When your legs feel heavy, and they are itchy and tingly
Do you know what we mean? You come home in the evening and really need to put your feet up so you can rest your legs, and they feel heavy, and are itchy and tingly. You might even have pain and swollen ankles. What does that mean?
Causes and risk factors for heavy legs: Pregnancy, excess weight, lack of exercise
Overload or vein condition?
Heavy legs can indicate that they are subject to heavy loads even though they are healthy.
Legs swell up more quickly at summer temperatures and may feel heavy. After a long period of sitting (e.g. in the office) or standing, you might prefer to put your feet up and rest your legs in the evening. Your legs can also feel heavy after long journeys.
Have you experienced any of this?
Look after yourself and consult your doctor if necessary, if you notice swelling every evening and have pain in your legs, your venous system may be weak.
Individuals who are pregnant and overweight are at particular risk of this, as are those who drink too little and don’t do enough exercise.
Heavy legs during pregnancy
Heavy, painful legs often occur during pregnancy.
The expectant mother gains weight. Her body produces more blood and the pressure in her veins increases. The legs become heavy and swollen.
Heavy legs: Symptoms of vein weakness?
Heavy legs may also indicate a chronic condition: vein weakness. In healthy veins, the venous valves prevent the backflow of blood into the legs. In cases of vein weakness, the venous valves no longer close properly, meaning that the blood cannot flow back to the heart fully. It collects in the legs. The increased pressure in the veins means that fluid from the vessels enters the tissue. The legs swell.
Symptoms that may indicate vein weakness are:
- Swollen ankles
- Itching and tingling in the legs
- Pain in the legs
- Heavy legs after long periods of standing or sitting or after sports
These symptoms occur before varicose veins and other issues become visible. Spider veins also indicate vein weakness. If you have spider veins or varicose veins, it’s important to have your legs examined by a doctor.
Prevention: Tips to prevent heavy legs
If your legs are tired and heavy due to a venous condition, then you have various options for improving your quality of life and alleviating the symptoms and/or preventing heavy legs:
- Avoid long periods of standing and sitting.
- Activate the calf muscle pump with walking and sports.
- Do vein exercises several times a day, for example if you’re doing an office activity which requires a lot of sitting.
- For example, take the stairs instead of the lift.
- Strengthen your vascular system by taking cold showers and, in particular, rinse your legs with cold water.
- Ensure that you drink enough.
- Avoid being overweight.
- Wear flat shoes.
Diagnosis and therapy: Help with heavy and tired legs
Diagnosis: Vein function measurement – simple, fast and painless
Take preventative action: Many medical supply stores offer a vein function measurement. The technical term for this is light reflection rheography (LRR measurement). The probes record how quickly the veins in the legs refill with blood.
The vein function measurement at the medical supply store doesn’t replace the need for an examination by a doctor, which is generally carried out using ultrasound. Your doctor makes the diagnosis and decides on the therapy.
Basic therapy: Medical compression stockings and exercise
Medical compression stockings and exercise are the basic therapy for venous issues. They support the function of the muscle pump and thus promote the backflow of blood to the heart. Medical compression stockings relieve complaints, such as heavy legs.
Which doctors treat heavy legs?
If you have heavy legs, spider veins and varicose veins, you should consult your GP. If necessary, they can refer you to the relevant specialist, a vein specialist (phlebologist). The key area of expertise of phlebologists is in diagnosing and treating vascular conditions, in particular venous conditions.
If there is a medical need, the doctor can prescribe medical compression stockings up to twice a year.
They are available in lots of styles and standard sizes and can also be made to measure. Breathable, elastic materials and individual details ensure that the therapy is comfortable.
Products by medi for heavy legs
Thanks to their breathable, stretchy material, medical compression stockings offer a high level of user comfort for men and women, and are adapted to meet your individual needs as a patient. Benefit from modern, technologically advanced & tried-and-tested vein therapy with state-of-the-art medical compression stockings. They look the same as classic fine stockings or knee socks for men, but have an additional vein-supporting function.
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Causes, signs and treatment of swollen legs
The ideal compression garment
Your doctor makes the diagnosis and decides on the therapy. If necessary, your doctor can prescribe wound therapy products. The patient is advised by trained personnel (e.g. in a medical supply store, pharmacy, wound centre). After this, the patient receives products that are customised to meet their individual needs.