Q:

Why do my legs feel so heavy?

A:

Heavy legs are a common symptom of peripheral artery disease, according to SecondsCount. The heavy sensation also points to varicose veins, according to the Mayo Clinic. In those who are heavy exercisers, heavy legs are a symptom of overtraining, adds the American Council on Exercise.

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According to SecondsCount, PAD develops when plaque blocks the arteries, restricting blood flow to the legs. As a result, heavy legs, sores on the legs and a burning sensation in the arms and legs may develop. Other symptoms of PAD include walking slowly, numbness in the legs and hair loss on the legs. Untreated PAD can result in conditions like critical limb ischemia and gangrene.

Varicose veins are caused by increased pressure on the veins in the legs, according to Mayo Clinic. Standing and walking are often responsible for varicose veins. Signs of varicose veins include the appearance of knotted veins that are blue or dark purple. Although varicose veins don’t typically cause pain, they can occasionally cause uncomfortable symptoms, such as heavy legs, muscle cramping, itching and pain while standing for long periods.

According to the American Council on Exercise, heavy legs also point to overtraining in athletes. This stems from lack of recovery time after working out. Other symptoms of overtraining include nagging muscle aches, irritability, excessive fatigue, loss of appetite and menstrual cycle disturbances.

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