While your legs may feel heavy and tired after a workout or after a long day on your feet at work, it is not normal to always experience legs that feel weak and tired. When you consistently have heavy legs and feet, and you cannot pinpoint a cause, it may be time to seek help from a healthcare provider. Indeed, heavy and tired legs may be a sign of something commonly known as tired leg syndrome or chronic venous insufficiency. For most people, tired leg syndrome results from some form of venous insufficiency. Whether you suffer from tired leg syndrome or another condition, you do not need to live with it. With Advanced Vein Therapy, you may be able to get the relief you need with vein treatments.
Below, we have provided information about some of the medical conditions that may result in heavy and tired legs and ways to help improve your condition.
What is Chronic Venous Insufficiency?
When your veins struggle to send blood from your legs to your heart, you may suffer from venous insufficiency. When a person suffers from venous insufficiency, they may experience other symptoms like leg swelling. They may have varicose veins in addition to having legs that feel weak or tired.
What is venous insufficiency, or chronic venous insufficiency (CVI)? In short, this is a condition that results from a person’s venous wall or leg veins failing to function correctly. When the veins in a person’s leg(s) do not perform as they are supposed to, blood cannot travel effectively from the legs up to the person’s heart. Accordingly, when blood cannot flow properly, it starts to collect in a person’s leg veins. That type of blood “pooling” then leads to a stasis that can cause symptoms like heavy or tired legs. It can also result in weakness or pain in the legs or feet.
Why Does Chronic Venous Insufficiency Occur?
There are numerous reasons that a person may suffer from chronic venous insufficiency or CVI. In some cases, aging can lead to this condition. In other people, remaining in a sitting position or even a standing position for too much time can result in CVI. However, for many people who suffer from CVI, the condition results from a blood clot in the leg veins. More specifically, the condition known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) involves a blood clot that forms in the deep veins of a person’s leg, which can lead to CVI. When CVI results from DVT, it is called post-thrombotic syndrome. If you are someone who has suffered from DVT, you should be particularly aware of the symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency, as it can occur in up to 30 percent of people who are diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis.
In general, chronic venous insufficiency occurs most often in those individuals who are aged 50 and older.
Common Signs of Chronic Venous Insufficiency
In addition to having legs that feel heavy and tired, it is important to know about some of the other common signs and symptoms of CVI. In general, you should look for:
- Lower leg swelling;
- Swelling in the ankles;
- Legs that feel achy;
- Legs that feel tired;
- The appearance of new varicose veins;
- The skin on your legs that has a leathery appearance;
- Itchy skin on your legs and/or feet;
- Flaky skin on your legs and/or feet; and/or
- The presence of venous stasis ulcers.
Other Conditions That May Cause Tired Legs and Feet
Of course, venous insufficiency, or chronic venous insufficiency, is not always the cause of tired and heavy legs. Other conditions may also cause this sensation, such as neuropathy or damage to the nerves in the legs or feet. Neuropathy is a relatively broad term that refers to any specific condition that prevents the nerves from working properly in a person’s peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nervous system is the group of nerves that connects a person’s brain and spinal cord to the rest of that person’s body.
In general, three different types of nerves can be affected. Sensory nerves are nerves that connect the spinal cord to a person’s brain and change a person’s sensory perceptions. Motor nerves, differently, bring information from a person’s brain to their muscles. These are nerves that affect a person’s physical motor reactions. Finally, autonomic nerves are those that control various functions in a person’s body, such as breathing and blood pressure. Anytime a person’s nerve cells or neurons sustain damage, and neuropathy can result. In some cases, trauma can cause neuropathy. If you have heavy and tired legs, you should speak with a health care provider about whether neuropathy could be the cause of your pain.
In addition to neuropathy, other conditions such as obesity or hormone imbalances could be causing your heavy or tired legs.