Rhythmic walking is one of the activities most recommended by doctors for those who need to improve their physical condition. It helps oxygenate the body, puts muscles in shape, and minimizes the effects of stress. In addition, it improves cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
However, this activity that may seem harmless and stimulating can cause severe discomfort in the legs; what is this? The reason for this ranges from muscle inertia to circulation problems. In this FastlyHealarticle, we explain the reasons that can answer the question of why my legs hurt when walking.
Leg pain when walking.
Exercise is an activity that generally causes some pain in the muscles that are exercised, even in those people used to routine workouts. The main reason for this ailment is muscle overuse, which can also occur in low-impact activities such as walking.
The important thing in the face of the ailment is to pay attention to its intensity, pattern, and origin. Does it always hurt? Does the pain decrease with rest? Does it hurt during exercise or at the end? All these variables will be decisive in diagnosing the origin of the pain.
In the case of walking, leg pain usually has two common causes: lack of exercise. And two, circulatory problems such as arterial insufficiency. Other causes can be associated with muscle cramps or stiffness. In situations like these, one of the reasons may be dehydration.
Where does it hurt?
Muscle fatigue associated with excessive exercise and lack of training is characterized by intense pain in the areas of most significant impact. In the case of walks, it can be reflected in the glutes, front thighs, and calves after exercise.
If the pain is located in the ankles, fingers, or sole, the correct footwear is possibly not being used. You should also check the footprint or the terrain where the activity is being practiced. Any of these conditions could cause injury to the body.
When pain is concentrated in the calf muscles (calves) intensely during exercise, it may be due to circulation, known as intermittent claudication, which disappears when activity is stopped immediately.
Insufficient muscle oxygen causes leg pain when walking
The medical reason the legs can hurt when walking is the lack of oxygen in the muscles, better known as intermittent claudication, which consists of an arterial insufficiency that reduces the supply of oxygen to the muscles.
The ailment of this type occurs during exercise, forcing the person to stop the activity for a few minutes. Then you can resume the walk without significant complications. Severe pain occurs in the calves and buttocks.
The leading cause of intermittent claudication is arteriosclerosis, a more common condition in men. It accumulates cholesterol and calcium in the arteries, causing plaques that obstruct circulation. Other ailment causes can be thrombosis, varicose veins, or blood clots.
What to do if my legs hurt when walking
To improve the ailment, the most indicated is rest. Also, the use of warm compresses is recommended when the pain is not very intense. High-performance athletes are used to undergoing hot and cold therapy to treat their muscles. However, this type of therapy is vital under supervision since bad practice can affect strength. The same thing happens with therapeutic massages. In case of swelling, pain to the touch, or redness of the limb, it is recommended to visit the specialist.
If this leg pain is due to poor circulation, placing the legs up high benefits venous return. You can lie down on the bed and place your legs on a couple of pillows or place them on a bench, sitting in an armchair. In either case, the legs must be higher than the pelvis.
Recommendations to avoid leg pain when walking
- Check your footwear. When buying walking shoes, you must be sure that it is the correct one, whether it is specially designed for that activity or if it corresponds to your type of footprint.
- Use a stop marker. Enthusiasm is a common characteristic at the beginning of a sport, which in many cases leads to excessive exercise. The same happens on the walk. A step counter helps avoid excesses and gradually increase resistance “step by step.”
- Monitor your heart rate. It doesn’t matter if it is a relaxing activity like a walk. Maintaining your heart rate is essential to ensure performance during exercise. In addition, it avoids other complications such as dizziness, uncontrolled breathing, and overexertion of the heart.
- Establish training routines. Designing a training plan is the best way to increase physical capacity. Each day, set goals that you know you can meet but add difficulty to your routine. Setting meters or kilometers per day is an easy way to establish a pattern in the case of walks.
In the presence of any chronic or constant pain, it is always important to see a specialist. At FastlyHeal, we only share informative data, so we always recommend a medical check-up in the event of an ailment. Early medical attention can prevent any illness or disease. An accurate diagnosis provides quality of life to the patient and even contributes to their emotional well-being.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.