Pain, cramp and weakness in legs can harm our day to day routine. Unable to walk shorter distance, climbing steps, not able to stand on feet for more than ten minutes, cramps in legs are symptoms of leg weakness and decreased strength in legs.
Many reasons can be attributed for weak legs – over activities, no exercise, arthritis, sitting or standing for longer period, weakness in muscles, damage in nerves, nutrients deficiency and poor blood circulation are common reasons for weakness in legs. Sedentary life style can have greater impact on flexibility of muscles and it causes severe leg pain. Sometimes leg injuries can be reason for weakness.
Common symptoms of leg weakness
- Swelling in calves and feet
- Muscle spasms day and night
- Burning sensation in feet and entire leg
- Tingling and twitching
- Impaired balance
- Back pain and knee pain
- Unable to walk shorter distance
Strengthen weak legs and reduce leg pain, weakness and increase blood circulation and flexibility with these tips:
- Massage: Massage legs regularly using warm sesame oil, coconut oil or olive oil for about 15 to 20 mins. Giving massage twice a day helps muscle to relax.
- Keep hydrated: Consider eating more water-based vegetables and fruits. Take less salt and drink recommended amount of water to prevent dehydration of body. In between and after exercise consider drinking water. Avoid too much caffeinated drinks as they can cause dehydration.
- Walking: Walking everyday for 20 to 30 mins helps blood circulation and builds muscle strength.
- Exercises: There are many exercises are recommended for weak legs (see below images). Repeating each pose for 3 to 5 times helps muscles to be active and strong.
- Vitamin D: Deficiency of vitamin D results in weakness of muscles. Get checked for vitamin D deficiency and if it is low then consider taking supplements. Sitting in Sun helps to get vitamin. Eat vitamin D rich food – orange juice, fortified milk etc. in diet helps too.
- Acupressure/acupuncture: Both these treatments helps to release the pain.
- Protein: Include protein your diet. If you are vegetarian or vegan find out what are the protein rich sources. Lentil, nuts, yogurt, milk, soy products are few examples.
- Other nutrients: Potassium, magnesium, Vitamin B are critical for leg strengthening. Include foods that contain these nutrients -oatmeal, yogurt, cheese, banana, spinach, almonds, tomato, pomegranate, sweet potato, prune in your daily diet. Figs are good sources of calcium and magnesium that are essential for bone strengthening. Vegetarians are often having low Vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 supplements helps to reduce leg pain.
Avocados with omega-3, oranges supply vitamin C, grape juice rich in flavonoids, anti-inflammatory fruits like blueberries, anti-inflammatory root vegetables like ginger and turmeric, amino acids in watermelon are other good sources of foods that help to strengthen legs.
- General do’s and don’ts for leg strengthening:
- Avoid sitting or standing in same position for too ling. Take break when you feel that legs are getting heavy and tired. Walk for 10 mins.
- Do not smoke, smoke has larger impact on blood circulation
- Avoid too much salt in food as it causes edema
- Reduce or avoid eating food high in saturated fats
- Elevate your legs while sleeping. Rest legs on elevated foot rest while sitting.
If your legs are constantly hurting and pain is recurring contact your physician to understand the reason for your pain.
Image: Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay (Free for commercial use) & www.werindia.com
Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: February 27, 2019