Tired and Aching Legs

We all suffer from tired aching legs at one time or another. What causes aching legs is different for different people. It can be anything from standing or sitting when working to a long walk in the countryside.

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What are tired aching legs?

Tired and aching legs can best be described as a vague but uncomfortable sensation that is a sort of pain, but not a sharp pain. You know your legs ache, but you cannot identify where the pain is coming from exactly. Symptoms of aching legs include:

Pain or Burning

A sensation of pain or burning in the muscles of your legs, and deep within your legs. The exact location of this pain can be difficult to explain.

Moving around

Sometimes your tired aching legs feel worse if you are moving around. Trying to walk further causes more aching. This type of ache occurs when the muscles do not get enough oxygen and are relieved by resting. It then disappears completely. This is known medically as intermittent claudication.


If you find your legs ache when you have been standing for long periods at work can be a sign of varicose veins. While the pain can get more intense if you continue standing, resting your legs with your ankle higher than your hip can bring relief.

What causes tired and aching legs?

The causes of aching legs are many and varied. Some common causes of tired aching legs include:

Muscle cramps

If you are taking exercise that is perhaps slightly more intense than you are used to, you can create a build-up of lactic acid in your muscles. This causes inflammation and slight cramps. This is uncomfortable but is temporary and usually, wears off within a day or so.

Poor circulation

If you have diabetes, or if you smoke, you can have problems with Poor Circulation in your legs. A deep aching and burning sensation can be a result of furring up of the arteries that supply your leg muscles with blood. This is known as peripheral vascular disease and often causes tired and aching legs.

Varicose veins

When the tiny valves in the veins of your legs collapse, blood can build up and cause a blockage. This makes the veins swell and expand. Tired aching legs is a common symptom of Varicose Veins.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

If one of the veins deep within your leg becomes blocked by a clot, this causes the leg to swell and leads to intense aching, which is difficult to relief. Deep Vein Thrombosis usually occurs in one leg, rather than both at once.

Top tips on how to prevent tired and aching legs

There are many lifestyle changes and choices you can make to help prevent tired and aching legs. Some of the changes that might work for you include:


Taking more exercise, particularly walking and swimming.

Stop smoking

Stop smoking – see your pharmacist or doctor for advice and help on how to stop.

Seeing your GP

Seeing your GP for advice on your diet if you are overweight or obese, or joining a slimming club to regain a healthier body weight. Extra weight puts pressure on the circulation in your legs.

Your doctor, specialist and your pharmacist can all advise about the correct compression garment.

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