There are many causes of swollen legs, including ankle or foot injury, pregnancy, edema, hot weather, infection, and more. Swollen legs can be very discomforting and painful as well. When you have this condition, it can be hard to stand for a long time or walk long distances. What’s more, your work will be significantly affected, especially if you depend on standing to work. Hence, to avoid all these issues resulting from swollen legs, use these five ways to treat them.
1. Elevate the Legs above the Chest
Lie down or sit back and use blankets and pillows to raise your swollen legs to a level above the chest. Remain this way for 15 to 30 minutes per session, or longer if you can. Keep doing this about three to four times per day as long as you have the swelling. Raising your legs assists in relieving pressure and reducing retention in the legs. This can be particularly a necessary treatment in case you have been standing or sitting in one position for a long time. If possible, be sure to place many blocks such as exercise blocks under the mattress to ensure your legs are raised when you are asleep.
2. Massage the Leg
Self-massage can assist in reducing swelling that results from pregnancy, water retention, high-sodium diet, edema, and extended traveling. Begin by rubbing your palms on your legs in an up and down movement numerous times. Be sure to use firm pressure while still avoiding pain. Then use the thumbs to rub some more in the same movement. Do the therapy for twenty minutes per session once or twice per day. In case you can afford it, you can hire a massage therapist who can offer a regular Swedish massage. If the swelling is more severe, you may want to seek the help of a therapist who specializes in treating swellings.
3. Soak Your Legs in an Epsom Salt Bath to Relieve Pain
Prepare a bath consisting of lukewarm or cool water that is sufficiently deep to soak your ankles and feet completely. Include around one cup of Epsom salt to the water and gently combine it until the crystals of the salt dissolve. Then soak the feet for 15 to 20 minutes to assist in managing the pain linked to the swelling. You can also include Epsom salt to a full bathtub and sit inside with the thighs and the calves completely submerged in the case of extensive swelling. In case the pain is so extreme that it prevents you from functioning properly and doing your daily tasks, or it is worsening, make sure to seek the help of a physician.
4. Take Breaks if You Stand for Long Sessions
In case you have to stand for a long time, try to plan regular breaks for you to stretch your legs or sit. If you have to stand when working, talk to your boss about allowing you to have regular breaks, or even to get accommodations to reduce the standing sessions. It is ideal to rest your feet for 15 minutes after standing for about two to three hours. Doing this can assist in offering immediate relief to swelling that results from long sessions of standing still. In case you cannot be offered these breaks, check to see if accommodations can be made. For instance, if your job is behind the cash register, request your boss for a stool.
5. Minimize the Intake of Carbohydrates and Sodium
Consuming a healthy diet low in starch and sodium can assist in reducing recurring swelling by decreasing the retention of fluids. Eat a diet that is filled with fruits and fresh vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Keep away from high sodium foods, prepackaged or processed foods that normally have added salt, and added sugars. Foods that are high in sodium include most prepared and frozen foods, packaged soups and sauces, pickled foods, salad dressing, and canned foods. Even though some people prefer sea salt to table salt, both salts have equal amounts of sodium. Whichever salt you use, be sure to make it moderate. Moreover, individuals suffering from swollen legs are advised to avoid frequent alcohol and caffeinated drinks.