Feeling of heat in the leg: Possible causes (What to do?)

woman having calf pain after prolonged sitting

La feeling of heat in the leg is one of the symptoms of many pathologies. Among the possible causes of the sensation of heat in the leg, There's the sciatica, deep phlebitis, venous damage or various leg syndromes.

The leg includes many anatomical elements and these can all be the seat of a pathology. The sensation of heat in the leg can manifest itself on only one leg or both depending on the etiology.

Discover in this article the possible causes a feeling of heat in the leg along with some pointers on what to do.

Definition and anatomy of the leg

As you already know, the leg is the segment of the lower limb between the thigh and the foot. It articulates with the latter via two joints: the knee and the ankle.

Anatomically, the leg includes several structures such as:

  • Two long bones called fibula and tibia
  • Musculature ensuring the movements of the leg, foot and toes.
  • motor and sensory nerves
  • Arterial networks ensuring the vascularization of structures
  • Deep and superficial venous networks

Sensation of heat in the leg, what causes?

As mentioned earlier, the leg is formed by many structures. These can all be the seat of a pathology responsible for a sensation of heat in the leg.

Generally, the sensation of heat in the leg indicates the presence of an underlying pathology. In other words, it is a symptom and not a disease.

The person with hot leg sensations may also experience different symptoms depending on the cause. Among the possible causes are:

Sciatica 

La sciatica is caused by damage to the sciatic nerve or one of its nerve roots. It is manifested by localized pain all along the path of the sciatic nerve demonstrated as follows:

Thus, during sciatic neuralgia, the leg is one of the irradiation areas.

Aside from pain, there are also a host of other symptoms such as tingling, a decrease (or loss) of sensitivity and an abolition of ankle reflex.

Incidentally, the person may also feel a feeling of heat in the leg when she has a sciatica. And the sensation is localized mainly in one leg, depending on sciatic nerve touched (right or left).

Deep phlebitis

Also called deep vein thrombosis, deep phlebitis is caused by the formation of a clot in the deep venous network of the leg.

The formation of this venous clot is favored by the immobility of the leg over a long period, traumatisms of the leg as well as biological abnormalities acquired or not.

Deep phlebitis is characterized by acute pain, an increase in volume and a sensation of heat in the Calf (fleshy part of the leg)

As a result, deep phlebitis is one of the main causes of feeling of heat in the leg.

Venous insufficiency

Venous insufficiency is characterized by obstruction of venous circulation in the leg. This discomfort is caused by compression, thrombosis or damage to the venous circuit.

This damage also leads to a sensation of heat in the leg, as well as other symptoms such as pain, heaviness and swelling of the leg.

Combined with this, skin signs such as brown discoloration of the skin and plaque formation are also noticed.

Peripheral neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy includes damage to the nerves of the peripheral nervous system. In the event that the nerves innervating the leg are affected by this impairment, clinical signs will be observed in the leg.

Accompanied by motor and subjective signs, the feeling of heat in the leg is one of the sensory signs of degenerative neuropathy. In the case of peripheral neuropathy, the sensation of heat can be felt in both legs.

Restless legs syndrome

Restless legs syndrome is described as an urge to move the legs when the person is at rest. This syndrome manifests itself mainly at night.

The symptoms of this syndrome worsen during rest and disappear when the leg is in motion, hence the name "restless leg".

The person experiences unpleasant sensations in the leg such as tingling, itching, tingling, electric shocks and of course, a sensation of heat in the leg.

Burning feet syndrome

This syndrome includes a variety of unpleasant symptoms that manifest in the soles. The most characteristic symptom is the sensation of heat which can radiate to the leg. Accompanied by this, tingling and pain are also observed.

Burning feet syndrome and restless legs syndrome are believed to be the causes the most frequent feeling of heat in the leg.

Vitamin B12 deficiency

Vitamin B12 is one of the essential vitamins for blood formation. A vitamin B12 deficiency anemia leads, in a way, to an anomaly of the red blood cells.

This anemia is manifested by tingling sensations in the extremities and a feeling of heat that rises to the leg.

harmless causes

Sometimes also the feeling of heat in the leg is just caused by harmless causes such as:

  • Wearing too tight clothing that compresses the leg and puts the veins under pressure.
  • Cross your legs for a long time, because this position hinders venous return and causes blood to accumulate in the leg.
  • A change in temperature that results in disruption of the circulatory system.

In this case, the venous circulation is hampered and the blood that needed to be drained accumulates in the leg. The latter becomes red, swelling and hot, hence the feeling of heat in the leg.

THINGS TO DO

First of all, one should try to eliminate harmless causes by putting on loose clothing or regularly changing the pose of the legs. Applying a cold poultice to the warm part of the leg can also reduce the heat briefly.

If the feeling of heat in the leg persists despite everything, in this case, the best thing to do is to consult a health professional so that he can clarify the root cause. Indeed, only a doctor can issue the true diagnosis.

In order to confirm the diagnosis, the practitioner performs physical examinations and imaging examinations such as:

  • An ultrasound (ultrasound) in the case of deep phlebitis or venous insufficiency.
  • In the case of restless legs syndrome, the practitioner may prescribe an electromyogram of the leg muscles.

Support can follow following the medical consultation to treat the disease responsible for a feeling of heat in the leg.

Of course, adopting a healthy lifestyle and practice a regular physical activity are always recommended in order to optimize treatments.

For example, tense muscles can be relaxed with the following tools. This will not necessarily treat the cause, but will provide a short-term wellness effect:

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What about natural remedies?

Although they are not supported by solid scientific evidence, several natural products and home remedies are used to treat various body pains, especially for their anti-inflammatory power.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of plants and essential oils that are effective in controlling pain and inflammation:

  • Turmeric : Thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers very powerful, turmeric is one of the most used plants in a culinary and therapeutic context. The composition of turmeric is essentially made of essential oils, vitamins (B1, B2, B6, C, E, K) and trace elements. But it is to its composition rich in curcumin and curcuminoids that we owe them and calm skin of this spice.
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  • Ginger : In addition to the special flavor it brings to the kitchen and its aphrodisiac properties, ginger is a root well known for its anti-inflammatory powers. THE gingerol gives it its anti-inflammatory action. It is an active component acting on the inflammatory pain related to chronic joint inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, rheumatic diseases, etc. It has been proven that this active element is also effective in acting on the inflammation linked to arthritis and sciatica. Ginger also has other benefits thanks to its high potassium content and its richness in trace elements (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium) and vitamins (provitamin and vitamin B9).
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  • Omega-3s : Omega-3 are polyunsaturated fatty acids that play a very important role in the functioning of our body. They are provided by food in three natural forms: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), alpha linolenic acid (ALA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Beyond their action on the brain and the cardiovascular system, omega-3s prove very effective against inflammation. Indeed, they have the ability to act on the inflammatory mechanisms in osteoarthritis by slowing down cartilage destruction, thus they reduce the intensity of osteoarthritis pain. Sciatica, being most often linked to an inflammation secondary to a herniated disc, it can also respond to omega-3 provided it is consumed regularly. 

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  • Lemon eucalyptus: Eucalyptus is a plant most often used in the form of herbal tea or essential oil. She would have anti-inflammatory effects which give it the ability to act on the bone and joint pain in general and the pain of sciatica in particular.
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  • wintergreen : Wintergreen is a shrub from which a very interesting essential oil is extracted. It is one of the most used essential oils in aromatherapy. This oil extracted from the shrub bearing the same name, is used in massage to relieve sciatica and act like a analgesic. Indeed, it provides a heating effect thanks to its ability toactivate blood circulation locally.
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References

https://www.lombafit.com/irm-lombaire/

https://ca.sauerandsons.com/3421-hot-legs-symptoms-causes-and-therapy.html

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