We can never imagine life without our legs. They carry our body weight as we carry the weight of the world in our busy day-to-day life. Leg pain and weakness is a common problem which can affect people regardless of any age.

From children to elderly, leg pain is a common bothersome issue which does not let us focus and carry out our daily activities. It can be felt as a mild, aching, dull, or tingling pain to a severe, sharp, and unbearable pain. A leg pain can be caused due to a number of reasons, it can be caused by a muscle sprain or strain, muscle tear, nutritional deficiency, muscle fatigue, muscle spasm, long standing hours, nerve problems, dehydration, bone fracture etc. All the above-mentioned conditions need medical intervention and one has to consult a doctor.

However, we are highlighting a few self-care tips that may help you with your leg pain at home.

  1. Healthy food for strong legs
  2. Meditation for leg pain
  3. Tart cherry juice for leg pain
  4. Hot Compress for leg pain
  5. Potassium for leg pain
  6. Vitamin D for leg pain
  7. Ginger for leg pain
  8. Epsom salt for leg pain
  9. Apple cider vinegar for leg pain relief
  10. Leg pain medicines
  11. Turmeric for leg pain treatment
  12. Cold compress for leg pain relief
  13. Sunlight for stronger bones
  14. Walk to strengthen leg muscles and to get rid of leg pain
  15. Exercise for leg pain
  16. Massage to get rid of leg pain
  17. Lemon juice for leg pain
  18. Wear the right shoes to cure leg pain

A British study based on diet and lifestyle was conducted on approximately 8500 people. The study suggested that if you eat unhealthy, improper diet and your body is dehydrated, you may suffer from body pain and muscle spasms. Hence, it is not only important to drink plenty of water, but also consume fruits and vegetables which have higher water content. 

  • You are recommended to take a diet rich in protein, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins. The commonly available protein-rich sources that you can consume for good muscle strength are eggs, broccoli, soy, almonds, cottage cheese, and yogurt.
  • Including potassium-rich foods in your meals may also help in relieving leg pain. These include cooked spinach, potatoes, sweet potato, bananas, mushrooms, plums, cucumber, raisins, and tomatoes.
  • It is also found that a magnesium-rich diet is beneficial in treating symptoms of body pain which includes leg pain too. Magnesium-rich foods include pumpkin seeds, kale, lima beans, cabbage, sunflower seeds, broccoli, seafood, spinach, figs, avocado, etc.
  • You should also include Vitamin B-rich foods such as eggs, carrots, wheat, sweet potato, oats, cottage cheese, fish, etc.
  • Along with minerals and vitamins, you may also consume apple cider tonic which helps in relieving leg pain and helps get rid of weakness.

How to make apple cider tonic 

To make this tonic, you are supposed to take a glass of warm water and add one teaspoon of raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar. To this, add a little lemon juice and honey and stir well. This tonic is supposed to be taken one to two times a day.

Consume blackstrap molasses to include iron, calcium, potassium, and Vitamin B in your diet.

How to use it

You can mix one teaspoon of blackstrap molasses with one glass of warm water or milk. This drink should be consumed once or twice daily. If you want a change of taste, you may also add two teaspoons of blackstrap molasses to one cup of water. To this, add two teaspoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar. Have it once every day.

Meditation helps in relaxing your mind, reducing anxiety and easing the pain.

Lie down or sit straight and close your eyes. Take deep breaths and focus on breathing. Do this for at least 15-20 minutes a day.

Tart cherry is well-known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. A study published in 2013 on the cherries and their antioxidant potential on pain relief also says that they contain natural anti-inflammatory compounds which help in reducing swelling and relieving pain.  

How to use it

You may either eat a cup of tart cherries or have tart cherry juice once daily to treat your leg pain and swelling.

As we have mentioned above in cold compress, heat compress also relieves leg pain. Using a heat compress on the affected body area will help in improving blood flow in the muscles. As the blood flow increases, your pain gets relieved.

How to do it

Fill a plastic bottle or a water bag with hot water and put it evenly all over the affected area for 15-20 minutes. Doing this several times a day will relieve your pain.

Note: do not put the hot water bottle directly on your skin. Doing so can lead to burns. Cover the affected area with a thick towel and then use the hot water bottle on it.

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A recent article on hypokalemia (low potassium levels) suggested that a decrease in potassium levels is related to pain and muscle weakness.

What to do?

Eat potassium-rich foods such as banana, sweet potato, raisins, etc two to three times a day to maintain potassium levels in your body. This will improve the metabolism and function of your leg muscles and will relieve the pain.

Sometimes, leg pain and weakness may also occur because of a deficiency of vitamin D in the body. To treat this, you can do one of the following things:

What to do?

Bathe in the morning sunlight every day for at least 15-20 minutes. Doing this will let your skin produce vitamin D in your body.

You may also consult a doctor to take vitamin D supplements. Doing this will also help in restoring calcium and phosphorus levels in your body.

A study conducted in 2010 on the effects of ginger on muscle pain suggests that ginger reduces muscle pain especially the one which occurs after exercises. Ginger is one of the most commonly used herbs all over the world. It not only reduces inflammation, swelling or pain but also helps in improving blood circulation in the body.

How to use it

You can boil one inch of ginger in water and drink the tea three times a day. You may also add honey and lemon drops to it to improve the taste.

If the taste is not bothersome to you, you may also eat 2-3 ginger slices in a day.

Epsom salt has been used by many people to relieve pain. It is said that Epsom salt enters your body through the skin, however, it hasn't been proven yet. It not only helps in relieving leg pain but also helps in soothing sore muscles.  

How to use it?

You may add Epsom salt to warm water for bathing in it. Alternatively, you may also try soaking legs warm water with Epsom salt in it for 15-20 minutes.

A recent study based on the effects of the external application of apple cider vinegar suggests that apple cider vinegar is very helpful in treating leg pain. It also helps in reducing the uric acid level in the blood and flushes out toxins from your body.

How to use it?

Add a cup of apple cider vinegar in your bathtub full of warm water. Sit in the bathtub for 20-30 minutes or bathe in it. If you do this once daily your pain might get relieved.

There are a lot of over the counter pain relief gels, sprays, and creams which can be applied to the pain affected areas. They provide relief within a few minutes of application. You may also take painkiller tablets as prescribed by the doctor such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, etc (if you are not allergic to them) to relieve your pain.

The latest update on over-the-counter (OTC) painkiller medicines suggests that ibuprofen should not be used more than three times a day and acetaminophen more than four times a day. Doses for adults and children are different. You must always check with the pharmacist or your doctor before giving any kind of painkiller to your child. Aspirin should not be given to children.

According to a review based on the effects of turmeric on health hinted that turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It has been used since ages for pain relief and to heal various body injuries. Turmeric contains curcumin which is responsible for reducing inflammation (swelling).

How to use it

You may take one teaspoon of turmeric and mix it with sesame oil, castor oil or mustard oil to make a paste. Apply this paste on the affected area and massage for at least five minutes. Let it stay there for about half an hour and wash with warm water. Do this procedure two times a day till you feel relieved.

Sometimes, leg pain can arise because of intense physical activities such as lifting weights, running, swimming, biking, etc. Physiotherapy based studies claim that the use of cold and hot compress suggests that a cold compress not only relieves your pain but also reduces the swelling (inflammation) in the affected area. However, it is advisable to get all kinds of inflammations inspected by a doctor or physiotherapist before applying a cold and hot compress.

How to use it

Take a thick towel, place 3-4 ice cubes in it and tie it from the top. Place this bag evenly all over the affected area for at least 10-15 minutes. To get relief, you should do this several times a day.

Note: It is not advised to put ice cubes directly on your skin as it can cause a frostbite.

The Journal of Internal Medicine highlights the direct relationship of the effect of sunlight on bones and muscles. Researchers suggest that the UV rays present in sunlight help in producing Vitamin D in our body naturally.

Vitamin D plays a vital role in calcium and phosphorus metabolism. As many of you may already know, calcium and phosphorous are the minerals which are important for muscle and bone strength. Hence, when Vitamin D levels are adequately present in the body, it relieves pain and reduces muscle weakness.

Best way to synthesize vitamin D naturally

Sit in the morning sunlight for at least 10-15 minutes every day to balance Vitamin D level in your body. Expose your face, arms, and legs to the sunlight. To prevent suntan, you may choose to use any sunscreen with SPF 15.

(Read more: Sunburn)

Research conducted on leg muscle-strength strongly hinted a direct association between walking and muscle strength.

According to a scientific study, walking is one of the best ways to strengthen your leg muscles with a special mention to brisk walking which is believed to not only tone your leg muscles but also strengthen them. It is advised that you should walk for at least 30 minutes every day or for at least five days a week for strengthing and also improving blood circulation. 

You may also choose to include other exercises such as swimming, trekking, biking, jogging, etc to strengthen your muscles.

A recent comprehensive review has associated yoga and exercises with pain relief.

The study suggests that yoga and exercise can help you get rid of the leg pain. Sarvanga asana is one of the most beneficial yoga poses which will not only help your legs but will also help the rest of your body.

How to do it?

Lie down flat on your back and relax by taking a few deep breaths. Start raising your legs slowly in the air. Once your legs are straight up, put your palms below your back to support your waist and try to raise your torso as well.

This might not come easy in one go but with practice, you will be able to improve and balance your yoga postures.

Other exercises and the correct way of doing them

Stretching hamstrings
Lie down on your back and slowly straighten one leg in the air so that the soul of your foot faces the ceiling.

Support your thigh with your hands or a towel wrapped around it. Hold this position for 10 seconds and repeat the same with the other leg. Do this at least ten times per leg. 

Heel Slide
Lie down on your back and relax. Take a few deep breaths.

Now gently slide the heel of one foot on the mat and fold your leg such that the heel gets closer to your hip. Repeat the same with the other leg. Do this exercise for five minutes.

Swiss ball squats
Take a swiss ball and pin it between your back and the wall. Stand in a position so that your feet are two feet away from your body.

Now gently slide down while stabilizing the ball till your thighs are parallel to the floor. Stretch your arms out in front of your chest. Repeat this at least 12-15 times. 

Quad press
Keep your feet and palms on the floor and balance your weight. Your heels should be off the floor. Now, slowly bend your elbows and knees and lower down your body. Keep your back flat while doing this. Repeat this exercise at least ten times.

Start with keeping your upper body straight and keep your chin up. Relax your shoulders. Take a step forward with one leg and gently lower your body till both your knees are at a 90-degree angle.

Your front knee should be exactly above your ankle. Repeat the same by bringing the other leg forward. Do this 10 times with one leg.

If you have doubts, you should always consult a physiotherapist to ask if these exercises are suitable for you. The physiotherapist will also help you in knowing the correct way of doing these exercises.

A recent review was done in 2016 to see the effect of massage in pain relief. It suggests that massaging your body especially after physical exercise may reduce pain in your limbs. You may either do it by yourself, ask a family member, a friend or seek professional help from a therapist to massage in the right way.

How to do it

You may take any essential oil as per your liking and skin types such as mustard oil, olive oil or coconut oil and heat it a little. Do not bring it to boil.

Put a small quantity of this oil in your hands and start massaging your legs and feet. Use circular strokes along with rubbing and pressing to relax your muscles. You may do this two to three times a day to get relief.

A study conducted in 2011 based on the effects of lemon on pain relief suggests that lemon relieves muscular pain, especially when used with fish oil. Like many other herbs mentioned above, lemon also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. 

How to use it

Squeeze one lemon and mix the juice with equal amount of castor oil. Apply this mixture wherever you have pain in the body. Doing this twice or thrice will help in relieving your pain.

It has been observed that people often do not wear the right kind of footwear. You also might not have noticed as of now, but check if you are wearing the right kind of shoes.

The shoes that you wear should be comfortable and of the right size that fit your feet. Shoes which are smaller than your foot size, have high heels, have tight straps, etc may cause leg pain.

Wearing such shoes for a long time may also affect your posture and cause spine problems. Hence, it is better to wear shoes which have a soft sole, are comfortable and have low heels to prevent leg pain.


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