Obesity has been linked to a number of pain and diseases, including high blood pressure, infertility, diabetes, sleep apnea, and heart attack. Though many people associate obesity with weight gain around the abdomen or around the thighs, other body parts are also affected by the excess weight. One of these body parts is your legs.
Table of Contents
- Why Does Obesity Cause Leg Pain?
- Leg Problems Associated With Being Overweight
- Exercises For Leg Pain
- Tips On How To Remedy Leg Pain
Why Does Obesity Cause Leg Pain?
Having excess leg weight can cause other problems in your knees and ankles which in turn will lead to pain in your calves, feet, or ankles. Extra weight around the legs (thighs and/or calves) can cause your feet and ankles to be overworked and put much strain on them. . The extra weight also puts pressure on your feet. Over time, this can cause swelling of the feet, painful blisters, and deformities in your toes. The more weight you carry around your knees, thighs, and below your waist (waistline), the more damage it will cause to these areas of your body. This is the reason why obese people often have leg pain.
Leg Problems Associated With Being Overweight
A varicose vein is the most common problem that people face with their legs after increasing amounts of weight. Varicose veins occur when the valves in the veins within your legs become weakened. The valves fail to close properly, allowing blood to flow freely through them, which can cause extensive arterial damage leading to leg pain and cramping. This condition is mainly caused by obesity, although other factors such as pregnancy, diabetes, and chronic lung diseases can also weaken the valves within your veins causing varicose veins.
Deep vein thrombosis
Deep vein thrombosis is a condition characterized by clots forming in the legs. Deep vein thrombosis is also known as DVT. It is an illness that can cause severe pains in your lower leg and even damage to the arteries in the legs, which can give you leg pain or prevent you from walking. When a blood clot forms within a vein, it stops blood from flowing freely through the affected area of the body.
Lymphedema is an accumulation of too much protein-rich fluid in the tissues, resulting in swelling and pain. This disease is also more prevalent among obese people. This is because the extra weight can cause varicose veins which in turn swell the lymphatic system. Lymph is a fluid that transports damaged cells throughout the body to be eliminated.
Blood clot is a blood clot that occurs within the circulatory system. Blood clots within the legs can result from a number of diseases, namely deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Blood clots normally dissolve on their own, however, if they are lodged into the circulation or travel too quickly through it to be dissolved it can lead to serious health problems such as heart attack or stroke. See the DTV (Deep Vein Thrombosis).
Chronic pain in the legs is the result of overuse due to the extra weight that can put your feet and legs under excessive pressure. This can cause pain or even damage to your bones, muscles, tendons, joints, nerves, and ligaments. Chronic pain caused by obesity can be severe enough to make it impossible for you to walk.
Ankle pain is usually caused by your ankle joints being overworked. Chronic obesity can damage the structures that hold the bones connected to the ankle joints in place. This can cause your ankles to be unstable and put too much weight on them. This excessive weight will lead to inflammation in your ankles, which will cause pain or swelling in your ankles.
Obesity places extra strain on the ligaments around your knee joint, which increases pressure in this area when walking, sitting, or standing for long periods of time. Extra pressure on your knee joints can result in pain or even ruptured tendons. In addition, excess body weight can cause inflammation in your knee joint, which will also cause pain.
Hip pain is generally caused by your hip joints becoming strained due to excess weight. In addition, if you have gained weight in your hips then this can cause your hips to become wider and even cause your thighs to become too wide, which in turn will cause the tendons within your hips to become inflamed. This will also cause a lot of strain on the muscles and ligaments around the hips.
Foot pain is caused by the extra pressure that your feet bear from being carried around with excessive weight. In addition, if you have gained weight in your feet they may become overworked and sore from being subjected to a constant workload. This will lead to foot pain or swelling in the feet.
See also: foot pain and benefits of arch support
The pelvis is a very important part of the body as it connects your legs to your spine and helps with movement along with containing important organs such as your bladder and reproductive system. The pelvis is therefore very susceptible to damage if it is not strong enough, and obesity can make the pelvis weak as it will put excess weight on the bones within this area of your body. This can cause inflammation, infections, and even breakage in the bones around the pelvis.
Exercises For Leg Pain
Reducing your weight will help in reducing or even alleviating pain in your legs. You can reduce your weight by exercising. Exercising properly for overweight people will help in increasing the flexibility in your joints. It also helps with blood flow in your leg muscles which can reduce pain in your legs when walking or exercising properly.
Knee extension exercise
This is one of the exercises that you can do to help increase motion in your knees. To do this exercise, you need to lie down on your back with your shoulders flat against the floor. Place a pillow behind your head for comfort and support. Kneel on the floor, lift one knee so it is bent at about 90 degrees. Place your hands behind you or under your head for support. Next, slowly straighten the knee until it is completely straight and then slowly bend it again so that it touches the floor. Alternatively, if this exercise is too painful you can lie on the floor and place your knees against your chest while leaning backward at an angle.
These are great for helping to treat the stiffness in your legs when you are lying down, sitting, or standing. When doing these exercises you need to bend your knees, something which will help in increasing the flexibility in your leg muscles. The good thing about this exercise is that all you need is a wall or object with an edge on it. You can use this for things like stretching when you are in bed.
Knee flexion exercise
The knee flexion exercise is an exercise that you can do to help strengthen the muscles in your lower legs. To do this, you need to lie down on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat against the floor. Next, lift both of your legs up until they are straight out in front of you. Exhale while doing this movement and then slowly bend your knees until they are bent at about 90-degrees on the floor.
Foot drop exercise
This exercise will help in improving the flexibility in your lower legs, especially in the calf muscles. To do this you need to stand with your feet together and drop them towards your calf muscles. Then slowly bend forward until your knees are bent. Hold this position for a minute or two and then slowly straighten up again.
Hip flexion exercise
The hip flexion exercise is an exercise that will help strengthen the muscles in your hips, thighs, and lower legs. To do this, you need to lie on the floor with your knees bent. Place your hands behind your head for support. Next, lift your hips up toward the ceiling. Slowly bend forward at the knees to one side, keeping them straight during this movement. Hold this position for a few seconds and then slowly return back to an upright position.
Tips On How To Remedy Leg Pain
Apply some ice packs to your feet and legs
This will help in relieving the pain in your legs. To do this you need to get an ice pack and place it against your feet. Alternatively, you can soak a towel in ice water and place it on the area of your leg that is causing pain or swelling. For example, if you are suffering pain in your lower legs then place the ice pack against your ankles.
Take a hot shower
Another way to relieve the pain in your legs is to take a hot shower. This will help in relaxing your muscles and loosening them up. In addition, taking a hot shower will help in warming up your body temperature so that you have better blood circulation.
When you are taking a hot shower it is important not to stay under the water for too long because this can cause you to get cold after you get out of the bath.
Try to remain active throughout the day. Try walking around your house if possible. This will help you quicken your recovery time and help reduce swelling or pain in your legs. If walking is not an option for you then try doing some push-ups or sit-ups while watching television instead of just sitting all day.
Use compression socks
This will help to increase the blood flow in your legs and relieve the pain. Compression socks work by applying gentle but constant pressure on your ankles, calves, and upper legs. In doing this, they encourage the blood vessels in your lower extremities to dilate, which in turn will cause more blood to circulate through them. If you want to maximize this effect then make sure that you use a compression sock that is made from a high-quality fabric such as cotton or nylon.
Stretch and strengthen your legs
This will help in strengthening and preventing pain in your legs by increasing the flexibility of the tendons and ligaments that surround your leg joints. To do this, you need to stand up and then slowly move both of your legs to one side so they are perpendicular to the floor. Then rotate both of them so they are leaning towards the other side. Return back to an upright position and repeat this exercise several times a day to maintain your muscle strength.
Drink plenty of water to avoid constipation and varicose veins
This will help in relieving the pain caused by varicose veins. A good way to drink water is by using a straw. This will allow you to avoid having to bend too much when you are trying to drink water. In addition, drinking plenty of water will help to flush out any toxins that you have eaten throughout the day.
Reduce the amount of sodium in your diet
Avoid eating too much sodium, especially if you are suffering from high blood pressure. This will help to reduce the risk of varicose veins by reducing the amount of fluid that is retained in your legs. To do this, be sure to check the nutrition label on food products that you are planning on buying at your grocery store to make sure that they aren’t high in sodium. If they are then you should go for a different product instead.
Make sure that you are getting enough sleep
Staying up all night can cause your muscles to start becoming weak and tighten, in turn causing pain in your lower legs in the morning. Similarly, sleeping on a hard surface for a long period of time will also cause your legs to become sore due to being in a curled-up position all night long.
Will losing weight help with leg circulation?
Leg circulation is a lot like blood circulation. If you have leg swelling, the increased pressure from excess fluids being retained in the legs by the unhealthy vascular system increases the pressure on your legs and causes pain and discomfort. This is why it can be helpful to lose weight if you are overweight because by losing weight you will be reducing the amount of fluid that your body retains.
What are the symptoms of poor blood circulation in the legs?
The most common sign of poor leg circulation is when someone develops leg swelling in the evenings. This can sometimes be caused by lying down for a long time in the evening, which increases the blood pressure in your legs. Another sign of poor leg circulation is when you begin to develop varicose veins. This can be caused by standing for long periods of time without taking a break, which forces the veins in your lower legs to stiffen and swell.
Does being overweight cause night leg cramps?
Being overweight can cause night leg cramps because it can make you feel heavier. This could lead to less blood circulation in your feet which could result in the blood vessels being blocked. This could be caused by fluid retention or nervous tissue.
How to avoid leg cramps:
– Choose your mattress and pillows carefully:
Sleeping with poor-quality pillows and mattresses can cause you to feel uncomfortable while sleeping. In turn, this could cause you to change the position of your legs or feet which could make you more prone to getting cramps. You need to make sure that the mattress and pillows you sleep on are supportive because this will also help to distribute the weight evenly. In addition, it is a good idea to get yourself a new mattress if you can afford it.
– Take care of your feet:
You should always wear comfortable socks while sleeping. Make sure that they are thick and warm enough so that you can keep your feet warm while sleeping. In addition, you should avoid wearing shoes while sleeping because this could cause your feet to become cold and wet which can cause an increase in cramps.
Is there a connection between leg cramps and age?
Leg cramps tend to be more prevalent in older adults because they are more likely to be obese. This is because blood vessels can become more susceptible to injury once they start to degenerate. Also, the muscles that control the leg cramps are often weaker as people get older which can cause them to cramp more easily.
How can you check the leg circulation at home?
There are several methods to check your leg circulation at home. One of the most convenient ways to do so is by using the leg-cocktail test which requires you to put your toes in a container of cold water. If you have poor blood circulation in your legs, they will soon start going numb after being immersed for a certain period of time.