Learning about heavy legs

Most everyone has experienced days when your body feels overly tired and your legs heavy. It is common to feel this way when you are extremely tired, but to have the feeling of heavy legs on a regular basis is not common. You could be suffering from a condition called “Venous Insufficiency”.

What is venous insufficiency?

Venous insufficiency means that the blood flow to the ankles and legs is insufficient. Venous insufficiency is a condition where the veins are not returning sufficient oxygen to the heart. This can lead to the feeling of heaviness and severe pain in the legs.


Normally due to an artery or vein blockage or a weak heart, heavy legs is a circulatory disorder that is often the result of a sedimentary lifestyle. This is particularly important for the American Hispanic population, as more than 40% do not meet the national recommendations for exercise. Heavy legs can also become an affliction for those who sit for long periods of time.


There is a range of symptoms for heavy legs that can include lower limb numbness after bouts of sitting, persistent pain in both legs often at the same time, and the feeling that your legs are simply exceptionally heavy. Cold feet are also a side effect of heavy legs.


Your level of affliction will be a factor to your treatment, however, in most cases, you will begin with light exercises. Always consult with your doctor before beginning exercises. Massages can prove helpful in helping with blood circulation. Elevating the lower part of your body has been known to help some patients, while compression socks can also prove beneficial.

If you experience venous insufficiency, it’s important to see your doctor to rule out heart disease, as venous insufficiency can be a sign of something more serious. Help minimize the sensation of heavy legs by increasing blood circulation and strengthening your heart, there are several steps you can take.

  • If you smoke, stop. Smoking is detrimental to your vascular system.

  • Cut back on your salt intake, and avoid salt when possible. Too much salt increases water retention, which can add to the swelling of your ankles and legs.

  • Participate in cardiovascular exercises on a regular basis. A stronger heart will result in better blood flow. Always consult with your doctor before beginning new exercises.

  • If your sit a lot for work, walk around as much as possible. This will help avoid additional issues such as blood clots.

  • When you’re at home relaxing, elevate your legs. Keeping your legs above the heart increases blood flow to your legs. It also helps prevent water buildup.

  • Massaging your ankles and legs will also help increase blood flow. Work your way up from your ankles to the top of your legs to stimulate better blood circulation.