What Makes Aging Adults Develop Weakness in Their Legs?

What Causes Leg Weakness in Elderly People?

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Leg pain is one of the common types of chronic pain older adults experience. This type of pain, whether it’s persistent or sudden, can be reason for concern because of the possible impact it can have on mobility, sleep, and other important daily functions. As for what causes leg weakness in elderly people, below you’ll find some of the common sources of this type of discomfort. 


Lack of Regular Exercise

For some older adults, leg weakness develops over time because of a lack of sufficient lower body exercise. This is a problem that can be solved with forms of exercise that target leg muscles, including: 

  • Walking 
  • Cycling or stationary bike use 
  • Doing certain yoga poses 

Sitting for a long time can also affect leg muscles. Encourage your senior loved one to get up regularly to stretch and walk around to keep his or her leg muscles strong. 

Some conditions can make it challenging for aging adults to exercise on their own, but help is available. Elder care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.


Poor Posture

Leg muscles can also weaken over time because of poor posture habits. Remind your loved one to pay attention to how he or she sits and stands to avoid overstressing soft tissues, bones, and joints in the legs. 


Lower Back Problems

Leg weakness in elderly people is sometimes related to problems affecting the lower back area. A common source of this type of leg weakness is a herniated or slipped disc that’s irritating the sciatic nerve, which starts in the lower back and moves downward into the legs. Most people with this type of discomfort respond well to medication, physical therapy, and other conservative treatments. 



Stroke is one of the top causes of disability among seniors. A stroke can also affect the parts of the brain that handle movement, coordination, and sensation in a way that affects the legs. It’s also common for a stroke to affect one side of the body, which may make one leg weaker. Many stroke survivors respond well to rehabilitation efforts. 

If your loved one needs help with everyday tasks while recovering from a stroke, a home caregiver can be the ideal solution. Fremont home care services experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.


Multiple Sclerosis

While often diagnosed in people between the ages of 20 and 50, multiple sclerosis (MS) can cause problems with leg strength and mobility later in life. While MS is a lifelong condition, seniors living with this disease may benefit from regular physical therapy that includes leg-strengthening exercises. 


Diabetic Nerve Damage

Also referred to as diabetic neuropathy, diabetic nerve damage can contribute to leg weakness in elderly people by affecting circulation and damaging nerves. Leg muscles may also become weaker over time if this type of nerve damage spreads. If your loved one has diabetes, encourage him or her to take the steps recommended by the doctor to manage the symptoms. Medication along with massage therapy and similar therapeutic techniques may also be beneficial. 


Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative disorder that often affects mobility by causing leg muscles to become stiff. The slow movement (bradykinesia) associated with Parkinson’s can also weaken leg muscles over time. Seniors with Parkinson’s may be able to minimize leg weakness issues with: 

  • Medication 
  • Appropriate lifestyle changes 
  • Physical therapy to minimize muscle loss in legs 

Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Fremont, CA, Assisting Hands Home Care are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. For reliable in-home care services, contact us today.