Why Do My Legs Ache?
Tired and achy legs are usually not a cause for concern. However, if you are at risk for certain health conditions like heart disease or peripheral artery disease (PAD), you may be worried that your painful legs could be a sign of something more serious. Experiencing symptoms from PAD can significantly impact your well-being as it can make it more difficult to complete simple tasks.
If you want to know if your tired and achy legs could be caused by PAD, take our risk assessment quiz.
USA Vascular Centers specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of PAD to improve the quality of a patient’s life. Understanding the reasons why people have achy legs, and the relationship between having this discomfort and PAD, can get you on the path to the best resolution for your symptoms.
What Causes Legs to Feel Tired and Achy?
Sitting or Standing for Long Periods
It’s never good to sit or stand for more than 30 minutes at a time. But in some situations, you may not have a choice, particularly if your career requires you to sit or stand while you work. If you are experiencing tired, achy legs while sitting or standing, this could be a sign of another condition called vein disease. Vein disease is not a life-threatening condition; however, it does have the potential to cause serious complications if left untreated.
Sometimes your legs may ache after you exercise heavily. Although the soreness can be quite intense, it’s completely normal and should go away within a few days after exercising. For temporary relief from the pain, ice the affected areas for 20 minutes at a time.
Diabetes and smoking are two leading causes of poor blood circulation. If you are experiencing tired, achy legs and you smoke or are diabetic, it could be due to the blocked arteries that supply blood to your leg muscles. This is the first indication of peripheral artery disease (PAD).
Deep Vein Thrombosis
When a clot of blood forms in one of your deep veins, it can cause the legs to feel tired and achy. This is a serious condition known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT most commonly occurs in the legs, although it can affect other parts of the body like the pelvis or arms. There are other symptoms associated with DVT, including skin discoloration, swelling, and warmth around the area.
DVT is a life-threatening emergency. If you believe you may have a blood clot, you should seek emergency care immediately. You will likely receive a blood thinner and be sent home, but should follow up with your primary care physician. They may, in turn, recommend you visit with a specialist like those at USA Vascular Centers for ongoing care.
How Does PAD Cause Legs to Ache and Feel Fatigued?
Leg pain means something different for each individual. Some patients have aching legs or soreness, while others feel pain in the lower legs or notice a throbbing sensation. When you have PAD, the pain in your legs is caused by insufficient blood flow to the legs. PAD develops due to plaque buildup in the arteries in the legs. The arteries narrow, which lessens the amount of blood and oxygen getting through. The result is leg pain and cramping, along with other health issues.
About one in four patients report claudication, which is muscle pain or weakness in the leg muscles that starts when you perform a physical activity and stops once you sit down to rest. However, PAD can increase the likelihood of the achy feeling in the legs continuing at night when you’re trying to sleep, which may be an indication that the disease has progressed.
How to Treat Aching Legs Caused by PAD
To alleviate the leg pain associated with PAD, you need to treat your condition. USA Vascular Centers can help you reduce these painful symptoms with minimally invasive treatments, such as stent placement, angioplasty, and atherectomy. We will also work with you to find lifestyle changes to improve your health as part of a complete treatment plan.
Schedule a Consultation With USA Vascular Centers
If your aching legs are impacting your daily activities and quality of life, you don’t have to continue to suffer. USA Vascular Centers offers treatments that will help alleviate leg pain and other symptoms of PAD. Our vascular specialists will work with you to find the right treatment that allows you to regain mobility and live your life.
Give us a call at 888.773.2193 or schedule a consultation online to visit one of our over 40 treatment centers throughout the country.