What Causes Leg Pain When Sitting Down?

Most people will experience achy legs at some point in their lives. They’re a common side-effect of deep-muscle workouts, long walks or hikes, or even spending too much time on your feet at work. Typically, aching legs caused by overexertion will subside within a few days. 

Aching legs that last for more than two weeks could be symptoms of a more severe condition. These conditions can include:

  • Deep Vein Thrombosis
  • Sciatica
  • Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
  • Peripheral Artery Disease
  • Chronic Venous Insufficiency
  • Radiating Pain From Another Injury
  • Peripheral Neuropathy

A huge factor in many of these conditions is circulation — otherwise known as the vascular system. Without proper circulation, your legs may experience aches and discomfort, as well as numbness or tingling. Increasing circulation can be an effective way to manage discomfort or pain in your legs, promoting nerve and tissue repair and regeneration.

Is Lying Down Bad For Circulation?

Undiagnosed chronic leg pain-sufferers will often try to take care of their leg pain by avoiding physical exertion. Lying down when leg pain is an issue seems like an excellent way to treat that pain, and in cases when overexertion is the cause of the pain in healthy people, this is a good way to mitigate that pain while the body heals itself.

However, when circulation is the cause of chronic leg pain, lying down can make the symptoms worse. Poor circulation prevents oxygen from being transported to different parts of the body, especially the legs and feet and significantly impacts healing in many cases. Therefore, if your leg pain is causing you enough pain to keep you from moving for a significant amount of time, you should seek treatment from a doctor.

When Should I Be Concerned About Leg Pain?

Leg pain caused by a significant injury, cut, or bruise should be treated immediately. But what about pain caused by something unseen? Here’s when experts suggest you head to the doctor.

  1. If your leg pain is accompanied by swelling, redness, or warmth
  2. Blood clots are another condition that causes leg pain—these clots in the legs are a serious medical emergency. These most often show themselves after long trips or a recent surgery and feel like calf pain or cramps
  3. If you hear popping, cracking, or any other unusual sound coming from the joints in your legs
  4. If your leg is physically discolored or pale
  5. If you have wounds on your legs that are not healing
  6. If you have pain in your legs that does not subside
  7. If you have large varicose veins which hurt when they are touched
  8. If you notice you have labored breathing and swollen legs
  9. If the pain in your legs prevents you from being able to walk as you normally would and causes you to have to take breaks while walking

Many of these symptoms are due to vascular problems, which require professional medical care to treat.

How Do I Stop My Legs From Hurting When I Sit?

For physically fit and healthy people, the best way to keep your legs from hurting when you sit down is to stay active to promote circulation.  You can also take a multivitamin to rule out vitamin deficiencies being the cause of your leg pain or cramps.  Get plenty of sleep and drink the proper amount of water to encourage natural healing.

For all else, talk to your doctor or a vascular specialist like the ones at MVS before the pain gets worse. Mysterious leg pain might seem inconsequential in the moment, but it can have severe consequences if left untreated.