How to relieve soreness in legs: Sore Muscles from Exercise – familydoctor.org
Sore Muscles from Exercise – familydoctor.org
Exercise is an important part of a healthy, active lifestyle. It improves your heart and lungs and builds strong bones and muscles. However, exercise can cause sore muscles. This is common if you try a new exercise or increase your intensity. You may use new muscles, strain your muscles, or get small tears in your muscle fibers. These are signs that your muscles are trying to respond to this new exercise, grow, and get stronger.
Path to improved health
Your muscles may get sore right away. This is known as acute soreness. You may feel them ache or tighten up about 12 hours after you exercise. In some cases, the discomfort may peak 48 to 72 hours afterward. This is called delayed-onset muscle soreness. During this time, your muscles repair and strengthen themselves. Sore muscle pain can improve quickly or last several days.
To help relieve muscle soreness, try:
- Gentle stretching.
- Muscle massage.
- Ice to help reduce inflammation.
- Heat to help increase fatigue, dizziness, or more serious symptoms.
- Limited rest.Wait about 48 hours before working the same muscle groups in the same way (with the same intensity or for as long). Limited or lighter exercise of the same muscles can actually help. For example, if you were sore after running, a light walk or bike ride the next few days can help. Avoid complete rest and immobilization.
- Use proper technique. Doing exercises the right way helps protect you from muscle strain or injury. If you belong to a gym or health club, ask a trainer or instructor for help. They can show you the proper way to lift weights and use the machines and equipment.
- Cool down.It’s important to stretch after you work out. Your muscles are relaxed and more flexible when they’re warm. Stretching also circulates blood away from your muscles and back to your heart to aid in recovery.
- Stay within your limits.You may be tempted to push yourself but remember to progress slowly with exercise. Over time, you can increase the amount of weight you lift or the length of time you run. If you try to increase too soon, you may injure yourself.
Things to consider
Sore muscles are normal. They grow back strong and are able to work at a higher level of intensity for a longer time. However, be careful that you don’t injure your muscles, tendons, or joints. Pain closer to the joint may be a signal of a more serious injury.
If you think you have a strain or a sprain, try the RICE approach.
- You may need to rest the injury all or part of the way. It will depend on how bad it is.
- Use ice packs, ice slush baths, or ice massages. These can decrease your swelling, pain, bruising, and muscle spasms. You can use ice for up to 3 days after the injury.
- You can wrap your injury to reduce swelling and bruising. Keep it wrapped for up to a week after the injury.
- Raise your injury at or above your heart. This helps prevent swelling and reduces bruising. Keep it elevated for 2 to 3 hours a day, if possible.
Contact your doctor or seek care if:
- Your muscle soreness lasts for more than a week.
- Your pain is unbearable and prevents you from moving.
- Your pain gets worse with exercise.
- Your pain causes dizziness or trouble breathing.
- You notice redness, swelling, or warmth in the sore muscles.
- The RICE treatment doesn’t work.
- You feel pain in the joint, over the bones, or in the tendons.
Questions for your doctor
- How long will it take for my muscles to feel better?
- Are there certain exercises that are more likely to cause muscle soreness?
- How does a sore muscle feel different from an injury?
- If I use a muscle while it’s sore, am I at risk for injuring it?
- How do I know my pain is not from something more serious?
American College of Sports Medicine: Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
How to Fix Sore Muscle: Quick Relief Tips
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It’s the eccentric, or lengthening muscle contractions, that are actually causing the soreness, says Jan Schroeder, PhD, chair of the department of kinesiology at California State University in Long Beach. Think: walking or jogging down a hill, or the lowering motion during a biceps curl or chest press. Your muscles typically sustain greater damage during these types of movements than during concentric exercises (ones where your muscle is working as it is shortening). Muscles face a lot of stress during both types of movements, but fewer muscle fibers get recruited to carry out eccentric contractions versus concentric ones (such as curling a dumbbell or pressing weight overhead), according to a review published in the May 2019 issue of Frontiers in Physiology.
Some Muscle Soreness Is a Good Thing, but It Shouldn’t Last for Too Long
Having torn, inflamed muscles may sound bad — and we certainly want to minimize inflammation in our normal daily lives, as past research has shown chronic inflammation contributes to many chronic diseases — but some degree of inflammation can be an important signal for muscle growth and repair, according to Arent. If you help your muscles recover from the damage, they’ll likely grow back bigger and stronger, “so it’s not so much that we don’t want inflammation to occur, but we want to get it under control as soon as possible,” Arent says.
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And you probably want the soreness to go away so you can get back to moving and living pain-free.
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Keep in mind that you don’t have to be sore after a workout in order for it to be effective. Soreness means damage, and damage is fine in small doses, but you don’t have to create soreness-inducing damage every time you work out. “That shouldn’t be your goal,” Dr. Schroeder says. “You don’t have to be sore to know you had a good workout.”
Does Warming Up Lessen Post-Workout Muscle Soreness?
You may have heard that stretching before your workout can help prevent injury and soreness. However, stretching your muscles before you exercise is probably not a good idea. “I’m not a fan of stretching before you start training,” Arent says.
A Cochrane review of 12 studies that looked at how stretching before or after a workout affected muscle soreness later on consistently found that stretching did not have an effect on muscle soreness within a week after a workout.
Some evidence suggests a dynamic warmup immediately before a workout could reduce muscle soreness up to two days later, but the reduction in soreness seen in the research has been very small.
6 Things You Can You Do During and After Your Workout to Ease Muscle Soreness
While there aren’t any instant solutions — your muscles just need time to heal — there are some strategies you can use to ease soreness and aid recovery. Here’s what you should know:
1. During and After Your Workout: Hydrate
It might sound obvious, but staying hydrated is an important aspect of muscle recovery. Water keeps the fluids moving through your system, which can help ease inflammation, flush out waste products, and deliver to your muscles the nutrients they need, Arent says.
The trouble is, it can be tricky to know if and when you’re dehydrated, as chances are you’ll reach dehydration before thirst actually hits, according to Schroeder. The color of your urine provides a good indication: Medium or dark yellow signals dehydration, whereas pale yellow means you’re hydrated.
Just be aware that taking vitamin supplements may cause your urine to look darker than usual. Who will be affected, and by what types of vitamin supplements? That’s hard to say. “Everybody’s different,” Schroeder says.
2. Immediately After Your Workout, Use a Foam Roller (Self-Myofascial Release)
Self-myofascial release (SMR) is a technique used to release tension in muscles and connective tissues (foam rollers, lacrosse balls, and massage sticks are common SMR tools), helping to move the fluids that accumulate in the muscle after exercise.
A review published in November 2015 in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy found that foam rolling may help increase range of motion and reduce DOMS. Foam rolling, as well as other types of massage, increase circulation to deliver more nutrients and oxygen to the affected area, which helps reduce swelling and tenderness, Arent explains.
If you’re interested in trying a foam roller, look for a softer version to begin with. Firmer foam rollers will allow you to apply more pressure, but they can be intense if you’re unaccustomed to them. Lacrosse balls can also be handy tools to keep around, as they’re ideal for smoothing out hard-to-reach spots, like the glutes, lats, calves, and illiotibial (IT) band, Arent notes.
3. Eat Within a Half-Hour After an Intense Workout
By feeding your muscles the nutrients they need to repair and grow back stronger, you may be able to speed up the recovery process, Arent says.
He suggests kickstarting your recovery by making sure to get 20 to 40 grams (g) of protein and 20 to 40 g of carbs into your system within 30 minutes of an intense or long workout (one that is 60 minutes or longer). (A serving of Greek yogurt with a handful of berries and a tablespoon of honey is one snack option.)
Protein is important for providing the amino acids needed to rebuild your muscles, while carbohydrates play a starring role in replenishing fuel stores your muscles used up during your workout, according to a position paper on nutrient timing published in 2017 in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.
But don’t stop at the post-workout snack; you won’t help your muscles recover if you go hungry or skimp on nutritious foods the rest of the day, Arent notes. Prioritize meals and be sure to keep your daily protein intake fairly consistent so your tissues are fed a steady stream of amino acids throughout the day. Recommendations vary, but the International Society of Sports Nutrition recommends consuming 1.4 to 2 g of protein per kilogram (kg) of body weight every day if you’re active, making sure to spread out the doses evenly every three to four hours. That means if you weigh 150 pounds, you’ll need approximately 95 to 136 g of protein every day.
Fruits, vegetables and legumes are also key for giving your body vitamins and minerals — like vitamin C and zinc — that promote healing, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
RELATED: What to Eat Before, During, and After Your Workout
4. Later On: Sleep
Sleep is critical for many reasons, but it’s also one of the most important components of exercise recovery, Arent says. “It may not seem like it has an immediate effect on [muscle soreness], but it can be useful for sure,” he adds.
Non–rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, for example, increases protein synthesis (the creation of new proteins), which is needed to repair damaged muscles, according to a review published in October 2014 in Sports Medicine.
S, the post-workout phase is no time to skimp on shut-eye. Aim to score at least seven hours of sleep, as recommended by the National Sleep Foundation.
RELATED: How Much Sleep Do You Really Need Each Night?
5. The Day After a Tough Workout, Do Light Exercise
Sore muscles need to rest, but that doesn’t mean it’s best to kick your feet up and spend the day on the couch. Try to get some gentle movement through activities like restorative yoga; an easy walk, swim, or cycle; or even light resistance training. The key is to avoid doing another intense workout using the same muscle groups on consecutive days. On an effort scale of 0 to 10 (where 10 is maximum intensity), aim for an effort level of 3, Schroeder says. You want to get blood moving to the sore muscles to deliver oxygen and nutrients needed for repair — without causing more damage to the muscle tissues.
6. You May Want to Steer Clear of NSAIDs
Though you might be tempted to pop a painkiller and call it a day, Arent warns that you may sacrifice key parts of the muscle rebuilding process by doing so. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Advil (ibuprofen) and Aleve (naproxen) may ease pain associated with muscle soreness, but they may also prevent your muscles from growing back bigger and stronger. A small study published in the August 2017 issue of Acta Physiologica found that taking the maximum dosage of over-the-counter ibuprofen stalled progress during an eight-week resistance training program geared toward building muscle and strength in young adults.
Sore Muscles After a Workout? 7 Ways to Improve Muscle Recovery
But more isn’t always more. “You have to be careful,” says Seedman. “Doing some light stretching can be good, but trying to overstretch the muscle when it feels extremely tight can actually cause the muscle to come back even tighter because the body is trying to resist it.”
So how do you know how far is too far? “Stretch until it feels pretty tight, let up after 5 to 10 seconds, and then repeat that, without ever getting to the point where it feels unbearable,” says Seedman. If it’s too painful to even think about stretching, skip it—it’s really just about getting some temporary relief if you can.
4. Make sure you’re getting enough protein.
Protein is a critical nutrient for building and maintaining muscle, so it plays a huge role in helping your muscles recover from a tough workout.
While you should be eating enough protein all the time to prevent recurring or long-lasting soreness from your workouts, says Seedman, it can still be helpful to double-check that you’re eating enough protein after the damage is done. “You can almost make the argument that that’s going to be as vital as light exercise [to recover],” he says.
This doesn’t mean excessively high amounts of protein, necessarily. While needs vary, people who work out should aim for about 1.4 to 2 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. For an active person who’s 150 pounds, that’s about 95 to 136 grams per day, split up between all your meals.
5. Try heat or ice to ease the pain.
The debate between heat therapy and cold therapy is ongoing, but when it comes down to it, it’s really just about what feels good to you—for the most part, the effects are temporary. But when you’re super sore, any fleeting relief (as long as it’s safe) is worth it.
Ice can help reduce the swelling that sometimes comes along with extreme soreness, says Seedman. Bringing the swelling down can help reduce some pain-causing tension. Elevating your legs (if that’s where you’re sore) can also help with this.
However, heat can also minimize tension and pain signals, says Seedman. So if relaxing in a warm bath makes you feel better, do that. McCall also notes that this may help with circulation.
What can you do to prevent muscle soreness after a workout?
While the tips above can help you improve soreness that you’re already experiencing, there are also some things you can do to prevent DOMS from happening in the first place—or at least limit it.
Take it slow to prevent DOMS.
Since too-much-too-soon is a big trigger of DOMS, it makes sense that easing into a new kind of training (or into any training, if you’re just starting out) can help make muscle soreness after a workout less likely.
Progress slowly with new workout types, says Miranda. So if you normally do equally timed contractions for strength training—spending about the same time on lifting and lowering—but want to start incorporate eccentric training, you might want to start gradually adding it into your routine. If you normally do four sets of regular biceps curls, maybe you do one or two sets the first time you try eccentric biceps curls, for instance.
If you want to try a new type of training, like with a virtual class, choose a shorter class aimed for beginners, which will introduce you to the moves rather than throw you right in.
Foam-roll after your workout.
Foam rolling after your workout may also help reduce the intensity of DOMS. A review of 14 studies published in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy concluded that self-myofascial release, as performed by a foam roller or a roller massager, after an intense exercise session helped decrease perceptions of muscle soreness in the following days.
“This improves blood flow and the oxygenation to the area, which they believe helps in the perceived reduction of DOMS,” says Miranda. (Percussive therapy devices like the Theragun Elite may also help you feel better too, as SELF recently reported.)
Overall, time should heal your soreness—as long as it’s not something more serious.
While you’re recovering, it’s also important to watch for signs of something more serious. A syndrome called rhabdomyolysis occurs when overworked muscle fibers die and release the protein myoglobin into the bloodstream, which can lead to kidney damage and even failure. This is a medical emergency, and along with extreme muscle pain, weakness, and swelling, the main sign is often cola-colored urine. If you notice these signs, get to a doctor ASAP.
If you experience sharp pain during your workout, or if the soreness doesn’t start improving after a couple of days, that can be a sign that you’re actually injured and need to see a health care professional.
10 Ways to Get Rid of Sore Muscles
We all secretly love sore muscles. It’s proof you put in serious work at the gym, and your body is feeling it. But some muscle soreness isn’t simply due to lactic acid buildup — it’s a sign you straight-up sent your muscles into shock.
“The significant muscle soreness that typically occurs hours after activity, usually 24 to 48 hours after activity, is referred to as delayed onset muscle soreness. or DOMS,” Christopher Hogrefe, MD, FACEP, sports medicine and emergency medicine specialist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, told MensHealth.com. “This condition has little, if anything, to do with lactic acidosis. Instead, it appears to be the result of small tears in muscle fiber that combine with an inflammatory process to result in pain.”
You’ll notice this type of soreness after more challenging or unfamiliar exercise. “Activities that involve muscle and tendon lengthening while a person simultaneously tries to contract the muscle, Squats and running downhill, are examples of such exercises,” says Hogrefe.
So what are the symptoms of DOMS? “Muscle soreness, lack of strength, decrease in the speed of muscle contractibility, and muscle stiffness are all symptoms of DOMS,” says says Katie Lawton, an exercise physiologist in Rehabilitation and Sports Therapy at the Cleveland Clinic. “DOMS can decrease the speed of muscle contractibility by 5-8% and change joint mobility. “
If your body needs a little more help with recovery, try one of these tips to get rid of sore muscles.
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Eat more mushrooms.
“Numerous sources have identified mushrooms as possessing anti-inflammatory properties that may be effective in reducing some muscle soreness,” says Hogrefe. Mushrooms’ anti-inflammatory compounds called polysaccharides work to reduce the inflammation-causing cytokine compounds.
Do an active cooldown.
Spending some time cooling down makes your muscles recovery-ready. A 2018 study on active recovery found that runners who spent time at a 50% decrease in activity at the end of their workout (instead of resting completely) were able to go three times longer the second time they ran. The researchers believe it had to do with better blood flow, which reduced blood lactate (the metabolic byproduct that makes your muscles sore).
Plus, a 2012 study found that those who did 20-minutes of low- or moderate-intensity cycling immediately following their strength workout reported reduced muscle pain.
Drink some tart cherry juice.
Tart cherry juice is loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. A 2010 study found that long distance runners who drank tart cherry juice for 8 days reported decreased muscle pain.
“Much like mushrooms, the anti-inflammatory properties in cherries may be beneficial in decreasing muscle soreness. However, particularly in the case of tart cherry extract, one should be aware of the significant sugar content that could be present,” says Hogrefe.
Get a massage.
It may seem obvious, but massages really do help get rid of sore muscles. A 2012 study found that a post-exercise massage significantly reduces pain by reducing the release of cytokines, compounds that cause inflammation in the body. At the same time, massage stimulated mitochondria in cells, promoting cell function and repair.
Use a heating pad and an ice pack.
“The idea behind heating pads is that they increase blood flow because it is a vasodilator (opens up your blood vessels), and is thought that it could help flush some of the byproducts or inflammation related to muscle soreness, out of the muscles,” says Lawton.
Adding an ice pack to the mix may be the perfect combination.
“Alternating cold and heat may be most beneficial following exercise-induced muscle soreness,” says Hogrefe.
A 2015 study found that using both heat and ice prevented elastic tissue damage. “Going from icing to heating reduces muscle pain after exercising. Applying ice for twenty minutes followed by heat for twenty minutes may be an effective regimen to help address muscle soreness following activity,” says Hogrefe.
Use a foam roller.
Foam rolling on sore muscles can make grown men cry, but it seriously helps repair your muscles. “It has been suggested that foam rolling may decrease edema (or swelling in the muscles) and enhance tissue healing,” says Hogrefe.
A 2015 study found that 20 minutes of foam rolling on a high-density foam roller immediately following exercise and 24 hours after may reduce muscle tenderness and decrease the impact on one’s dynamic movements. Don’t have one? Check out our best foam roller picks.
Take an ice bath.
A 2010 study found that ice baths reduce swelling and tissue breakdown that causes DOMS by constricting blood vessels. Participants sat in the ice bath for 5 to 10 minutes. And in another study from 2014, participants who took ice baths for 10 minutes after exercise reported the lowest levels of pain and muscle soreness when asked to stretch.
“Overall, some have suggested that ice baths can reduce muscle soreness by 20%,” says Hogrefe.
Wear compression gear.
It’s not just to show off all the work you’ve put in. A 2014 study found that compression gear reduced muscle soreness and made muscle recovery faster due to constricting your muscles and preventing fluid buildup post-workout while increasing blood flow. This helped remove an enzyme in your muscles called creatine kinase, which can cause ache.
It sounds simple, but hitting the sack can often be exactly what your sore muscles need. The direct scientific link between sleep and post-exercise recovery remains somewhat fuzzy, although it could be strongly argued that that’s because sleep involves a multitude of physiological functions that aren’t always easy to clearly define and separate. We do know, however, that a lack of sleep can contribute to higher levels of inflammation. Inflammation may not be a factor in DOMs in particular, but it does contribute to some muscle soreness — and getting serious rest can help alleviate that.
Eat antioxidants and protein frequently in the next 24 hours
Your post-lift protein shake does more than just refuel your muscles. A 2017 study found that protein aided in the recovery of muscle function in the 24 hours following a workout filled with eccentric contractions (which generally happen in most strength-based workouts). And adding antioxidants to that meal improved the recovery from those workouts even more. So aim to load up on protein (think chicken or fish) and antioxidant-rich foods (think pomegranates and kale) in the hours after a tough workout, and watch your recovery times drop.
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5 scientifically proven ways to reduce muscle soreness
“This is going to hurt tomorrow. ” We’ve all said it after a particularly grueling workout or return to the gym after an extended break.
Delayed onset muscle soreness, commonly referred to as DOMS, describes the muscular pain and stiffness that occurs following a heavy workload. It typically peaks around 24 to 48 hours after leaving the gym, explains exercise physiologist Matt Unthank, CSCS, director of training for Crossover Symmetry. “While the process is complicated and remains to be entirely understood, it is widely viewed as an inflammatory response due to a breakdown in muscles tissue.”
But that breakdown’s not necessarily a bad thing. “For a fit person who exercises regularly, I would actually view the occasional attack of DOMS as a good thing,” says Unthank. “It suggests an elevation in intensity and the inclusion of novel movements to a workout program, both of which are extremely good things for a training program.” After all, for your muscles to repair, grow and become stronger, you first have to give them something to repair. And we’re talking about the same microscopic tears in the muscles that can leave you waddling the morning after your workout.
So how can you kill the pain without killing your results? Just turn to these five research-proven strategies.
5 Ways to Reduce Muscle Soreness, STAT
1. Eating Tart Cherries
The science: Research published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports found that marathoners consuming tart cherry juice five days before, on the day of, and 48 hours following their races reduced muscle soreness. And how’s this for the cherry on top? The athletes also showed signs of improved muscle recovery and function. Tart cherries are rich in anthocyanins, colorful antioxidant compounds that are believed to work their magic by decreasing excess inflammation.
Try it: “Under regular training conditions, good nutrition is enough to get antioxidants where they need to be,” Unthank says. But for an extra boost, you can work tart cherries, or just their juice, into your regular diet. A couple of servings per week, along with a generally nutrient-rich diet, is plenty during typical training. However, if you are gearing up for marathon, it can be beneficial to switch to a once-daily plan. Don’t like cherries? Red raspberries are another great source.
2. Drinking Coffee
The science: Multiple studies show that pre-workout caffeine consumption can reduce subsequent muscle soreness and fatigue. In one study published in the Journal of Pain, the strategy scored exercisers a 48 percent drop in DOMS. Apart from generally making everything better, caffeine has analgesic (pain-killing properties), which is why it is commonly contained in over-the-counter pain medications.
Try it: An hour before a particularly grueling workout, drink two cups of coffee (the amount of caffeine used in the Journal of Pain study). Bonus: 2014 PLOS ONE research shows that coffee hydrates as well as water, which is important to keep in mind when trying to combat muscle pain. Getting dehydrated during your workouts can significantly exacerbate symptoms of DOMS, according to the Journal of Athletic Training.
3. Getting a Massage
The science: Finally, justification for those spa days. Research from a 2014 study found that a post-exercise massage can significantly reduce pain. And over the long term, regularly getting massages may increase your body’s ability to fight off DOMS. Another 2015 study showed that massaged muscles contain more blood vessels than massage-free ones, which may result in improved recovery. They also display only half of the scar tissue that non-massaged muscles do. Not bad for some low-key me-time.
Try it: Schedule your sports massage directly following your workout. In the study, immediate massage was more effective at promoting tissue regeneration and reducing fibrosis compared to massage delayed 48 hours after exercise.
4. Foam Rolling
The science: Similar to massage, foam rolling is all about myofascial release, which relieves tension in the muscle’s connective tissue. And your trainer is right: Research has found that rolling out your muscles like dough can help reduce delayed onset muscle soreness. It can also improve performance in subsequent workouts.
Try it: Invest in a foam roller (we’re big fans of the TriggerPoint Grid), and spend about 10 to 15 minutes with it each day. You can make it part of your warm-up, cool-down, and on days that you don’t work out, part of overall recovery. (Also, check out these five moves that might be missing from your rolling repertoire.)
5. Performing Recovery Workouts
The science: Consider this permission to turn down the dial from time to time. In one 2012 study, women who performed a 20-minute bout of low- or moderate-intensity cycling immediately following their DOMS-inducing strength workouts enjoyed a reduction in muscle pain along with a added boost in strength. “Light recovery workouts increase blood flow, which does a number of things to naturally nudge the inflammatory process along, such as lymphatic draining, moving immune cells, and clearing inflammatory mediators,” Unthank explains.
Try it: Cool down from your workouts with some light cardio, and schedule low-intensity, recovery-focused workouts throughout the week, he says. You don’t need to (and shouldn’t!) go heavy during every single workout for ultimate results. Aerobic exercise, like jogging or cycling as well as yoga, Pilates and other low-impact workouts are all great options for keeping DOMS at bay.
Other Recovery Methods
Epsom salts, cold compresses, ice baths — a lot of other pain-relieving techniques top the lists of weekend warriors and professional athletes alike. But not all are well-studied or have conclusive findings, Unthank says.
For instance, you’ll mostly find anecdotal evidence backing the use of post-exercise Epsom salt baths. And emerging evidence suggests that cold therapy might not be the pain reliever everyone thought it was. In one British Journal of Sports Medicine study, for example, three one-minute ice-water immersions were ineffective at reducing DOMs in a group of 40 exercisers. Contrary to popular opinion, research also shows that static stretching — whether performed before or after exercise — doesn’t reduce DOMS.
So what’s behind the rave reviews on these other methods? While it’s totally possible that there really is a benefit (and research just hasn’t caught up yet), a placebo effect could also be at play, Unthank says. In the end, it’s best to stick with science-backed strategies as your staples. If you want to supplement with other techniques, by all means. As long as you feel like it helps your post-workout soreness (and, of course, doesn’t pose any health risks), what’s the harm? If anything, those happier muscles just might be all in your head.
This story originally appeared on Life by Daily Burn.
NEXT: What happens to your body when you skip the gym
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Eight At-Home Treatments for Aching Legs
At one point or another in your life, you’ve probably experienced aching legs. They can be uncomfortable, even painful, and can be caused by a variety of factors. In this post, we’ll break down the three major causes of aching legs — musculoskeletal, vascular, and neurological — and outline the different groups of people who are more likely to experience this issue. Then, we’ll describe eight at-home treatments for aching legs that you can try yourself today. Plus, we’ll briefly explain when you should seek out a doctor for professional help for leg pain if the home remedies don’t bring you relief.
What Causes Aching Legs?
Just as with pain located anywhere in the body, the potential causes of aching legs are numerous; The Mayo Clinic lists nearly 50 possible causes of leg pain. However, some of these causes are significantly more common than others, and they generally fall into three categories: musculoskeletal, vascular, and neurological.
These causes are related either to the muscles or the skeleton, which encompasses a wide range of possible culprits. Injuries and strains, a common cause of leg pain, fall under the musculoskeletal category; these include sore muscles, ankle sprains, stress fractures, shin splints and broken bones. Other musculoskeletal causes include arthritis, bursitis, tendinitis and night leg cramps.
Vascular refers to vessels of the body that carry blood and fluid. From a vascular standpoint, aching leg pain is most likely related to your veins. Veins carry blood from our feet and legs back to our heart working against gravity. This can result in high pressure in the veins which causes an aching, heavy feeling in our legs. Arteries, on the other hand, carry blood flow down to our feet. Symptoms from blocked arteries (Peripheral Artery Disease or PAD) included pain in the legs associated with ambulation or pain in the feet at night that is resolved by hanging your feet down off the bed.
Leg pain may also be caused by damaged or malfunctioning nerves. These causes include restless leg syndrome, nerve damage (a.k.a. neuropathy) and sciatic nerve pain. Nerve pain may be felt even at rest, when the legs are not moving or carrying any weight.
Who Is Most Likely to Suffer from Aching Legs?
Certain groups of people are more prone to suffer from aching or painful legs than others. Athletes and workout fanatics are more likely to suffer from musculoskeletal pain in their legs, since they’re constantly pushing their bodies to the limit and may even injure themselves during exercise. In particular, long-distance runners and other endurance athletes often experience overuse injuries such as stress fractures due to repetitive stress placed on the legs.
Pregnant women frequently experience tired, aching legs, due to the extra weight they’re carrying, swelling and increased cardiovascular stress. Children may also have growth pains all over their body, including in their legs, as tendons stretch to accommodate bone growth. Many seniors also experience leg pain for a variety of reasons that can include poor circulation, arthritis, and accidental falls.
Diabetics and pre-diabetics may also find themselves with aching legs as a result of their condition. Having high blood sugar over a long period of time can cause nerve damage, particularly in the legs and feet. Neuropathy can manifest itself in a variety of sensations, including pain, aching, tingling, numbness and burning.
Overweight or obese individuals often find themselves experiencing leg pain, especially during physical activity. The added weight puts a lot of stress on the muscles, bones and joints, which can lead to inflammation or injury. Being overweight or obese is also a known risk factor for other conditions that can lead to leg pain, such as diabetes.
Among many other side effects, smokers can also experience pain in the limbs, including the legs. Smoking is one of the primary risk factors for hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Nicotine also causes the arteries to constrict which limits blood flow. This can lead to peripheral artery disease (PAD), which often results in pain and cramping in the legs, especially during walking.
Individuals who sit or stand for the majority of the day often find themselves with tired, aching legs. Staying in one position — either sitting or standing — can cause blood to pool in the feet, resulting in pain and increasing the risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and other blood clot issues. Those who stand for long periods of time, such as nurses and flight attendants, are more likely to have aching pain from high venous pressure. Wearing compression stockings, walking or doing heel raises will help activate the calf muscle pump to help keep the fluid in your legs moving. Elevating your legs at the end of the day will also help relieve aching legs.
How to Prevent Aching Legs
Thankfully, some (though not all) causes of leg pain can be avoided. Athletes should take care to wear supportive shoes, properly warm up and cool down before each workout and be sure to stretch the muscles thoroughly. To avoid overuse injuries, slowly increase the intensity and length of workouts, rather than trying to do too much too soon. Endurance athletes should take special care to rest often to avoid being sidelined by leg injuries; for example, shin splints can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months to heal, so it’s better to prevent such injuries on the front end.
Certain lifestyle changes can reduce your chances of developing leg pain. Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly increases your chances of maintaining healthy weight — which in turn decreases the odds that you’ll develop diabetes and/or leg pain. If you smoke, quitting will result in a host of health benefits, including riddance of leg pain.
Those who stay in one position all day can also take steps to prevent aching legs. If you sit most of the day, try to take walking breaks, and see if you can get a standing desk to use part of the time. Treadmill desks are a great option as they allow you to keep moving and using your muscles throughout the day. Those who either sit or stand can also benefit from graduated compression stockings, which encourage good circulation and can stop aching legs before they start.
How to Relieve Aching Legs
If you’re already experiencing aching legs, there are many remedies you can try at home to relieve your symptoms and soothe aching legs.
Stretching can help address a variety of leg pain causes. If your discomfort is caused by sore muscles, stretching them will help dissipate the soreness and reduce stiffness. Stretching can also help address the stiffness and pain caused by arthritis, and it’s a great way for seniors to work on their flexibility as well. Those with sciatic nerve pain may also find that they benefit from stretching.
Common lower body stretches include quadriceps, hamstrings, calf stretches and seated butterfly stretches. You can also try restorative yoga poses that target the lower body, such as reclining pigeon pose, seated pigeon pose, forward pigeon pose and downward-facing dog
If your aching legs are caused by overuse or stress injuries, taking a break is the best medicine for them. When it comes to this kind of pain, you need to give your body time to heal completely, which means you’ll need to temporarily stop whichever activity caused the aching legs in the first place. Usually, you’ll need to take at least two to four weeks off, and sometimes as long as six months, depending on the severity.
Raise Your Feet
Even if you don’t need to take several weeks or months off from activity, elevating your legs for a quick rest can help soothe aching legs after a lot of walking or a long day on your feet. Elevating your legs above your heart on a leg rest pillow can help improve venous blood flow. Proper leg elevation helps to reduce swelling and relieve symptoms associated with high venous pressure. Improper leg elevation methods can do more harm than good so make sure you check out our Lounge Doctor Leg Rest and learn how to elevate your legs properly. Elevation is a convenient, passive therapy that can be done whenever you are lying down, such as while sleeping or watching TV.
If your aching legs are due to poor circulation or swelling, a simple garment addition can help with that. Graduated compression stockings apply gentle pressure to your legs — more at the ankle, less at the top — to encourage the blood to keep flowing and stop it from pooling in your extremities. Compression hose can also help reduce swelling and help prevent cardiovascular conditions such as varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Knee high compression socks are the most popular length, but compression stockings come in many different lengths, styles and colors to suit a variety of needs..
Hot and Cold Therapy
Both heat and cold can help mitigate leg pain, though in entirely different ways. Cold causes the blood vessels to contract, restricting the flow of blood and reducing inflammation, swelling and potential tissue damage. Ice also numbs pain, which is why it’s the first-line treatment of choice for sports injuries and inflamed joints. Cold therapy is especially helpful during the first few days after a sprain or flare-up.
On the other hand, heat therapy causes blood vessels to dilate, promotes blood flow and helps muscles to relax. If your leg muscles are tight and stiff after a lot of activity, or if your arthritis is acting up, taking a hot bath or applying a heated rice bag can help your body loosen up. However, if you suffer from neuropathy or are otherwise having trouble perceiving pain or temperature differences in the affected area, hot and cold therapy may not be appropriate.
If your leg pain is at least partially caused by tight, sore or stiff muscles — not a sports injury — a massage can help ease your pain. Directly, massages help inhibit the inflammatory response and promote cellular healing. Indirectly, they also release pain-fighting endorphins, which may explain why some individuals find that getting a massage helps relieve aching legs that are caused by factors beyond just sore muscles, such as vascular or neurological factors. You can try massaging your legs yourself or schedule an appointment with a professional masseuse.
While it won’t cure the cause, over-the-counter painkillers can help temporarily ease your pain if you’re having a really bad flare-up or are nursing an injury. While OTC medications often aren’t strong enough to address neurological pain and other serious causes, pain relievers can help take the edge off inflamed or swollen legs and enable you to try stretching, hot and cold therapy or one of the other solutions listed here
Easing aching legs is only one positive side effect of a healthy diet, but it’s a good one. Eating a healthy diet addresses several factors that can contribute to aching legs. A healthy diet can help get your weight back into an equally healthy range, and less weight means less stress on your joints, muscles and bones. Eating a healthy diet can also reduce your chances of developing diabetes — or it can help you manage complications (including leg pain caused by neuropathy) if you have been diagnosed.
When to See a Doctor
In many cases, aching legs can be addressed with at-home remedies. However, some causes require professional intervention. You should talk to your doctor:
- if you notice signs of infection, such as redness, warmth, tenderness, and/or a fever;
- if your leg is swollen, pale, or cold;
- if you experience calf pain, especially after prolonged sitting
- if your legs swell and you experience breathing problems at the same time
- if you suddenly develop any serious leg symptoms out of the blue.
If you injure your leg and are unable or put weight on it, or if you experience a popping or grinding sound, you should visit your nearest emergency room.
However, in many cases aching legs can be effectively treated with at-home remedies. From stretching to compression stockings to a healthy diet, there are many therapeutic approaches you can try on your own. If you’re ready to get serious about the discomfort and pain in your legs, start experimenting with one of these eight strategies today.
About the Author
Kaki Zell – Vice President of Sales, Marketing, eCommerce at Legs-4-Life LLC
Dr. Chris Dickson, M.D., is a board-certified vascular surgeon and Fellow of the American College of Surgeons who received his M.D. Degree from the University of Massachusetts Medical School and has received general surgery training from the Medical College of Pennsylvania. Dr. Dickson has obtained two vascular fellowships and three research fellowships and has also has authored 19 publications and two book chapters. Since 1996, Dr. Dickson has been in practice in Greensboro, North Carolina.
How to Relieve Sore Leg Muscles
Foam rolling can help relieve sore leg muscles.
Image Credit: mheim3011/iStock/GettyImages
Not all sore muscles are alike, as you might have discovered after a particularly grueling workout. Your legs are, after all, in constant use, so you might feel the pain a little bit more strongly than if other parts of your body felt pain.
If those muscles are really sore — the way they get if you’ve, say, blown them out doing leg presses or other exercises that put the hurt on you from the thigh down — you may be in search of sore muscle relief
Read more: How to Massage Legs for Better Circulation
Heat or Ice?
It’s common knowledge to apply heat or ice to relieve sore leg muscles, but which is best? There’s a lot of confusion (and debate) on the subject but the answer seems pretty straightforward: Either will do.
In a 2015 study published by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning, leg muscle soreness was induced in 100 men and women, who did three rounds of squats, with each round lasting five minutes. Afterward, they were divided into three groups. The first received no therapy and experienced a 24 percent loss in muscle strength.
Those receiving hot and cold therapy showed only a small drop — 4.5 percent — in muscle strength. The study found that heat works slightly better right after exercise, while cold shows some advantage at 24 hours. For more intense muscle spasms, alternating the two in 20-minute sessions may help the muscle relax.
Foam Roll Your Legs
Massage might seem like an expensive luxury, but if sore leg muscles are slowing you down, a massage can help you get back to productivity much more quickly. Massage increases blood flow to muscles, relieving tension in the fibers and reducing inflammation, likely the cause of much of your suffering.
However, there’s nothing written in the sky that says you can’t massage yourself. Self-massage through foam rolling can address trigger points and other snags in your musculature, as well as stimulate the lymph glands.
Use a foam roller to massage your hamstrings, glutes and calves. The American Council on Exercise recommends rolling the muscle slowly over the foam roller, spending 30 to 60 seconds on your sore spots.
Soothe With Balm
There are numerous strong-smelling ointments and balms containing substances like camphor, menthol or capsicum — ingredients called counter-irritants—that are applied topically to sore muscles after a workout. They’re widely believed to increase blood flow to the area, and maybe they do.
But they actually work because the ingredients cause inflammation in the area surrounding the pain point, eliciting a hot or icy sensation from the nerves around the area that’s in pain. That sensation distracts you from the pain. Do not apply heat to an area that’s been rubbed with a balm. The combination could cause a burn or rash.
Consider OTC Pain Relievers
There’s nothing wrong with going to medicine cabinet to treat sore leg muscles, but it’s helpful to know your over-the-counter pain medicines. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) may reduce some of your muscle pain, but it doesn’t reduce inflammation, which is the source of most muscle soreness.
More effective are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen (Advil), naproxen (Aleve) or aspirin. Be sure to check with your doctor before taking medication. Also, these meds can be a bit rough on the tummy, so be sure to take them with food.
Read more: How to Ease Muscle Soreness after a Workout
90,000 9 Ways to Help Tired Legs and Feet
Fatigue in the legs can be a sign of decreased blood flow in the legs and is mainly a concern for women and the elderly. Of course, the opportunity to relax properly always has a healing effect, but sometimes you need other, faster ways to alleviate your condition. The following techniques are especially relevant for those who have to spend all day on their feet.
Many authors 5 Fun Facts are familiar with the problem of buzzing feet, so we want to share with you life hacks to ease pain and discomfort.
1. Press 2 points on the foot at the same time
By pressing certain points, you can increase the production of endorphin. This will help reduce stress and fatigue and relieve pain. There are 2 such points on the foot:
- The first is between the first and second bones of the foot, as shown in the picture above.
- The second is between the fourth and fifth bones.
Massage these 2 points for 2 minutes. Breathe deeply and calmly.
2. Use a pencil to release tension in the foot
There is a point in the center of the heel, stimulation of which will help relieve discomfort in the feet. Apply moderate pressure with a pencil for 0.5–2 minutes. to achieve the result. Repeat this procedure with both legs.
3. Perform the Virasana asana
Virasana is a basic asana that is performed while sitting on your knees. This exercise can be performed even immediately after eating:
- Get on your knees.Bring them together and spread your feet to the sides. You can use a large pillow for your comfort.
- Sit on a support (floor or pillow). You can increase the height slightly if you feel knee pain. Place your hands on your hips and maintain this position for 2-4 minutes.
- Extend your legs forward for a few seconds.
Be careful while performing the asana and make sure there is support under the buttocks to minimize the risk of injury. Do not do this exercise if you have an injury.
4. Prevent leg fatigue with preventive stockings or socks
There is now a large selection of compression stockings and socks that look just like normal ones. They not only prevent leg and foot fatigue, but also contribute to their health.
These products help to normalize blood flow from the legs to the heart. They may differ depending on the purpose of use; for example, there are options for sports and everyday wear.Be sure to check with your doctor if you have any health concerns.
5. Try the butterfly pose
This pose helps to get rid of tired legs, “open up” the hips and stimulate the digestive organs:
- Lie on your back with your feet against the wall.
- Bring your feet together and slowly lower them to your hips.
- Maintain this pose for 3-5 minutes.
6. Reduce salt intake
Excessive salt intake can lead to swollen feet and painful tiredness. Scientists recommend eating no more than 2,300 mg per day. This is just 1 tablespoon.
Try an experiment: Reduce your daily salt intake and note how your well-being has changed during one month of this experiment.
7. Get enough iron
Iron deficiency can cause restless legs syndrome, which is accompanied by tingling, burning, itching and painful leg cramps. It also leads to a feeling of tiredness in the legs.
Aim to get enough nutrients and eat foods rich in iron such as spinach, broccoli, beans, brown rice and dried fruits.
8. Use pain relieving patches
These types of patches provide a quick relief effect on the feet without any medication. They can work up to 6 hours and help against pain in the legs and heels, sprains, deformities and bruises .
They can be worn during the day or glued on before bed.
9. Apply the tapping massage
Feet massage can work wonders, and its great advantage is that you can do it yourself. Light pressure has a relaxing effect. Slightly stronger pressure relieves pain and tension in muscles. Here is one simple tap massage technique:
- Gently tap the leg muscles with your fist starting at the ankle. The same movements can be done with the edge of the palm.
- Repeat these movements up the leg. Concentrate on areas where you feel tension.
- Massage the entire leg in this manner.
How often do you have foot problems? What is the best way to relieve discomfort for you?
90,000 How to relieve leg pain from standing all day | Interesting and Topical
If your legs are tired and sore after a long day of standing, you probably want to find some relief! Simple home remedies such as soaking in warm water, massage can help relieve some soreness, and you can try some stretching exercises to relieve discomfort.If you can, avoid standing in the same place for long periods of time to prevent pain in the first place. Also, choose a pair of shoes that are sturdy, comfortable and provide good support.
Soak your feet in warm water for pain relief without medication. Fill a small tub with warm water, add bath salts, then put your feet in the water for 20-30 minutes.
· Warm water may help relieve pain.
· Avoid soaking your feet if you have diabetes.As a diabetic, you are more likely to develop infections.
Give yourself a foot massage to relieve muscle pain. Sit and lift one leg over the other knee. Pour a spoonful of lotion into your hands and then rub your foot, massaging your heel and toes. Use your thumbs to push the muscles in your foot deeper, rubbing them in a circular motion.
· Gently move your toes back and forth to stretch the muscles.
· Repeat with the other leg. If you have anyone interested, you can even ask them to massage your feet!
Rub in medicine for quick pain relief. These medicines work in different ways. Some relieve pain. Some distract your feet with other sensations, such as those that cool your feet with menthol or eucalyptus. Others create a slight burning sensation that dulls the pain.
· You can find them at your local pharmacy.
Use a towel to stretch your legs and Achilles tendon. Sit on the floor or bed with your legs extended in front of you. Place the towel against the ball of your foot. Pull the towel towards you to stretch your leg muscles.
· Hold this position for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side. Try 3 sets of this exercise.
Flip your legs over a round object to relieve heel pain. Sit in a chair and place a round object under your leg, such as a foot roller, a bottle of water, or even a can of soup. Place your foot on the object for a few seconds with light pressure, then flip over the object, moving back and forth. Continue rolling back and forth for about a minute.Switch to the other leg when you’re done.
Work the muscles of the lower leg and foot with a wall push. Sit about 30 cm from the wall with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place your hands on the wall and step back with one leg straightening it. Bend the knee on your front leg slightly until you feel the calf muscles stretch in the other leg.
· Straighten the front leg again and repeat the exercise 10 times on each side.
· You can also step forward slightly with your front leg, which will slightly bend your hind leg.
Balance the weight on both legs. If you bend over to one side or the other, you may have poor circulation in your legs, leading to more pain and stiffness. Also, check your balance throughout the day to make sure you are putting weight on both legs.
Why do legs hurt and what to do to get better
Pain in the legs is an unpleasant phenomenon, though not surprising. The lower limbs take on more stress during the day than any other part of the musculoskeletal system.Especially if your work is standing or, for example, you are fond of something like triathlon.
Pain can vary in a very wide range: from mild numbness and throbbing, which disappear on their own in a few minutes, to debilitating pulling sensations or cramps that can interrupt even a night’s sleep. Fortunately, in most cases, such attacks do not threaten anything serious. However, there are options …
But before finding out the causes of discomfort, let’s figure out when it is not worth reflecting on the question: “Why do your legs hurt?”, But you need to move (independently or with someone’s help) towards a doctor as soon as possible.
When to call a healthcare provider
Call an ambulance immediately if:
- Pain prevents you from walking or shifting your weight on your leg.
- An open fracture or deep cut is evident.
- You observe several symptoms at once – pain, swelling, redness, a sharp rise in temperature in the limb.
- Before you felt pain, you heard a loud click, as if something jumped out in your leg, or a grinding sound.
Seek medical attention as soon as possible if:
- There are signs of infection: the skin on the leg turns red, becomes hot to the touch, all this is accompanied by an increase in body temperature in general.
- The leg is swollen, the skin is pale and / or appears very cold.
- Edema is observed on both legs and is accompanied by some breathing problems.
- Your shins hurt a lot after sitting for a long time. For example, after a long bus trip or flight.
- You have any painful symptoms that develop in your legs for no apparent reason.
Schedule a visit to a physician or surgeon soon if:
- You regularly experience pain during or after walking.
- You are pursued by edema of the lower extremities.
- Pain, which was initially almost imperceptible, seems to increase over several days in a row.
- You have noticed swollen veins on your leg that are unpleasant to touch.
If you do not have any of the listed symptoms, you can exhale: most likely, nothing terrible happens to your legs. Of course, this does not mean that you can forget about discomfort. But chances are great to deal with the reasons on your own.Let’s get started.
What to do right now if your legs hurt
Leave your legs alone
Just let them rest: lie down, if possible, raising your legs slightly above the level of your heart (this can be done using a roller placed under the ankles). This position will improve venous blood flow, reduce swelling and relax muscles.
Make a cold compress
Apply an ice pack wrapped in a thin towel (or, for example, frozen peas or other convenience foods that you find in your freezer) to the area from which you think painful sensations emanate.Duration compress – 15-20 minutes, repeat three times a day as needed.
Take an over-the-counter pain reliever
Ibuprofen and naproxen sodium have proven to be effective.
Do a massage
Massage helps in cases when pain is caused by a cramp or overtakes you after physical activity – long walking or jogging.
Why legs hurt
After making sure that there are no dangerous symptoms right now and alleviating the condition, you can try to independently analyze what caused the discomfort.In fact, there can be a sea of causes of pain in the legs. Here are a few of the more common ones.
Fatigue after training
Or, in a simple way, DOMS. Maybe you’ve overextended yourself after neglecting your workouts for a long time. Or they chose not very comfortable shoes. Or, when planning a 10-kilometer run, they forgot to warm up and cool down. All this often becomes the cause of the dizziness, which, fortunately, goes away quickly enough by itself.
You may have stumbled recently, but did not attach any importance to it.Meanwhile, the awkwardness led to a slight sprain or rupture of a number of tendon fibers. Such injuries are not fatal and most often heal by themselves, but they can deliver several unpleasant minutes, or even hours.
Developing diabetes mellitus
Even at the very start, this disease affects the peripheral nerves, which reverberates with numbness, goose bumps and soreness around the legs, calves and feet. The most common discomfort is during sleep.
Therefore, if the creeps and cramps in the calf muscles began to haunt you too often, it would be useful to check the blood sugar level and consult an endocrinologist.
Almost all expectant mothers are familiar with rather painful cramps in the legs. Discomfort is caused by mineral metabolism disorders that often accompany pregnancy. Most often, seizures occur due to a deficiency of potassium, calcium, magnesium, or vitamin B6. And doctors are well aware of this: in case of complaints, they prescribe to patients complexes of vitamins and microelements that can compensate for the lack of important substances.
Cramps and pain in the calves are the most common symptoms of calcium deficiency.Please note: even if you suspect this particular option, only a doctor can diagnose and prescribe any drugs. Therefore, be sure to consult with a therapist and take the tests recommended by him.
With varicose veins of the lower extremities, the work of the valves that allow blood to pass through the veins is disrupted. Because of this, the veins increase in size, the outflow of blood worsens, edema and soreness occur. There can be many reasons for varicose veins, and the discovered discomfort requires the consultation of a phlebologist.
Muscle pain of this origin is pulling or twitching in nature and may worsen during physical exertion or in cold and damp weather. If you suspect myalgia, you should contact a neurologist: he will diagnose and, if necessary, prescribe you anti-inflammatory drugs and pain relieving gels and ointments.
This ailment can also be recognized visually: it is often accompanied by an increase in the size of the leg and / or the appearance of a protruding bone.A companion of developing flat feet is aching pain in the feet and legs, which increases in the evening, as well as fatigue when walking. With similar problems it is worth contacting an orthopedist.
This disease manifests itself as a shooting pain from the heels to the buttocks, mainly on the back or lateral surface of the leg. For help, you need to contact a neurologist or a spine surgeon (specialist in the treatment of the spine).
Be that as it may, it is useful to recall that only a doctor can make a diagnosis.Therefore, if your legs hurt regularly, consult at least a therapist.
How to get rid of leg fatigue when standing up
Standing work may hurt legs by the end of the day
and “hum” so much that it becomes difficult for a person to walk. However, the problem
lies not only in unpleasant sensations, but also in the fact that the result can
become a serious illness, for example, thrombophlebitis or varicose veins, therefore, than
the sooner you take action, the better.
Basic ways to quickly relieve leg fatigue
To begin with, you should worry about
your legs were less tired. To do this, you should regularly perform a special
gymnastics, wear only comfortable shoes, use orthopedic insoles
and other similar products. This will help prevent the development of diseases and
reduce discomfort after the end of the working day.
If your legs are very tired, they need to be given
rest: it is advisable to lie down, moreover, so that the feet are on a dais,
as this will increase the flow of blood and help relieve pain faster. The best way –
just put a pillow under your feet. It is advisable not to throw one leg at the same time.
on the other – this will impede the free circulation of blood. If you have
varicose veins or other serious disease, be sure to use special
medicines prescribed by a doctor.
how to independently calculate your metabolism and learn it
The problem of excess weight worries millions of people. But far away
not everyone who enters into an unequal struggle with the hated
kilograms, familiar with the basic principles of losing weight.
After resting for 20-30 minutes, make a foot bath. You
you can use a decoction of linden, chamomile, horsetail or plantain for this –
you can buy dry herbs at the pharmacy.It is good if you add sea water to the water
salt. The water temperature should not exceed 37o Celsius. Average
the duration of the procedure is 10-15 minutes. By the way, this will help not only
relieve discomfort, but also simplify pedicure and foot care.
How to get rid of severe fatigue and pain
at the feet
If the fatigue is very strong, try
use contrasting baths.To do this, you need to take two basins, one
fill with water at a temperature of about 40o Celsius, and the second with cool water.
Then you need to dip both legs into the first basin, hold for two minutes and dip in
second. Repeat this procedure for half an hour. It is obligatory to finish
need cold water. After the baths, thoroughly rub your feet and lubricate them
ointment or cream to relieve fatigue. Then it is recommended to lie down, put your feet
on the pillow and rest for 5-7 minutes. After this procedure, you will feel
Another great option is massage
feet, especially if you do it after a bath – both normal and
contrasting. Apply anti-fatigue cream to skin and massage gently
first the whole foot, then each finger separately, and then go to
ankles. Please note: people with varicose veins are categorically
it is not recommended to resort to this method of solving the problem – it is better for them to combine
baths using a special medicinal ointment.
90,000 Restless Legs Syndrome: When Night Becomes Torture
- Sally Abrams
- BBC Correspondent
Photo Credit, Getty Images
Restless Legs Syndrome turns into nights torture
For many years, Mary Rose struggled to fall asleep or sleep without waking up due to leg pain that resembled an insect attack.
“Imagine that you have a swarm of bees under your skin that fly and sting you. It really, really hurts,” she says, describing how she feels.
Mary Rose has a so-called restless legs syndrome that prevents her from sleeping at night.
“I want to scratch my feet, get out of bed and walk around. It was impossible to lie down and sleep because my legs twitched uncontrollably all night,” she explains.
The symptoms were so painful that in the evenings she did not want to go to bed.
Mary Rose does not remember when the problem began, but doctors could not diagnose her for several years.
“People said – you just have cramps. You need to take quinine or put bark in your bed. So I did,” she recalls.
Of course it didn’t get any better. She tried rubbing ointments into her legs to reduce the stabbing sensation, but the effect was not enough for the whole night. The doctors were also unable to help her relieve her pain.
The need not to sleep, but to move
One day she was advised to visit a sleep clinic in London, where she is now undergoing treatment under the supervision of doctor Guy Leschziner.
“Restless legs syndrome is a common nerve disorder that makes people feel the need to move, especially at night, and is most often accompanied by discomfort in the legs,” says Leschziner.
“This condition affects about 1 in 20 people. It can cause severe sleep deprivation,” he explains.
Sometimes Mary Rose only got a few hours of sleep, and sometimes even less.
“I had nights when I did not sleep at all.If I was very tired, I could sleep, then wake up for an hour or two, and sometimes get out of bed, “she says.
Restless legs syndrome is often hereditary, but it occurs for other reasons. a lack of iron in the body or pregnancy, and usually the disease is easy to cure.
For some people, it may be enough to simply give up coffee, alcohol and certain medications, as well as do light exercise (muscle stretching and leg massage).But in some cases, drug treatment is also required.
Mary Rose’s condition requires drug treatment, so Leschziner resorted to varying medications to control symptoms. This seems to be paying off, unless the patient tweaks the dose.
“I no longer have restless legs!” She says happily. “True, sometimes I have severe attacks when I have to get out of bed and walk. But this is my fault because I forget to take the pill.”
Although the treatment is working, Mary Rose still cannot sleep completely through the night.
“It is with great regret that I have to admit that although my legs are more controlled, it has not helped my sleep pattern. I still wake up at about three in the morning,” she says.
According to Leschciner, this is normal.
“What you are describing is quite common among people who have lived with sleep disorders for many years.Sleep is a learned habit, “he says.
The fear of the night ahead and constant sleep interruption can last for many years.
Photo Credit, Getty Images
Audio books and music can help reduce brain activity and help a person fall asleep
He said that sometimes people need to retrain to sleep in order to understand that the bed is for sleep, not for the agony associated with a hard night.
Mary Rose has developed her own strategy to combat insomnia.
“When I listen to audiobooks or music, my brain starts to slow down, after which I’m ready to sleep. But that doesn’t mean I get more than two hours of sleep,” she says.
“Basically, this means you are distracting yourself,” Leschziner says. “When you think about the story or the music you are listening to, you no longer have to think about falling asleep, and so your brain switches to passive mode and then sleep begins as if by accident. ”
The body signals disorders… pain in legs
A person remembers his own two only when they get sick. And he almost never connects the problem that has arisen with diseases of other organs. Meanwhile, disorders and inflammation in different systems of the body can be the culprits of your suffering, explains Nikolay Soroka, Doctor of Medicine , Doctor of Medical Sciences, Head of the 2nd Department of Internal Diseases of the Belarusian State Medical University.
What makes you suffer
Indeed, leg pain can occur for a variety of reasons.For example, due to inflammatory conditions associated with infections, bowel disease, psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis. But still, most often people are pestered by osteoarthritis, popularly known as the deposition of salts in the joints. In this case, pain is clearly formed in the area of the joints – ankle, knee or hip.
Another reason is the obstructed blood flow through the arteries. This will be indicated by cold and pale lower limbs, as well as pain that occurs when walking, the so-called symptom of intermittent claudication.According to Professor Soroka, the reason may be atherosclerosis – with this disease, an atherosclerotic plaque blocks the artery, disrupting blood flow. And not necessarily at the level of the legs, but often where the largest vessel passes – the aorta.
Arteries are often affected by smokers – there is obliterating endarteritis, or inflammation of the inner lining of the artery. It becomes the cause of severe pain, which often annoys even 30-40-year-old people.
Pain associated with damage to the arteries is not uncommon in patients with diabetes mellitus – this is the so-called diabetic foot syndrome.They are burning and are initially associated with damage to blood vessels, and then to the nervous system.
Does your knee hurt? Treat your lower back!
And what to do if pain occurs at the level of the knee, lower leg, foot or thigh, and none of these organs is abnormal? The reason should be sought in the lumbar spine, the professor specifies. These symptoms usually occur with sciatica. Severe pain is also caused by lumboischialgia – irritation of the roots of nerve structures at the level of the lumbar spine.Lower back pain radiates to one or both legs. It mainly spreads along the buttock, as well as along the posterior-outer surface of the leg, sometimes even reaching the toes.
What a weight!
Sensations with varicose veins are also not pleasant – heaviness in the legs and swelling, inflammation of the veins. The condition can be aggravated by walking, standing or sitting for a long time. Due to stagnation of blood, blood circulation in the extremities is disturbed, the tissues lack oxygen – hypoxia and begin to “signal” with pain, as if calling for help.With severe varicose veins, pain of indeterminate localization may appear – in the lower leg, foot, etc.
With thrombophlebitis – inflammation of varicose veins, edema, swelling and redness can be found in this place. Naturally, pains will follow.
If the knee hurts, but there are no visible changes in this joint, then the source of the problem should be looked for at the level of the second or third lumbar vertebra. And if the pain is localized in the foot, then in the fifth lumbar and first sacral vertebrae.
Sometimes pain arising from problems with the hip joint radiates to the knee. What do such patients not do! They use ointments, drugs, but all in vain. An x-ray of the hip joints will help to understand, which will clarify the nature of the pain.
Professor Soroka names another group of patients whose legs hurt, and it can be difficult to explain the reason. This is typical for meteorological people. Their legs ache and “twist” a day or two before the weather changes.It is not easy to deal with such manifestations, the specialist admits.
When the pain in the foot, lower leg and knee is very burning – such as if burned with nettles, or shooting, as if a person had been shocked, this is usually associated with damage or compression of nerve structures, and not simply with inflammation or changes in the nervous system.
The professor points out another reason – the presence of a focus of infection in adolescents and young people from 15 to 20 years old also causes pain in the legs. Boys or girls with chronic tonsillitis with purulent plugs may experience pain along the front of the lower leg, in the bone.This is how intoxication manifests itself.
Flat feet can also be a source of suffering. People with flat feet under load and overload experience pain in the foot, especially towards the end of the day. To determine if flat feet are present, you can wet the sole of your foot and then step on a dry sheet of white paper. With flat feet, the foot will be completely imprinted. And a healthy person will only have prints of the heel and the edge of the foot on the paper.
Professor Nikolay Soroka’s advice
If pain syndrome is associated with the spine, do not look for salvation in compresses and electrical procedures on the area of the leg joints! Relief will come only when the strangulated or irritated nerve root is released.All efforts – rubbing, compresses, physical and electrical procedures should be directed to the lumbar spine, then the pain will decrease.
If pain is caused by damage to arterial vessels, then painkillers are not helpers, warns Professor Soroka.
If it is localized in the joints or is associated with a lesion of the spine, then taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (for example, drugs based on diclofenac, meloxicam, nimesulide, etc.)), you can alleviate the condition. And for problems with the gastrointestinal tract and pain in the legs, you can use a new generation of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that are safe for the gastrointestinal tract (etodolac, etoricoxib).
The drug arcoxia has become a kind of ambulance, which begins to act quickly – after 24 minutes and relieves pain for 24 hours. There are other medicines as well.
Anti-inflammatory drugs and venotonics will help with thrombophlebitis.
Endarteritis is a very serious disease that rheumatologists treat, and they prescribe potent medications.
Arterial atherosclerosis is a chronic disease. There is no point in hoping for a quick success. Symptomatic therapy is prescribed in the form of vasodilating drugs, but the most important thing is long-term use of statins, which lower blood cholesterol levels and “smooth” atherosclerotic plaques in the vessels.
But first, you still need to go to an appointment with a general practitioner, who will determine which specialist to refer you to.
Narodnaya Gazeta , November 9, 2012
90,000 Swelling of the legs, cramps, pain in the legs or what are the legs buzzing about?
Restless legs syndrome
Feet “buzz” ….Heaviness and aching pain in the legs, transient swelling of the legs, cramps in the calf muscles, burning and numbness in the legs and feet are all signs of tired legs syndrome. Why do my legs swell? What to do to prevent the development of the disease and determine its causes in time? These questions cannot be answered unequivocally. Most often, representatives of the fair sex face these problems, but at first they do not attach much importance to them, attributing them to ordinary fatigue. At work all day on my feet, with bags and bags from the store, in the evening – heels, and at home at the post at the stove – all this is the usual rhythm of life for most women.However, over time, symptoms progress, becoming more painful and painful. There are many cases where minor pain in the leg below the knee has developed into a serious problem over time. Restless legs syndrome occurs in 75% of women after age 30 and in 25% of men after age 40. There are several reasons for the development of this condition, but the main one is the discrepancy between the venous and lymphatic outflow and the loads on the legs. Therefore, in some cases, this condition may be the first harbinger of the onset of venous insufficiency and varicose veins veins.Another reason associated with the occurrence of this syndrome is congenital or acquired flat feet. The acquired flattening of the foot develops as a result of static loads on the leg, excess weight, and prolonged standing. Normally, the arch of the foot is designed to cushion the load on the leg. In the case of flat feet, the normal work of the tendons and muscles of the lower leg and foot is disrupted, which leads to changes in the work of the veins of the lower leg, which are in the thickness of these muscles, while the veins will work with significant overload.In the veins of the leg, pressure increases, venous stasis develops, metabolic products are absorbed and cause pain. Due to high pressure, the valves of the connective veins are destroyed, varicose veins fuss, cramps appear in the calf muscles – a “vicious circle”. That is why you cannot ignore the syndrome of restless legs, as it can be the first signal of the development of varicose veins. If the patient has already developed varicose veins, the main methods of treatment are reduced to various options surgical intervention . At the stage of developing varicose veins, prevention, correction by conservative or minimally invasive methods is possible, that is, the notorious “treatment of varicose veins without surgery.” In this situation, it will be effective and help prevent the development of the disease. What are the main signs of restless legs syndrome?
- heaviness and pain in the legs (in the legs, feet)
- burning sensation, crawling creeps
- cramps or pulling pain in the calves
- aching pain in the muscles and joints of the legs
- burning in toes or feet
- buzzing of the legs – numbness of the legs
- swelling of the legs.
If you are familiar with these signs, the first thing to do is diagnostics, that is, examine the veins of the legs using the ultrasonic duplex scan method. Such an examination will help to find out how pronounced the changes in blood flow through the veins are, and what type of correction you need. Since the changes in the veins at this stage are usually minimal, only an experienced ultrasound specialist can recognize and evaluate them. Ideally, if the ultrasound specialist is also a vascular surgeon, you will be immediately given informed advice.In addition, you need to be examined for flat feet. Such diagnostics is carried out by the methods of plantography (obtaining a graphic “imprint” of the plantar surface of the foot), planotoscopy (visual express diagnostics of the condition of the arches of the foot) or plantoscanning (obtaining an image of the patient’s feet on the monitor screen by scanning). In the case of revealed flat feet, it is necessary to take measures to correct it.
In some cases, you may be recommended to consult a neuropathologist, vertebrologist, as often pain in the lower extremities can be caused by the pathology of the lumbar spine.
In the early stages of Restless Legs Syndrome, treatment focuses on eliminating venous and lymphatic congestion and correcting flat feet to break the vicious circle. First of all, you need to think about comfortable clothes and shoes. If possible, avoid wearing tight, tight, tight-fitting trousers – they can squeeze the venous and lymphatic vessels, especially in the area of natural folds (under the knee, groin fold, etc.). The heel should be about 3-4 cm, especially if you have to spend the whole day on your feet.Try not to get used to sitting cross-legged. If at the end of the day there is such an opportunity, lie down for 15-30 minutes. on the back with the legs raised up, which will improve blood flow, help relieve the feeling of heaviness. Try to control your body weight. Overweight significantly increases the load on the bones of the foot, muscles, ligaments, blood vessels of the legs, which leads to the development of lymphovenous insufficiency. It is necessary to monitor the water-salt balance. Salty food abuse leads to excess fluid retention and edema.Insufficient fluid intake in the body can lead to thickening of the blood and cause 90,299 blood clots in the veins. Don’t forget to walk! It is much more useful for your legs to walk than to stand or sit, because when walking, the muscles of the legs contract, “squeezing out” stagnant blood. Therefore, if you are an office worker, do not forget every 40-50 minutes. get up from the computer and walk at least through the office. Swimming is very beneficial for the legs. This type of physical activity optimally combines all the positive effects on the lower extremities and is recommended for various venous diseases. Exercises for the legs that you can do yourself:
- In a standing position “shift from foot to foot”
- In a sitting or lying position, move your feet, simulating pressing on the pedals
- In a sitting position, raise small objects with your feet from the floor;
In addition, it is useful to massage the feet, walk barefoot more often. Of the therapeutic procedures, the use of compression hosiery, wearing individual orthopedic insoles, pneumopressotherapy is effective.Wearing compression hosiery helps to reduce swelling of the lower limb and fluid retention in the legs, increases the efficiency of the leg muscles in pumping venous blood and, thus, reduces stagnation of blood and lymph. Compression knitwear has an undeniable advantage over elastic bandages, both due to the comfort of wearing and due to clearly graduated compression. You need to know that the therapeutic effect of wearing compression hosiery depends on the careful selection of its size and degree of compression.Ideally, jersey should be individually selected, and its selection should be preceded by taking measurements from the leg. The effectiveness of elastic compression increases when it is prescribed in combination with medications – venotonic. Pneumopressotherapy is a method of apparatus physiotherapy, which is a method of mechanical action on the tissues of the lower extremities, as a result of which venous blood is displaced from muscle “pockets” where it stagnates, as well as excess extracellular fluid.This is a kind of “squeezing massage”, performed not manually, but with the help of special equipment, which makes it possible to dose the effects depending on the density and permeability of tissues. Only one such procedure replaces 20-30 manual massage sessions. In addition to the therapeutic effect on venous and lymphatic vessels, pneumopressotherapy also has a positive effect from the point of view of cosmetology, helping to fight cellulite, eliminate skin flabbiness, making it more elastic. Electromyostimulation is a procedure in which a robot is used to stimulate the muscles of the legs.The device causes rhythmic muscle contractions, during which stagnant blood is “squeezed out” of the muscles. Thus, the venous and lymphatic outflow from the soft tissues is improved. This procedure can be used both in combination with pneumopressotherapy and elastic compression, and in case of difficulties with wearing compression hosiery (very full legs, changes in the skin, hot season, etc.). Correction of flat feet. The most effective method is orthopedic insoles. It is especially important to wear shoes with insoles if the work is connected with the forced long stay on the feet.Ideally, insoles should be custom made and subsequently adjusted as needed. Correctly performed flat feet correction will help you not only with the syndrome of tired legs, but also with pain in the knee and hip joints, lumbar spine.
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