnancy, women can complain about heavy, tired legs. This is due to the altered hormonal balance, which makes the blood vessels more flexible than usual. Also, the 20% increase in blood flow leads to more blood flowing through the vessels. As a result of the enlargement of the veins, the function of the venous lobes is worsened, a backflow of the blood and edema formation in the legs. Weight gain during pregnancy also leads to venous loading. For pregnant women, especially cycling, long walks and swimming are recommended to prevent discomfort in the legs. It is also advisable to store the legs high and also to place the legs at an elevated position, for example, through a cushion, at night. Long standing and sitting should also be avoided during pregnancy. Wearing compression stockings can create relief.
Heavy legs in summer
Why do you suffer from heavy, tired legs during the summer? This is due to the elevated temperatures, which are responsible for a vessel dilation of the veins. Vein expansion of the veins in the summer has both advantages and disadvantages: as a result of the enlargement, the skin can be better circulated and the heat-house surface can be increased, giving more heat thanks to this heat-regulating process. The disadvantage is that due to the expansion of the veins, the venous lobes are not functional. The increased outside temperature is also responsible for the body losing a lot of fluid and the blood becomes thicker and the flow of blood is thereby slowed down. Heat and gravity make it difficult to carry the blood toward the heart. Against heavy legs in summer it is recommended, sufficient to drink and avoid the loud lunch. In principle, it is advisable to rest in the shade and raise your legs.
Tips against heavy legs
Heavy, tired legs? This state can occur in many situations. Whether in pregnancy, after sport, in the summer or with a present venous weakness. The following are tips that can be used to treat heavy legs quickly and easily:
- Avoid long sitting and standing
- Do not beat the legs (the blood flow will be disturbed)
- Replace the battery
- Raise the legs
- Massage the legs
- Support stockings
- Reduce / avoid overweight
- drink plenty of liquid
Thus, movement, relaxation and care can be prevented and weary, heavy legs are no longer given a chance.
Causes of water in the legs
The water in the legs is a collection of body fluid which is also referred to as edema formation and causes swelling of the affected body region. An increase in the tissue is observed. As a rule, these swellings do not cause any pain. However, if water deposits are a permanent condition, this can lead to damage to the body tissue.
Several causes are responsible for congestion of water in the legs. These include, among others, cardiac insufficiency, also referred to as heart muscle weakness, in particular right heart failure. Edema may indicate a hereditary disease, which should by no means be trivial.
As a result of right heart failure, water retention in the legs and above all in the area of the ankles can be observed. The reason for the accumulation of water is the following: The edema formation occurs when the blood flowing back to the heart is not pumped up sufficiently and creates a “backwater” in front of the heart. This backflow can in some cases even extend into the small vessels in the foot area, which are then filled with blood and have an increased pressure – tissue fluid is eliminated.
Vein diseases, which are called “venous pains,” can also be responsible for water retention in the legs.
Among other things, other diseases can also be responsible for “water in the legs”:
- renal insufficiency
- Nephrotic syndrome
- Hormone disorders: Thyroid function
- eating disorder
Treatment of water in the legs
The prerequisite for a successful treatment is always thorough diagnosis. The cause of the water absorption in the legs should be determined quickly, as these can arise for a variety of reasons, which may be harmless, but also serious. During the hot summer months, water storage, particularly in the case of present pregnancy, can be considered as non-threatening, for example.
If, however, a water storage in the legs is established regularly and permanently and a feeling of numbness is felt, a doctor should be called immediately. In this case, there may be a disturbance in the outflow of the lymph fluid, which can permanently damage the tissue during non-treatment.
Therefore, a doctor’s visit is essential.
Depending on the cause of the accumulation of water in the legs, the goal is to treat the disease or the functional disorders. A medical symptom control can provide relief in the administration of medications, which is caused by diuretics and due to severe heart muscle weakness, liver or kidney function disorders. Among the physical therapy possibilities are the cooling of the legs and the wearing of compression stockings. Medicinal and physical treatments can also be used in combination. In addition, a healthy lifestyle can and should be used as a support to a medical therapy: to pay attention to the diet and exercise, as well as to identify and avoid the risk factors, including cell and vascular toxins such as smoking and alcohol.
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