Pain or fatigue in the legs is a very common symptom, which can be caused by various underlying factors. You may have an increased risk for leg fatigue if you’re female, overweight, or older.
This happens because the lower body carries the weight of the upper body. You must have experienced that sitting or standing for a long time can cause the legs to feel tired and heavy. A variety of underlying factors can also cause leg discomfort.
To understand this better HerZindagi exclusively spoke to Dr Santosh B Patil, who is a consultant Neuro and Vascular Interventional Radiologist at The Vein Center
“Pain, soreness, or cramping, leg fatigue may be accompanied by any of the following factors. Leg fatigue isn’t usually a cause for a major health concern, but it’s still significant that you pay attention to your body when fatigue occurs. Especially if you have other symptoms,” said Dr Patil and explained some possible causes for leg fatigue:
Overuse/ Too Much Exercise
Feeling fatigued after vigorous exercise or working for a prolonged period can be normal for the legs. The key is to rest here, because, without proper rest, muscles, including those in the lower body can have a hard time recovering properly.
Enough rest and working within the limits of your body must be made sure. Take plenty of breaks throughout the day, if you frequently use your legs while working out. This will assist in avoiding stress, strain, and injury.
Underuse/ Too Little Exercise
Sitting all day or not doing exercise may also lead to fatigue in the legs. To sit for extended periods, you must try to stand and be active for at least five minutes every hour. While spending way too much time in bed, do simple leg-raising exercises and stretches each hour. Don’t forget to elevate your legs on pillows.
Muscle cramps can be caused by overuse of your legs and make you feel fatigued. Let your legs and body have plenty of time to rest until your symptoms subside. Also, the key is to make sure to keep yourself hydrated. See your doctor if cramping becomes severe.
One of the main reasons behind hypokalemia is the low levels of potassium in the bloodstream. This can cause fatigue, weakness, cramping in the legs and constipation. Certain medications or conditions may cause hypokalemia. The safest thing to do is to see your doctor determine the underlying cause and the best treatment option for you.
If you have varicose veins, you may have tired, heavy, or aching legs. This is caused by valves in your veins, which don’t work properly and begin to collect blood, further causing your veins to enlarge and swell. Try some of the self-care measures, for example, exercise, elevation, and compression stockings, as it can help alleviate these symptoms in the initial stages.
Chronic Venous Insufficiency
Having CVI means dealing with weak veins and valves, which lead to poor circulation. Those with the condition may experience leg fatigue, swelling, and varicose veins. For people who have no other complications, the treatment for CVI usually involves compression therapy, such as wearing compression stockings. Some patients may require treatment to open blocks the veins.
Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
PAD can be defined as the circulatory problem that affects the body’s arteries. It clogs the arteries and blocks blood flow. Some of the common PAD symptoms are leg fatigue and muscle ache, especially after walking. The blocks in the arteries can be treated by minimally invasive methods such as angioplasty and stenting.
Swelling in pregnancy can be caused by: hormones, fluid retention and increased pressure on veins. As a result, your legs may feel tired and uncomfortable. Other than this, you may feel cramping and varicose veins. You can try sleeping (essential oil for good night sleep) on your left side, as it can help reduce some of the pressure from the vein that circulates blood from your lower body to your heart.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Muscle fatigue or heavy legs are some of the common symptoms of MS. It causes fatigue as the condition affects your nerves and disrupts the communication between your brain (how to keep your brain healthy)and your muscles. There are some other symptoms too, such as blurred or double vision, or loss of vision, tingling and numbness, pains or muscle spasms, loss of balance or feelings of dizziness, bladder issues, sexual dysfunction, difficulty concentrating, staying organised, or remembering things.
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