Seven Steps to Soothe Swollen Legs at Home

Those who are bothered by swelling, or edema, in the legs can take self-care steps at home to ease this uncomfortable symptom. These seven remedies provide effective when the lower extremities become swollen.

1. Hydrotherapy

Alternately placing the feet in hot and cold water baths improves circulation, reducing the pooling of fluid in the feet and ankles. Try immersing swollen feet in hot water for three to five minutes, then cold water for 30 to 60 seconds, and then repeat this procedure three to four times. Mix in half a cup of Epsom salt to each foot bath for added relief.


2. Compression Socks

These garments place pressure on the feet and ankles to keep fluid from accumulating and reduce pain associated with edema. These are available over the counter in either light, medium, or heavy weight; start with lightweight compression socks and try heavier ones if they aren't effective.


3. Dietary Changes

Limiting salt in the diet can minimize swelling in the legs. According to a report released by the CDC in 2016, 90 percent of Americans consume too much sodium. They recommend no more than 2,300 mg of sodium daily. Limiting packaged, processed food and restaurant meals can help to stay under this limit.


4. Exercise

Physical activity improves circulation and reduces swelling in the legs. Those who are sedentary should consult with a doctor before exercising and start slow with a low-impact activity such as walking or swimming.


5. Elevation

Prop feet up on several pillows to promote circulation and decrease swelling. Avoid sitting or standing in any one position for too long, and take short walks throughout the day.


6. Massage

Gently massaging swollen tissue can help move the excess fluid that causes swelling. It can also help reduce any inflammation that's present.


7. Smoking Cessation

Quitting smoking has many health benefits, including lowering the risk for peripheral artery disease. This vascular condition contributes to swelling in the extremities. Smoking also decreases circulation and can lead to edema of the legs and feet.

When swollen legs are not resolved by compression socks or other methods, the swelling could be caused by a problem with the veins, such as venous insufficiency. Visit the experienced doctors at Vein Specialists of Georgia to receive a free consultation. We offer comprehensive diagnosis and treatment services for vascular issues. Call us at (404) 524-0095 to schedule an appointment at one of our two convenient locations in the Metro Atlanta area.

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