Heaviness in the legs: causes and what to do

Blood circulation in our body is designed so that normal blood flow in the legs the blood must overcome the force of gravity. When the forces of its movement is insufficient, the person has a feeling of heaviness in the legs.

The most frequent causes of circulatory disorders be swelling or blood stasis. To eliminate them should be taken without delay, because in the future for the treatment of pathologies that can cause these symptoms, need surgical operations.

Causes and treatment of heavy legs

The main causes of heavy legs

  • Weakness or long-term statistical load;
  • during the change of seasons;
  • obesity;
  • pathology of the cardiovascular system;
  • lymphedema;
  • pathology of the spine;
  • flat feet;
  • the pathology of the joints of the feet;
  • of renal disease;
  • diabetes mellitus;
  • the use of certain medication;
  • the period of pregnancy.

In some cases, heaviness in the legs can be caused by two or more reasons. Next, we consider the causes of blood stagnation and swelling in the legs in more detail.

Weakness or long-term statistical load
  • Strong and static contractions of the muscles of the legs and its DC voltage are observed in those whose profession is associated with a long finding in vertical position (athletes, porters, surgeons, teachers, hairdressers, retailers, etc.);
  • rare and weak contractions of the muscles of the legs are observed with sedentary lifestyle or in people whose profession is associated with prolonged sedentary position (critically ill, typesetting operators, office workers, drivers, etc.).

Both reasons lead to the violation of the venous outflow from the lower extremities and cause venous insufficiency, which may worsen the development of varicose veins, thrombophlebitis and thrombosis.

The change of seasons

Air temperature can influence the exchange of fluid in the tissues of the body. During the heat circulation in the lower extremities is disturbed, there may appear swelling.


If excessive weight to the lower limbs constantly have to hold him. This leads to increased muscle tension and causes the increase in not only circulating blood, but the total quantity of interstitial fluid. All these factors cause compression of the veins and compromises venous outflow.


Women who prefer high heels, often feel heavy and tired legs at the end of the day.

Hormonal women are more frequent fluctuations than men. It is caused by such physiological States:

  • disorders and the physiological fluctuations of hormone levels throughout the menstrual cycle;
  • pregnancy;
  • hormonal contraception;
  • the onset of menopause.

The effect of sex on a more frequent circulatory disorders in the lower extremities is called and the passion of women for shoes with high heels, which violates the physiological location of the muscles and causes them to reboot.

Pathology of the cardiovascular system

It is the heart that is the “main pump”, pumping the blood, and some of its diseases normal blood circulation becomes impossible because of breaches in the structure of the heart muscle deprived him of this ability.

Such pathologies include:

  • cardiomyopathy;
  • pericarditis;
  • chronic heart failure.

The heaviness inherent in many vascular diseases of the legs:

  • atherosclerosis;
  • disease;
  • varicose veins;
  • thrombophlebitis.

These pathologies lead to disruption of normal blood circulation in the lower extremities and swelling.


Lymphedema can be the consequence of congenital abnormalities of the lymphatic system or acquired diseases (trauma, burns, erysipelas, posthemorrhagic complications). Leg swelling is caused by violation of the outflow of lymph from the lower limbs and was accompanied by a stagnation of venous blood in the leg veins.

Pathology of the spine

Some diseases of the spine accompanied by pain or heaviness in the legs. Osteochondrosis of the lumbar is often the cause of sciatica (inflammation of sciatic nerve). In addition to heaviness in the legs, the patient the feeling of “cotton legs”, numbness and a burning sensation in the lower extremities.

Flat feet

The flattening of the arches of the foot leads to the violation of the functions of support, which contributes to fatigue of the legs.

Violation of physiological arch of the foot leads to poor posture and the appearance of fatigue when walking. In such cases, the patient feels “lead” heaviness in the legs, and by the end of the working day can appear swelling and leg cramps.

Of joint damage

Knee bursitis, gout, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis: these diseases are accompanied by inflammation of the structures of the joints of the feet. This pathological process leads to swelling, pain and sensations of heaviness in the legs.

Of renal disease

Acute and chronic renal failure, nephrotic syndrome: the pathology of the kidneys, which may provoke many other diseases, delay the withdrawal of fluid from the body and the development of edema, which may be localized throughout the body, including in the lower extremities.


One of the symptoms of diabetes, accompanied by increased levels of glucose and vascular lesions, there may be a feeling of heaviness in the legs. It may also be accompanied by pain, cramps and weakness. Subsequently, the patient may develop “diabetic foot”. In this state may raise the issue of forced amputation of the affected part of the limb.

Taking certain medicines
Some medications have such side effects as increased accumulation of fluid in the soft tissues of the lower extremities. This leads to a violation of their sensitivity and feeling of heaviness in the legs.

These side effects develop with prolonged use these drugs:

  • antihypertensives;
  • hypoglycemic agents;
  • hormones;
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

During gestation women come the following changes:

  • increases the circulating blood volume (about 0.5 liter);
  • pregnant uterus is constantly growing and begins to compress the pelvic veins, which transporterowych blood to the heart;
  • increases the level of progesterone, which increases the permeability of the venous walls.

All these physiological changes contribute to the appearance of swelling and heaviness in the legs, almost half of pregnant women.

What are the symptoms can be a cause for calling Ambulance?

The reason for the call “Ambulance” may be the following symptoms that accompany swelling and heaviness in the legs:

  • difficulty breathing;
  • pain in the chest that lasts more than 10 minutes;
  • dizziness;
  • confusion;
  • faint.

Also the reason for immediate treatment to the doctor can be a recent injury that caused swelling of the lower limbs.

How to find out the cause of heaviness in the legs?

To determine the cause of the appearance of heaviness in the legs, which will depend on the further treatment of the problems, you will undergo a number of diagnostic studies. Their complex will depend on the nature of the complaints, comorbidities, professional activity and genetic predisposition of the patient to the different pathologies.

Most often in the diagnostic scheme of examination of a patient with complaints of heaviness in the legs include the following research methods:

  • Ultrasound of the veins and arteries of the lower extremities;
  • angiography
  • Ultrasound of the pelvic organs;
  • consultation of the endocrinologist;
  • blood sugar, hormones and factors of rheumatism;
  • urine;
  • Ultrasound of the kidneys;
  • Doppler Echo.

Tactics of treatment of heavy legs will depend on the data of diagnostic studies. It consists of methods of treatment of the underlying disease that led to the development of edema and venous insufficiency, and additional ways to eliminate unpleasant sensations in the legs by using drugs venotonic.

The choice of means to maintain the tone of venous walls depends on data about their condition and comorbidities, which were identified in a patient. Preparations for oral administration, their dosage and duration of use should be prescribed only by a physician.

In addition to medicines venotonic, patients experiencing heaviness in the legs, can take measures that help to normalize blood and lymph circulation in the lower extremities.

For this purpose, such techniques:

1. To take a horizontal position and lift the leg so that they were on 15-20 cm above heart level. After 10-15 minutes of being in this position can feel relieved.

2. Do not wear clothes and underwear that impede the normal flow of blood in the lower part of the body (e.g., tight trousers, tight belts, slimming stomach corset, etc.).

3. Stop wearing uncomfortable shoes (or narrow heels).

4. To get rid of excess weight, which put additional strain on the legs.

5. Wear compression socks or tights, if work or lifestyle is associated with a long stay on his feet or sitting position.

6. Before showering to spend soft massage of the lower legs. After hygienic procedures, rinse the legs with cold water and use the following massage technique: wipe the feet with a soft towel wiping in the direction of motion from the feet to the hips.

7. During pregnancy to comply with all of the above recommendations.

These methods will not only relieve discomfort, but will also be an excellent preventive measure against development of venous insufficiency and varicose veins.

Patients experiencing heaviness in the legs, it is possible to conduct sessions of physiotherapy, which helps to eliminate stagnation of blood and relaxation of the muscles of the lower extremities. This can be performed this set of exercises:

1. To stand on a step or a small elevation and to move the main body weight on the forefoot. The back should be straight, and the leg muscles should not be strained. Keeping the balance, to odakota ago and for 10 seconds return to starting position.

Repeat 3 times and, if necessary, to take breaks to rest. To be safe to perform the exercise near a wall, for which you can grab in case of loss of balance.

2. To sit on a chair and widely spread his legs. Relying on a heel and without lifting her from the floor, a smooth start to compress and decompress the toes, making undulating movements. The number of such movements is chosen individually so that you can feel a pleasant tiredness.

3. To throw down major coin and try to lift it with my toes. The improvement in this exercise, you need to use smaller coins.

heaviness in the legs causes and treatment.

All of the above measures can be applied at any diseases, leading to the appearance of heaviness in the legs, but they only prevent the development of venous insufficiency. The main way to eliminate this unpleasant symptom can only be a full treatment of the pathology that caused the disruption of normal circulation in the legs. Keep this in mind and do not delay your visit to the doctor!

Spread the love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *