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Why do your Legs Hurt After a Long Walk and How to Soothe the Pain at Home?

A walk is something that is healthy for all individuals, regardless of age. It is a healthy routine  that has been recommended by both medical professionals and professional athletes. Studies have also found that a simple walk benefits both your physical well-being as well as your mental well-being. However, experiencing leg pain after walking and several other niggles are unavoidable.

The causes of the pain can easily be identified. Moreover, they can be rectified using simple home remedies.

Why do your Legs Hurt After a Long Walk?

Let us first answer why leg pains happen in the first place after a long walk.

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)

If you have ever experienced sore legs after a long walk, chances are you are suffering from Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. What is DOMS? It is the muscle soreness you experience after a workout. This normally happens 24 to 48 hours after the workout.

DOMS, concerning walking, would normally occur when you have not engaged in any  physical activity in a while.  This also could depend on your age.

The older you get, the longer the recovery period is from DOMS. Fret not though, there is no reason for any concern. It is natural and can be resolved right in  your own home.

Poor Blood Circulatory System and Anatomical Reasons

There are also cardiovascular, and anatomical reasons for leg pain after walking.

Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral artery disease occurs when the blood flow to the muscle groups is restricted by fat and cholesterol build-up. This is common in people who do not follow a healthy diet, and have habits such as smoking. Since blood flow is restricted to the legs during a walk, your legs will start hurting and sometimes cramp up. This  occurs because the legs are starved of oxygenated blood.

Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Similarly, chronic venous insufficiency results from restricted blood flow. However, it is not a result of plaque build-up in the arteries. This occurs when the valves and arteries are damaged. Subsequently, allowing the pooling of blood in the legs. So, if you ever did a long walk and experienced immediate swelling, inflammation, or sharp pain in the thighs, it is likely that you might have developed a poor circulatory system.

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

Although the symptoms are similar to peripheral artery disease, the cause is very different. It has been found that when the spinal disks, vertebrae, or the surrounding structure impinge on the spinal cord, it can result in pain in the lower back. It is most commonly associated with sharp pains in the leg area.

Diabetic Neuropathy

Did you know that having high blood sugar levels can result in the deteriorating of nerves? Studies show that when an individual suffers from high sugar levels, the tiny blood vessels supplying to the nerves get damaged. This allows for nerve strokes to occur and is often experienced in the legs. The main symptom for this is not leg pain, it is numbness and losing the feeling of the leg at certain periods[i].

How to Soothe the Pain at Home

Now on to the home remedies and tips on how to reduce leg pain after walking.

Simple Home Remedies

Like mentioned before, you don’t need to worry about your legs hurting after a walk. If you ever do experience calf pain or swelling in the legs, home remedies are easily available.

Massage

One of the most common solutions is to massage. This can help flush out the excess lactic acid from the legs. This also aids the legs to pump out pooled blood and receive oxygenated blood. Of course, getting a massage from a specialist can be a bit of a hassle. Which is why SPRYNG is the perfect alternative. This muscle recovery tool uses active compression pads to mimic the skeletal pump of the calf muscles. Therefore, enabling the legs to flush out the lactic acid and get rid of the pooled blood. You can now recover from leg pain in no time!

Anti-inflammatory Ointments and Gels

Applying some of these ointments and gels can also do the trick. It is one of the easiest home remedies for leg pain. If it is something like DOMS, it should help ease the soreness. However, if the pain or swelling persists, it is best to consult a sports physician.

Ice

Another simple home remedy is to apply ice. Such an application to the legs will help the body reduce blood flow to the stressed area. This not only reduces inflammation, but also reduces pain from DOMS. Even if you do suffer from the other diseases mentioned, ice acts as a temporary solution for managing the pain, until you consult a specialist.

However, if your pain persists or if you believe that your pain could be related to a condition in your blood circulatory system or if the pain could be related to a medical condition you should immediately consult with your physician.

[i] https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/when-walking-makes-your-legs-hurt

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