Heavy Legs at Night
Most people suffer from heavy legs at some point. Legs can feel heavier after a good workout and sometimes it feels like a great effort just to get up. It can become an issue if the problem persists, especially if the symptoms set in at night when there’s no reasonable explanation. Here’s what you need to know about heavy legs at night.
Potential Causes of Heavy Legs
- Peripheral Vascular Disease
Persistent heavy legs could be a cause of Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD). Some people write PVD off as a sign of aging, but it’s actually a potentially life-threatening condition that shouldn’t be ignored. PVD is a common problem that affects around one in five elderly people. The symptoms include pain and feelings of heaviness in the legs.
- Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are another potential cause. Varicose veins are enlarged veins that appear when people get older and during hormonal events such as pregnancy and menopause. Varicose veins also affect people whose job requires a lot of sitting and standing and people who are obese. Veins become weaker and less elasticated, which causes blood to pool up in the legs which makes them feel tired and heavy.
- Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
This is a condition wherein the spinal column narrows. The narrowing causes vertebrae and discs in the spine to pinch the spinal cord and cause a lot of pain. The pain is mostly centered in the back, but it can reach legs and feet and make them feel heavier.
- Restless Legs Syndrome
Restless Legs Syndrome is characterized by uncomfortable feelings in legs. The feeling is described as an aching or a crawling. The only way to relieve the pain is by moving the legs. The exact cause of restless legs is unknown, but there is a connection between restless legs and heavy legs.
How to Get Relief From Heavy Legs
- Get a Massage
A full body massage can be expensive, but the relief they provide makes it all worth it. A good full body massage offers all the help you need to get the blood flowing again. A masseuse treats your legs with long and deep strokes that push up towards your heart. They push blood back to where it needs to be – your heart. A weekly massage works wonders for aches, pains, and heavy feet.
- Start Walking
Walking is the ultimate exercise. Anyone can do it and any level of walking has a profound impact. Just walking a mile or so each day will work wonders for overall health. It also reduces blood pressure.
Start out by planning where you want to walk and set aside time for a walk each day. Start out doing half an hour each day until you get used to it. It’s good to walk first thing in the morning so you don’t have any excuses later. Get out of bed, put on your walking gear, and do some stretches before leaving. You’ll be glad you walked before your morning shower if you work up a sweat.
You can walk longer and further as you get used to it. Add an extra ten minutes or so to your walk every other week. Walk four days a week and see what wonders it works.
- Give Yoga a Try
Yoga is another one of those activities that is easy to get in to. Yoga is super relaxing and great for circulation. There’s plenty of different types of yoga available for people of all different skill levels and with different goals. The slow but impactful movements of yoga improve blood circulation and reduce anxiety.
- Start a Workout Program
No matter what kind of workout you do, the key is to do something. You should also discuss dietary changes with your doctor and get their opinion on exercise programs. Not everyone could immediately take on an intense workout. It would do more harm than good and is best avoid. Others should have no problem going all out from the get-go, depending on their current fitness.
It’s worth starting out slow with any kind of exercise program, especially one designed to boost circulation and health. That’s what makes walking and yoga such popular choices. These are workout programs anyone can do no matter their age or limitations. Yoga classes and walking groups are available for just about anyone.
A workout program is best if the cause for heavy legs is because you don’t move enough. It’s always a pain having to get up and move but your body will thank you for it. Having better circulation means thinking better, having reduced blood pressure, and having a lot more energy. Working out even helps you to sleep better and boost your mood during the day.
When to Get Medical Help
It may be possible that your heavy legs are caused by being too active or too inactive. If that’s the case, then you should be able to manage the condition at home.
If the problem persists or gets in the way of you living a normal life, then you should discuss it with your doctor. Your doctor can assess your symptoms and medical history and perform tests to trace the root cause. One test they can do is to perform an ultrasound to see how well blood flows through your body, in particular your legs.
Heavy legs by themselves might not feel too bad, but they could be a sign of a more serious condition. You should discuss your heavy legs with your doctor if the problem is too bad. In the meantime, try to exercise more and go for a walk at least four times a day to better manage the condition at home.