Leg Swelling

In our body, fluids can sometimes accumulate in the lower region of the body and lead to leg swelling. Other than that, you can also develop swelling in the legs due to blood clots or some infections. When you are suffering from liver or kidney disease, it is common to experience leg swelling symptoms. This condition is usually painful and you will also notice redness in the region due to excess blood flow in the skin surface. Some people also experience numbness in the region and this can lead to severe complications in the long run when it is not treated at the right time. In normal cases, you will notice mild swelling even when you are in sitting position for a long duration. This usually happens during a long journey and you will find swelling in the feet. However, this is due to the retention of fluids in a natural way due to gravity and it will reduce without the need for any treatment once you rest for few hours in lying position. On the other hand, swelling that persists for a long duration should be taken seriously as this can be the indication of some serious disorder in the body.

Symptoms of Leg Swelling

-  The symptoms of leg swelling will be usually obvious and you can clearly notice some difference in the leg region. In some cases, it can affect the entire legs or just the foot and ankle region or the knee region depending on the affected area.

-  You may notice swelling in both the legs or just in one leg depending on various factors. When the issue is due to some other medical condition that causes fluid retention, you will often notice swelling in both the legs. However, when it is due to inflammation in a particular region or trauma to any leg, you will notice symptoms in only that region.

-  The most common symptom of this condition will be the swelling of the leg region and it will usually be due to fluid retention in that area. In some cases, when you press your finger on the affected region, it can leave an impression for a long duration.

-  You will also notice pain in many cases in the affected area. You may not be able to move your legs freely and it will become difficult to handle your everyday activities. Other people also complain about numbness in the area due to this condition.

-  It is also common to notice redness in the area as the blood flow will increase due the pressure in this region. This can also cause itching and you will feel uncomfortable while folding your legs. This can affect the normal working of legs and you will face some inconvenience whenever you are moving your legs.

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Causes of Leg Swelling

-  You can get leg swelling due to various reasons and even normal people get them on a temporary basis when they stand for a long duration or when they are in seated position for very long duration. However, this will usually go away on its own within few hours without causing any complications.

-  It is generally seen that obese people tend to have swollen legs due to various reasons and the additional burden on the legs is the major cause of swelling in this case. In other cases, women tend to have leg swelling problems during pregnancy which will usually subside later without any problems.

-  It can also be due to clotting of blood in the legs and it need not have to be the veins in every case. Remember that blood clot in any part of the leg can lead to swelling of the affected area. It can also be due to trauma to the legs.

-  In extreme cases, you need to be careful about leg swelling as this can be due to damage to the liver, heart and kidney. It can be due to complete failure of such vital organs and you should treat leg swelling as a major symptom of such serious health condition.

-  If you had surgery before, you are likely to suffer from such problems especially when the affected area was in the legs or hip region.

-  In many cases, this can be due to medications taken for other health conditions. Usually antidepressants and other medication used to treat high blood pressure will cause leg swelling in many individuals.

-  In the same manner, hormone medications and steroids can also lead to similar symptoms and you need to discuss such side effects with your doctor before using them to treat other health conditions.

-  You can also get leg swelling due to inflammation of the legs and ankle sprain and osteoarthritis are some of the major causes of this condition. You can also get swelling when you have a broken leg or when there is extra pressure on the veins due to other trauma.

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Diagnosis of Leg Swelling

-  The first step of diagnosis will begin with the physical examination of the affected region. In most cases, the symptoms will be obvious and tests are usually required only to ascertain the underlying cause for this condition.

-  If the issue is due to pregnancy or over weight, you may be advised some home remedies to get relief from the problem. However, when the issue is due to other conditions, further diagnosis will be required and you will be asked to undergo blood and urine tests.

-  This will help the doctors to identify the problems with kidney and liver and they will begin the suitable treatment after getting the results from these tests.

-  You may also have to undergo imaging tests and X ray scans to ascertain the damage to your bones. Remember that arthritis and other conditions can also cause leg swelling in many people.

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Prevention of Leg Swelling

-  It is important to understand that leg swelling during pregnancy is common and you should avoid taking medication to reduce the symptoms. On the other hand, choosing mild exercises and other remedies like putting your legs in water will provide some relief in quick time.

-  When you are suffering from any medical conditions like kidney or liver problems that is causing swelling in the leg region, you should try to reduce the fluid intake on a regular basis. This ensures that your kidneys will have less work to do and you can avoid leg swelling in this manner.

-  Whenever you want to go for jogging or other form of exercise that puts some pressure on the legs, make sure that you do not over strain yourself and stay within your limits. This will help you to avoid leg swelling and you should also warm up for few minutes before you begin your workout session. In this way, the legs will stretch easily and it avoids fluid retention due to swelling after the workout session.

-  If you are prone to getting swelling in the leg region, you can consider wearing compression socks that are exclusively designed to apply mild pressure on the legs. In this way, it can reduce swelling of the legs and it is widely used when you are suffering from deep vein thrombosis or varicose veins problems. The advantage of choosing such socks is that they are completely customized to suit your situation and you need to speak to your doctor before using them on a regular basis.

-  Yet another thing you need to understand about leg swelling is that having large quantity of sodium in your diet increases the chances of getting this condition. In this regard, you can reduce your sodium intake and stay away from these problems.

-  It is also a good idea to keep your legs in an elevated position for some time every day so that you will be able to reverse the blood flow to the upper body region. This can also give relief from leg swelling in most cases and you will feel relaxed after doing this for a few minutes.

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Treatment of Leg Swelling

-  When your leg swelling is too much, you will need proper rest and this will help your leg to recover from the pain in a natural way. You should follow the instructions of your doctor in this regard and plan your work routine. If you are staying at home, you can even try to use some ice packs on the affected area once in a while to get some relief from the symptoms.

-  If your doctor has advised you in this regard, you can use some compression socks that will give you relief for long hours at a stretch and you can carry on with your usual activities. However, remember to get them after consulting your doctor as each one will be different and it can be customized to suit your individual needs.

-  It makes sense to keep your legs in an elevated position as this will reduce the blood flow and you will get some relief from pain and swelling. While these methods are suitable only when you are having mild swelling or when the swelling is in initial stages, you will have to choose proper medical treatment in the long run to get complete relief from swelling and pain.

-  In this regard, you will have to undergo blood tests and urine tests to determine the cause of this problem. This will give them some idea about your overall health condition and doctors will determine if the swelling is due to kidney or other problems. Remember that when the kidney is not functioning properly, it will lead to accumulation of fluids in the legs and other regions of the body.

-  When the swelling is due to arthritis or some other condition related to the bones, you need specific treatment to handle the condition and this will give you relief from leg swelling. In extreme cases, surgery may be needed to fix the bones so that you can get complete cure from this problem.

-  Your doctor may ask you to undergo X ray test and other tests to determine the issues with your body. While the treatment is underway, you may be prescribed some pain killers to get temporary relief from pain in the leg region.

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Complications of Leg Swelling

-  Having leg swelling for many weeks or months can lead to many complications when it is not treated properly. You should also understand that this can be the result of some underlying condition and it needs proper treatment to avoid further complications.

-  This can make it difficult for you to walk normally and you will have to reduce your physical activities due to this reason.

-  It can also cause redness in the area and lead to itching sensation due to increased flow of blood to the skin surface. Some people also experience pain due to this condition and you need to be careful when you are experiencing such symptoms.

-  In extreme cases, it can also lead to chest pain and you should treat this as a medical emergency when it lasts for a long duration.

-  While these symptoms can be due to normal reaction of the body, you should never neglect them as they can also indicate some serious health disorders like kidney and liver damage.


Leg swelling is so common that every one of us have experienced it at some point in life. While it goes away on its own in most cases when the issue is due to standing for long hours or some trauma to the legs, it can stay for many days and weeks when the issue is due to other medical conditions. Apart from cases of pregnancy and obesity, other conditions need to be taken seriously as this can also be due to failure of vital organs in the body. When the kidney or liver is not functioning properly, it can lead to accumulation of fluids in the legs and cause swelling. When it is not treated at the right time, it can cause lot of problems and make it difficult for you to handle your everyday activities.

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Last updated on : 26-10-2018

Disclaimer : Docprime doesn’t endorse or take any guarantee of the accuracy or completeness of information provided under this article and these are the views strictly of the writer. Docprime shall not be held responsible for any aspect of healthcare services administered with the information provided on this article.

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