Symptoms and causes of heaviness of legs
The sun is coming, it’s beach and vacation time, but, for many people, high temperatures are not synonymous with fun. The heat favors the dilation of the veins and with this the return of the blood to the heart worsens and the heaviness in the legs appears , whose prevalence reaches 80% in adults, according to several epidemiological studies.
Heaviness of the legs is, therefore, a very common problem, whose most common symptoms , according to the College of Pharmacists of Barcelona, are generalized or localized pain in varicose veins (in those who have them), tiredness, cramps, tingling , sensation of heat, itching or pruritus, swelling, dilations of the veins and the appearance of spider veins and even cellulite .
Causes of heaviness of legs
Venous insufficiency is one of the main causes for heaviness in the legs, which can also be caused by certain hormonal disorders that make this problem more common in women than in men, although they do not get rid of this pathology either. Menstruation and pregnancy are two stages in which it is common to suffer increased fluid retention that produces a special heaviness in the legs of women.
Related to bad lifestyle habits , a sedentary lifestyle , an excess of sodium in the diet and poor postural hygiene also cause problems in the legs, as occurs with excess weight or taking certain medications (among which antihypertensive drugs stand out , antidepressants, the contraceptive pill or anti-inflammatories), which cause edema as a side effect.
Although with a lower prevalence, thyroid pathologies, heart, kidney or liver failure and certain allergies and inflammations and even genetic problems or trauma can also cause leg edema .
However, high temperatures should not daunt us and make us suffer without pain, cramps, edema and swelling in our legs . It is time to intensify the care that, nevertheless, must be a constant throughout the year.
Healthy habits to relieve heavy legs
Making a few simple changes to our daily habits can help us combat heaviness in our legs . A balanced diet is the first step in relieving tired legs. It is important to include fiber-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables, which, if we also choose them well (red grapes, strawberries, sour oranges, spinach, beets, peppers …), will provide us with flavonoids, whose vasoconstrictive and anti-inflammatory action is scientifically demonstrated.
As a supportive treatment, there are products in pharmacies and herbalists rich in red vine, rhizome, ginkgo biloba , horse chestnut or rusco , with anti-inflammatory action and ideal for improving vascular walls and reducing associated edema , as noted by the College of Pharmacists de Barcelona, who insists that some of these plants may interact with a medication, so it is important to consult with professionals specialized in the subject.
Equally important is consuming plenty of fluids , a crucial measure when temperatures rise due to increased sweating and the risk of dehydration. It is best to drink water, but it can always be combined with natural juices or cold broths.
Sports activities to relieve leg heaviness
cycling or swimming can also help people with heaviness in the legs, as these are two exercises that enhance the muscles of the lower extremities. If you do not like cycling or swimming, you also have no excuse, because the simple act of walking is positive to stimulate blood circulation and keep the extra kilos at bay, which also harm the good condition of the legs. If you are lucky enough to live in a beach place or go there on vacation, stroll along the seashore , since the action of the waves hitting the ankles or mid-leg will increase the benefit of the ride.
Summer is also usually the time when the longest trips are made to enjoy the holidays. A long trip in which we have to spend many hours sitting can be torture for people with leg problems, so you should try to pause more regularly, move and stretch, walk a bit on breaks or in the airplane or train aisle … all to avoid a more serious problem: deep vein thrombosis , also known as economy class syndrome .
Tricks to combat leg heaviness from home.
Here are some helpful tips you can follow effortlessly to ease leg heaviness from home:
- Normally the feeling of heaviness in the legs increases as the hours go by. For this reason, it is great, when we get home after a hard day, to lie down for a while with our legs above our hearts . In addition to resting, we will help make the return of blood from the extremities to the heart easier.
- Going in the shower and running a stream of cold water from the ankles to the groin will also help reduce that feeling of discomfort. When leaving the bathroom we can complete the care with an ascending massage with creams with a cold effect .
- Not wearing too high a heel or tight clothing or not crossing your legs when sitting is also important for those who have tired legs, who, in more serious cases, will appreciate the use of special compression stockings.
- Likewise, you must always be active , so it is not good to spend many hours standing or sitting. If you like TV or computer too much or your work forces you to do so, take breaks and move around the room a little to facilitate blood circulation.
- You can also take advantage of these pauses to do a simple, but very useful exercise to avoid heaviness in the lower extremities: make imaginary circles with your feet , first in one direction and then in the other; When you have made 10-15 circles with each of the feet, stretch one of the legs and try to reach with the balls of your feet as far as possible, then bend the foot (with the leg always stretched) as if you wanted to reach with fingers to knee and repeat this 10-15 times with each leg. They are made sitting, so they are ideal for home, work, car or bus.
Cabin treatments for leg heaviness
There are professional treatments, whose greater intensity and proven results are very convenient for those who suffer pain in the legs, heaviness of the legs or feeling of tired legs . Although a maintenance program should be followed in winter, as Isabel Fonteseca from the Toenail Center in Maliaño (Cantabria) explains, in the summer it is advisable to undergo cabin treatments “every week”, in which different procedures will be alternated to reduce edema, swelling and general heaviness.
One of the treatments star beauty centers for tired legs is the presoterapia , as he confesses Fonteseca: “It is ideal to remove fluid and improve blood circulation, which helps to relieve pain in the varicose veins and the rest of the legs ”, he explains.
To achieve a greater result, pressotherapy must be combined with manual lymphatic drainage massage , the main benefit of which is that it helps eliminate fluid retention . This type of massage consists of a series of very smooth movements that seek to drain or displace the lymph that is stagnant in the body.
More options offered by aesthetic centers for tired legs are massages that are applied with cold bandages or those that are performed with special gels with cold effect.
“A weekly combination of these treatments is best for people with severe problems of heaviness, although their benefits are clear for everyone,” stresses the specialist.