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Sports Medicine

Heavy legs



I have a participant in my Sit N Fit class and she asked me about her legs; she has 1 leg that feels much heavier than the other. This lady is in her 70`s so please give me some advice on what could be causing this. Thank You


If one of her legs is swollen, this could of course make it heavier than the other. One leg could have varicose veins, which could make it feel heavier, even if that leg didn't appear to be significantly larger than the other.

Although she feels one leg is heavier than the other, this may not actually be the case. For example, any of a number of neurological disorders could cause this feeling, such as a stroke or other condition involving one side of her brain, or a problem involving her spinal cord such as a disc and/or a bone spur pressing on one side of her cord in the neck, middle or lower back regions.

It would be best for her to consult with her physician, who can then obtain her medical history, perform a physical exam, and decide if any imaging studies such as an MRI scan would influence decision-making regarding her treatment options.

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Response by:

Brian L Bowyer, MD Brian L Bowyer, MD
Clinical Associate Professor
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University