Heavy and painful legs: causes and natural remedies

Heavy and tired legs can cause very unpleasant discomfort. Fortunately, there are various therapies and natural remedies for improvement.

The blood enters the body through the arteries and flows back to the heart through the veins.

Because the heart is in a higher position than the legs, the blood from the lower extremities must be pumped against gravity.

The muscle contraction of the legs during movement works like a pump:

  1. It compresses the veins,
  2. She pushes the blood upwards.

As blood continues to move upwards during muscle contraction, there are small unidirectional valves in the veins that prevent it from flowing back when the muscles relax.

The woman suffers from it more than the man, especially during pregnancy and menopause.

During long periods of inactivity, for example when standing or sitting in the same position for a long time, the leg muscles do not compress sufficiently to transport the blood upwards.

As a result, the blood accumulates in the veins and thus the drainage from the tissue is limited.

This can lead to a feeling of heaviness and tension in the leg and makes them:

  • Painful
  • Heavy.

Eventually, if this disease persists and is not treated, the small venous valves stop working properly and it comes to:

  1. Swollen ankles,
  2. Varicose veins.


Causes of heavy and painful legs

In addition to sitting or standing for a long time, the causes of poor blood circulation in the legs are:

  • Pregnancy, obesity, lack of exercise, wearing too tight clothing or crossed legs can hinder blood circulation.
  • Heat, moisture or excessive alcohol consumption can dilate the veins and congest blood in the legs.
  • In summer, the legs are particularly heavy.
  • Wearing high heels or shoes with rigid soles can prevent the calf muscle pump from working properly because walking hinders mobility in the ankles.
  • The time of day affects the severity of the legs. In fact, in the evening or at night, as soon as you go to bed, your legs are most swollen and heavy.
  • Smoking cigarettes damages the veins
  • Anxiety, symptoms of anxiety and stress include heavy legs (especially before going to bed), insecurity in your head or dizziness and tingling in your hands and feet.
  • If you have parents or close relatives who have aching legs, you are more likely to get the same symptoms. This may be due to a genetic origin
  • hormones and menstrual cycle, the premenstrual syndrome causes swelling all over the body, including the legs. The contraceptive pill can cause heavy legs, especially in the first 2-3 months.
  • Thyroid disease: Hypothyroidism causes fluid retention in the lower extremities.
  • Tumor: Cancer can have a negative impact on the entire body, causing swollen and heavy legs in the final stages.

Heavy legs cause a feeling of heaviness, pain in the legs and swelling.

These symptoms may be caused by venous insufficiency, a condition in which the veins do not carry enough blood to the heart.

Symptoms of venous insufficiency include:

  1. pain in the legs,
  2. Swollen legs,
  3. Swollen ankles and feet,
  4. bruises,
  5. Cramps
  6. Varicose veins
  7. Burning on the lower extremities.

Venous insufficiency may also be due to poor circulation or lack of exercise.

Often, patients who have sat for long periods of time have a feeling of heaviness in the lower extremities.

The sufferer who suffers from these ailments may feel as if he has weights on his legs, especially when walking or climbing stairs.

Sometimes the feeling of heaviness can also be accompanied by pain.

However, not all patients with heavy legs have these symptoms.

If pain is present, it can occur in one or both legs, but it is usually perceived in both legs at the same time.

People with heavy legs may also have cold feet.

The reason is that the poor circulation in the lower extremities does not allow the blood to flow freely.

Meist wird Patienten, die diesen Nebeneffekt verspüren, eine Lymphdrainageempfohlen.

Diese Beschwerden können schwierig zu erkennen sein, weil es keine Untersuchungen gibt, die die Druckstärke, die in den Beinen verspürt wird, messen können.

Aus diesem Grund verlassen sich Ärzte auf die Schilderung der Person, wenn sie die Diagnose erstellen.

Viele Ärzte sind über diese Beschwerden skeptisch und halten ihre Patienten für Hypochonder oder meinen, dass sie die Empfindungen, die mit diesen Beschwerden zusammenhängen, übertreiben.

Heavy legs can be signs of a serious condition, typically accompanied by circulatory problems.

People who experience the feeling of heaviness and pain in the lower extremities should consider a check-up to rule out heart disease.

Heavy legs when running


Heavy legs after running may occur:

  • If the legs become too tired after running and no necessary breaks have been taken,
  • If you walk on surfaces that are too hard,
  • If the wrong footwear is worn.

A run or race can increase the amount of lactic acid in the body, causing fatigue in the legs.

In addition, heaviness of the legs can develop if training is frequently performed at high altitude or many sprints are performed.

Therapy of heavy legs while running

Take a break and sit down as soon as symptoms develop. Placing an ice pack or ice cube wrapped in a towel relieves inflammation, swelling and pain.

In the absence of trauma or injury, placing a heating source such as a heating pad or blanket on your legs can also provide quick relief of symptoms.

Wrap the limbs with a bandage or wear elastic stockings prescribed by the doctor, raise the foot to facilitate the return of blood to the heart.

Tired legs in the morning

If you have an uneasy feeling or tired and heavy legs when you wake up, it could be due to insufficient or poor sleep.

Feeling tired in the morning after waking up may mean that the brain or other parts of the body (including the legs) have not received enough oxygen during sleep and the person is waking up.

This could be caused by breathing problems such as:

  • Snore
  • nasal septum curvature,
  • sinusitis (inflammation of the nasal cavities),
  • Seasonal allergies or other types that congest the nose,
  • Viral or bacterial infections of the upper respiratory tract (nose and throat),
  • A serious condition in which the person interrupts breathing for a few seconds while sleeping: sleep apnea.

The feeling of fatigue can also stem from a vitamin D deficiency.

Recently, it has been discovered that the lack of vitamin D is not only bad for the bones and the heart, but also affects the rest of the organism and you can feel tired and exhausted as a result.

Heavy legs during pregnancy

Another common symptom during pregnancy (especially towards the end) is the feeling of “heavy” legs.

Sometimes you feel like you’re wearing lead shoes, especially if you’ve been standing or sitting for a long time.


Reasons are:

  1. increase in circulating blood volume, which causes vasodilation,
  2. water and sodium retention (Na+),
  3. In certain position, the uterus can compress those under vena cava and thus slow down the venous return to the heart,
  4. A decrease in the level of albumin in the blood reduces oncological pressure (which attracts fluid to the blood from the outside). The result is an accumulation of fluid in the intercellular space, which causes swelling.

One should be as active as possible because this improves blood circulation.

Symptoms of heavy legs

The first symptoms that appear are feelings of fatigue in the feet and legs at the end of the day.

Normally, the symptoms pass during the night’s rest, as the horizontal position of the body favors the return flow of blood to the heart.

The symptoms can cause:

  • A muscle spasm in the legs,
  • Cold feet,
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble.

The ankles may swell and you may feel:

  • itching on the legs,
  • Color change.

Skin lesions or abrasions may heal very slowly.

Therapy for heavy and painful legs

There are dietary supplements with natural extracts such as flavonoids that the doctor may recommend to keep the leg veins healthy.

Flavonoids are plant-based antioxidants that:

  • strengthen the walls of blood vessels,
  • promote blood circulation,

For swollen and heavy legs, the doctor may prescribe various medications, including oxerutin (Venoruton).

If the leg pain becomes a problem, the doctor may prescribe:

  1. painkillers such as paracetamol,
  2. Some anti-inflammatory agents such as ibuprofen.

The first treatment for heavy legs is the high position (lifting) of the feet during sleep or when sitting for a long time.

Remedies for heavy and painful legs

Some simple lifestyle changes can help maintain the legs and support blood flow to the veins.


  • Perform regular exercises to strengthen the leg muscles and improve the muscle pump that drives the blood to the heart.
  • An hour of daily training of the legs (walking, pedaling, running) is required to stimulate circulation and not have swollen legs.
  • Standing work or housewife activities are not useful for stimulating blood circulation.
  • When sitting or standing for a long time, tense and relax the leg muscles, raise the heels and move the toes.
  • Keep legs, ankles and feet moving during the day.

Diet and nutrition

If you are overweight, you should lose weight.

Follow a balanced diet, increase the proportion of fruits and vegetables, eat fewer snacks and saturated fats.

According to the blood type diet, one should avoid drinking a lot, as this promotes water retention.

In addition, carbohydrates act like sponges and absorb a lot of fluid. Carbohydrate-containing foods should therefore be avoided, especially cereal products.

According to hygienism (a type of natural medicine), fruits and vegetables are natural diuretics because they contain a lot of potassium and are low in sodium. In contrast, processed foods behave:

  1. They contain sodium,
  2. They favor the development of swollen legs.

Natural remedies and home remedies for heavy legs

Bath with Epsom salt

A salt bath can reduce swelling, inflammation, and pain caused by swelling.

Salt draws excess fluids and toxins from the body to the outside.

  1. Put 2 cups of Epsom salt in a tub of warm water.
  2. Remain in the tub for 15 minutes.
  3. Repeat 3 times a week.


According to Ayurvedic medicine, flaxseeds are an effective remedy for edema.

The anti-inflammatory properties of flaxseeds can help with swelling.

  • Put 1/2 teaspoon of ground flaxseed in a cup of lukewarm water.
  • Drink 2 times a day.

Eucalyptus, peppermint and lemon

These ingredients are required for an effective mix for swollen and aching legs.

They are:

  • Soothing
  • Antiinflammatory
  • Relaxing.

According to a 2013 study on Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, eucalyptus essential oil reduces inflammation, pain and swelling in patients undergoing knee surgery.

  1. Put 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a jar.
  2. Add 2 or 3 drops of each essential oil.
  3. Mix the ingredients.
  4. Apply the mixture to the affected area and massage in for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Repeat 2 times a day.

Herbal remedies include herbal teas with the following ingredients:

  • Centella,
  • Blackcurrant
  • butcher’s broom,
  • Rose hip.

Useful tips for swollen and heavy legs

  • Try not to cross your legs for too long, because this hinders blood circulation in the veins.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and elastic stockings at work when you have to stand for long periods of time.
  • Try to shift body weight from one leg to the other at regular intervals instead of just putting weight on one leg most of the time.
  • Do not wear tight-fitting clothing, especially those that are tight at the waist, thighs and legs. These garments impede blood flow to the heart and can increase pain in the leg.
  • If you smoke, you should quit smoking.
  • Quitting smoking not only reduces leg pain, but is also the most effective way to improve health and the possibility of preventing premature death.
  • Wear comfortable shoes
  • Massage legs
  • Rinse legs with cold water
  • A proven old home remedy is a foot bath in warm water with baking soda to absorb excess fluid.
  • If the legs are tired and aching, it helps to rest the legs on a pillow above the level of the heart.

What sport can you do?

You can go by road bike or mountain bike, hiking, swimming and skiing

Horseback riding is not recommended because it forces you to maintain a fixed position that slows down venous and lymphatic return.

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