Many consumers experience leg pain and swelling at some point in their lives. This uncomfortable problem can be caused by underlying health conditions, but it can also occur during pregnancy, after long shifts standing behind a cash register, or during travel. If consumers notice blisters or ulcerations on their legs or feet, they should call their doctors. Otherwise, read on to find out about five ways to reduce leg pain and to swell at home.
Wear Compression Socks
Compression socks are designed to provide pain relief by preventing fluid from collecting in the legs. They come in different weights, so keep that in mind when you browse sockwellusa.com. Most doctors recommend starting with lightweight compression socks measuring between 12 and 15 mm. Consumers can then work their way up until they find a weight that works well for them.
Put on the compression socks first thing in the morning before standing up for the best results. They will be easier to get on and will be better able to prevent fluid buildup from occurring over the course of the morning. Wear them as long as possible, then take them off or switch to a lower weight when they become too uncomfortable.
Having trouble getting the socks on in the morning? It’s important to dry the skin first, especially for those who use a moisturizing lotion on their legs. Sitting in a chair can also help, and for those who are still having trouble due to arthritis or other mobility impairments, a device referred to as a stocking donner may be a good investment.
Get More Exercise
Sitting or standing for prolonged periods of time increases swelling, so consumers prone to edema should try to engage in mild-intensity exercise throughout the day. Those who work in office jobs should get up and walk around for five to ten minutes every hour if they can. The same goes for cashiers and other service industry professionals who spend prolonged periods of time standing in the same place.
Not allowed to get up and walk around as needed? The ideal solution is to find a better job, but for those who don’t have that option, moving the knees and extending the ankles frequently while sitting can provide some relief. Exercises and stretches that can be performed from a seated position can also come in handy when consumers need to spend long periods of time in cars or on trains, buses, or planes while traveling.
Once they can get up and get moving, consumers should also try to incorporate some moderate-intensity exercise into their daily routines. Consider finding a local pool and going swimming every day. This non-weight-bearing form of exercise can relieve pressure on the legs and soothe inflamed skin.
Take Magnesium Supplements
Magnesium deficiency can cause edema. Although magnesium can be found in many foods, including avocados, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and dark chocolate, it’s difficult for those with magnesium deficiency to get enough of this essential mineral through changes in diet alone. Adding 200 to 400 mg of magnesium in supplement form to daily health regimes can help to reduce water retention and pain in the legs. You can also take magnesium for your heart, as well as many other ailments. It’s an essential mineral that helps regulate the whole body, so it’s recommended to keep your intake level sufficient.
Those suffering from underlying health conditions should always consult their primary care physicians before starting to take new supplements. Magnesium is generally considered safe, but magnesium supplements aren’t safe for patients with kidney or heart conditions. Most doctors will recommend low-salt diets for patients with heart conditions, which can also help to decrease swelling by reducing fluid retention.
Elevate the Legs
Even if they’re following best practices like wearing compression socks and engaging in small bouts of low-intensity exercise throughout the day, those with serious edema may still experience pain and swelling at the end of long days sitting down or standing. Elevating the legs when they become too swollen and painful can help.
There are two effective ways to elevate the legs. Either lay down and prop them up on some pillows or an ottoman or try yoga poses that involve raising the legs. Yoga, when done correctly, can also decrease stress and improve overall wellness, so it’s a good option for those struggling to manage pain and swelling.
When elevating the legs, make sure to keep them above the heart level. The force of gravity will help to move the fluid back toward the body’s core. Hold the position for at least 20 minutes twice per day. If that doesn’t help, try elevating the legs for longer or laying back and relaxing three or four times per day.
Some consumers also find that elevating their legs at night helps to prevent fluid buildup. This makes it easier to put on compression socks in the morning. Just place a few pillows at the foot of the bed. There’s no need to maintain a 90-degree angle. As long as the legs are above heart level, they’re elevated enough.
Epsom Salt Soaks
Taking a cool bath in Epsom salt can help to relieve the pain associated with leg swelling. Try to soak the legs, feet, and ankles for a full 20 minutes each day for maximum results. Don’t make the water too hot, though, as this can actually make leg swelling worse.
Diabetic consumers who suffer from neuropathy in their feet should check the temperature of the water first to ensure that it isn’t too hot or too cold. A cool Epsom salt soak can be great for relieving pain, but exposure to extreme temperatures can cause skin and nerve damage.
The Bottom Line
Excessive leg swelling can cause mobility issues and a good deal of pain. While elevating the legs above the level of the heart is one of the quickest ways to reduce swelling, most consumers can’t spend their entire day laying around with their legs on pillows. Buying compression stockings, paying attention to diet and magnesium levels, engaging in short periods of low-intensity exercise throughout the day, and taking Epsom salt baths can all help to reduce the intensity and frequency of edema symptoms even when consumers have no choice but to remain on their feet.