Swelling of the legs, ankles, or feet is a common problem that stems from various causes. Usually, you can tell that your legs are swollen based on their appearance. Another sign that your legs are swollen is difficulty putting on or taking off your shoes or socks. Swelling may also be the culprit if you find bending at your ankles more difficult than usual. A common cause of leg swelling includes fluid accumulation after a long day on your feet. However, sometimes Warner Robins leg swelling can be a sign of an underlying condition such as:
The veins in your leg can become weak, allowing some blood to pool in the veins instead of flowing to the heart. Consequently, the veins enlarge, stretch, twist, and appear as blue, red, or purple lines close to your skin’s surface. These enlarged or varicose veins can cause swelling, pain, skin discoloration, and burning. Most of the time, swelling due to venous insufficiency improves with lifestyle changes like weight loss and increased exercise. Your healthcare provider may also recommend wearing compression stockings to manage the symptoms. If conservative treatments are ineffective, you may discuss surgery with your doctor.
You will likely have swollen feet or legs if you’ve stood all day or sat for hours in a car or on a plane. Edema is a swelling that strikes when fluid builds up or accumulates in your feet and your legs; it can happen to anyone but is common in obese or pregnant individuals. Taking a walk, doing some ankle rolls, or propping your feet on pillows can reduce mild swelling. You also want to limit salt in your diet if you are at risk of edema; salt encourages fluid retention. Instead, eat potassium-rich foods such as potatoes.
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
Deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot that usually forms in a vein in your thigh, pelvis, or lower leg. Classic signs of deep vein thrombosis include pain in your leg, enlarged veins near your skin’s surface, and swelling in one leg. Sometimes the skin on the swollen area may be red and warm to the touch. Deep vein thrombosis is not life-threatening, but if a clot breaks free, it can travel to the lungs and block blood flow. It results in a life-threatening condition called pulmonary embolism.
It is crucial to seek treatment right away if you experience signs of deep vein thrombosis to minimize your risk of pulmonary embolism. Your healthcare provider may recommend wearing compression stockings, elevating your legs, medication, or surgical treatment.
Heart, kidney, or liver disease
Fluid can accumulate in your lower extremities if your organs are not working as they should. Medical conditions like kidney disease, liver disease, and congestive heart failure can cause swelling in your legs. If you have any of these conditions, talk to your healthcare provider about managing the problem.
Other conditions like infections, injuries, and arthritis can cause leg swelling. If the puffiness resolves within a day or two, it’s probably not a severe problem. However, see your doctor if your swelling lasts longer, happens regularly, affects one leg, and teams up with other symptoms.
For further questions about leg swelling, consult your doctor at Middle Georgia Vascular Surgery Center & Vein Solutions.