Home Remedies for Leg Swelling

Leg swelling can occur as a symptom of several diseases and conditions. While it can happen at any time, it’s more common as you age. More than 4 million people annually complain about leg swelling in the U.S., ranking it one of the most common health problems in the country.

For many people, leg swelling is no more than an annoying occurrence due to edema, the buildup of fluid. However, leg swelling can also indicate serious health issues related to your heart, thyroid, kidneys, or liver. The condition can also indicate a problem with your veins, arteries, lymphatic drainage, and/or clotting systems. 

Leg swelling that affects only one leg may indicate the onset of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a potentially life-threatening condition that involves the formation of a blood clot in one leg. It can also be a sign of inflammation caused by tissue damage, a sprain, or a fracture.

The team of swelling and edema specialists at Precision Vascular has the expertise and experience to diagnose the source of your leg swelling and recommend appropriate treatment. After a thorough examination and medical history, your provider will advise the best home remedies for your symptoms. If your leg swelling is related to a medical condition that requires further diagnosis or medical treatment, they will guide you through your next steps to better health and relief.

Leg swelling related to edema can often be relieved with simple at-home treatments. Read on to learn some easy remedies you can do at home for this condition. 

Wear compression socks

Compression socks are stretchable, tight-fitting socks that gently squeeze your legs, feet, and ankles. They come in different weights that apply varying degrees of pressure. 

Compression socks help improve the way your blood vessels work by gently squeezing your legs. This helps promote blood flow from the legs back toward your heart faster. This squeezing prevents the buildup of fluid that can accumulate in the leg tissue with poor circulation. 

While you can purchase compression socks over-the-counter in drug stores, the size you wear should be based on your physician’s recommendation or a professional fitting. Wearing compression socks that are too tight can limit your blood supply and oxygenation, resulting in tissue death. 

Follow a low-salt diet 

Following a low-salt diet can help reduce swelling. Sodium is important in regulating water in your cells. It attaches to water in your body and helps maintain the balance of fluids inside and outside of cells. However, if you eat too much salt, you can increase the fluid levels inside your body, outside the cells.

A low-salt diet means more than limiting added salt. It requires avoiding processed foods such as deli meats, frozen dinners, and soups, that often require high amounts of salt to increase the food’s taste and shelf life. 

Exercise

Whether you have limited movement throughout the day because of your job or choice, standing in one place or sitting for too long can increase your risk of swelling. When you move, the muscles in your legs force the blood and fluid up out of the muscles in your leg toward your heart. However, remaining still for too long allows these fluids to collect in your legs and cause swelling.

Exercises that work against gravity help the body pump the fluid up from your feet and back into your upper body. When the fluid is in this area, your kidneys can eliminate it in urine. 

Drink water

You may think that drinking fluids would aggravate a condition that involves fluid retention, but that’s not the case. When your body is dehydrated, it sends signals to retain the fluid that is present, resulting in swelling.

Staying hydrated and drinking the recommended eight to 10 glasses of water daily helps your body remove waste and retain a healthy balance of fluids.

Elevate your feet

Elevating your feet above the level of your heart is an effective way to reverse leg swelling. You can relax with your feet on a pillow or if you’re more adventurous, try a yoga pose.  

The “legs up the wall” yoga pose, also called viparita karani, involves lying on your back and pushing your legs up against a wall. This can reverse the effects of gravity that are pushing fluid down toward your legs and causing swelling.

If you’re experiencing leg swelling, we can help relieve your symptoms by identifying the source of your condition. Call or request an appointment online at one of our locations in Arlington, Dallas, Sherman, McKinney, or Mesquite, Texas.

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