Leg swelling is often the root cause of chronic wounds in the legs.  Heal the wound by managing the swelling.

What causes leg swelling?

There are many issues that may lead to swollen legs: chronic disease, age, hot temperatures, being on your feet for a long time. Other things like smoking or lack of exercise may also contribute to this. You may have issues with the veins having a hard time bringing blood back to your heart from your lower legs and feet.  Veins have tiny valves in them that, over time or with disease, may not work as well, so blood gets stuck in your lower legs. This is what often causes swelling.  Some common symptoms of veinous disease are:

-swollen legs

-discolored or shiny skin on your legs

-no hair growth on your legs

-pain/itchy legs

-muscle cramps in your legs

-a feeling of restlessness in your legs

             

Blood should flow one way through a vein.  If the valves fail, you end up with a backflow and this causes swollen legs.

How can I treat the swelling?

Compression

Using compression socks, wraps or bandages will help to push the blood up your legs.  If using wraps, always make sure to start wrapping from your toes and work your way up towards your knees. Never wrap from the knees down, as this can make swelling worse. 

Elevation

If you are able to, place your legs above your heart and let gravity drain the extra fluid from your legs. You could place your legs on the back of the couch, use extra pillows to prop your legs up in a recliner, or even lie on the floor with your legs up against the wall. You should actually be able to feel the fluid drain out!

Exercise/movement

The muscles of the legs can actually help act as a pump to get the blood flowing back to your heart.  A daily vigorous 20 minute walk can go a long way in helping to reduce the swelling.

Maintain an overall healthy lifestyle:

-Stop smoking

-Manage chronic diseases (high blood pressure, diabetes, etc)

-Avoid standing in one position for a long period of time

-Eat a healthy diet

-Get enough sleep

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