Sore legs can occur if an individual strenuously engaged in physical activity or after a long walk. Anything that results to a problem, difficulty or danger to our well-being is called stress. Certain forms of stress are beneficial for the well-being of the individual. A stress that weakens the mental and physical health is bad. Stress increases the tension of the muscles, changes in blood pressure and release hormones and neurotransmitters. Walking is a natural way of fighting stress but it can result to discomfort or sore legs especially if the individual is not used to walking long distances.
How to deal with sore legs
- Elevate the legs above the level of the heart when resting since it promotes proper circulation of blood and lymph fluids in the lower legs or improve blood circulation in the area. Taking away socks and nylon from the feet lessens swelling and relaxes the feet. Another alternative is elevating the legs using layers of soft pillows when lying on the sofa and avoid crossing the legs or ankles to prevent stopping of blood flow.
- Soak the affected legs in a warm Epsom salt bath to lessen the swelling and pain especially if it due to muscle tension. The magnesium found in the salt relaxes the muscles. Avoid making the water too hot to prevent scalding but make it tolerated and soak in the bath for at least 30 minutes. If the affected leg is swelling, follow the warm salt bath with an ice bath until the legs feels numb for at least 15 minutes or so. Dry the feet thoroughly to avoid slipping and falls.
- Perform some mild stretching exercises since it relieves tension in the muscles and increase the flow of blood. Stretch the calves, quadriceps and hamstrings. Hold the stretching exercises without bouncing for at least 30 seconds for 3-5 times every day until discomfort in the legs is reduced.
- Perform quad stretches by standing or brace the body against a wall and then flex the knee and pull the foot that it touches the buttocks.
- Perform the hamstring stretch by standing and bending over at the waist until the toes can be touched.
- Before performing any activities such as walking long distance or any athletic activities, perform warm up and stretching exercises for the legs to prevent sore legs due to sprains, strains and muscle cramps.
- Take over-the-counter pain and anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or aspirin to lessen the pain and inflammation of the sore legs. Avoid taking these medications on an empty stomach to prevent the risk of developing an ulcer.
- Avoid wearing ill-fitting and excessively heavy shoes to prevent making the legs tired and sore. Wear shoes with ½ inch heels. When wearing shoes, tie the shoes tightly. Remember that loose shoes or flip-flops places significant strain on the lower leg muscles.
- Avoid being overweight.
- Massage the affected leg to lessen the tension of the muscles and inflammation. Massage also helps breaks down scar tissue and helps increase the flow of blood in the area.