Leg swelling: causes and treatment

Swelling of the tissue is called excessive filling of the intercellular space and the muscle cells with fluid. Most often develop swelling of the feet: legs and feet. This is due to the high functional load of these parts of the extremities, associated with bipedalism and the lowest of their location relative to the heart.

Causes: physiological

Causes of leg swelling can be physiological (normal) and pathological (associated with disease). In the first case the swelling does not require specific treatment and resolve quickly. As an example, the physiological causes of leg edema can be considered long-term work «on his feet». Remember the day when you walked the whole day, or exercise. By the end of the day feel fatigue, some heaviness in the legs, legs swell, become soft and more big to the touch. After sleep or rest the unpleasant sensations are, despite the fact that you were not taking any medications and did not physiotherapy. Other possible physiological factors in the emergence of edema include:

  • Pregnancy and a short period after birth.
  • Premenstrual syndrome.
  • Excessive use of water.
  • Abuse of salty and spicy food.
  • Sitting in an uncomfortable position, crossing legs, etc.
  • The hottest time of the year.
  • Frequent wearing of uncomfortable shoes, especially high heels.

If causes of swelling of the feet physiological, just to eliminate the harmful factors and try to reduce strain on the feet. After some time the swelling comes down without the use of medication.

Causes and symptoms of edema: pathological

The factors that cause the swelling and associated with damage of different organs and systems can be divided into several major groups. Often swelling of the legs develops in heart failure and other pathologies of the cardiovascular system. These diseases are accompanied by the constant stagnation in veins: not all the blood «comes» to the heart, causing the fluid retained in the tissues. Swelling of this origin may be different in density and scale. In severe cases, they become dense, firm to the touch and they can spread from the feet to the knees. If the swelling caused by heart failure, the swelling occurs on both limbs and may slightly weaken in the morning.

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For reasons connected with the mechanism of the circulatory system, also include lesions of the veins: varicose veins, phlebitis (inflammation) and thrombophlebitis (inflammation with clotting). In this case, there is swelling on one leg only, if the symptom affects both limbs, the degree of swelling is significantly different. The fluid begins to accumulate even more, if the patient is a long time in one place. When lying down or sitting swelling subsides. Most strongly affects the area near the ankle.

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In addition to the cardiovascular system, the amount of water in the body also affects the condition of the kidneys and urinary system in General. The most pronounced swelling in diseases such as renal failure and nephritic syndrome (evidence of inflammation in the organs). In contrast to the edema resulting from heart failure are swelling more pronounced in the morning and are closer to the end of the day. If the cause of the symptom is a pathology of kidneys, the patient is more concerned about swelling of the face than of the lower extremities.

Diseases of the lymphatic system — lymphedema (insufficient drainage of the lymph from certain parts of the body), erysipelas and lymphatic-venous insufficiency — can also be the cause of swelling. In this case, swelling was observed only on one leg, dense and persistent. To get rid of the symptom without treatment of the pathology is difficult even at constant finding in a horizontal position or using spanx. Most often swelling of lymphatic origin appear on the dorsum of the foot and resemble a small pillow.

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Swelling may be caused by problems with the musculoskeletal system. In this case, swellings appear on only one side near the affected joint or bone. The characteristic difference between the symptom — swelling of explicit and seemingly «limited» at the edges. In diseases of bone and joint swelling are accompanied by problems with support and walking and pain during movement.

In some cases, the cause are swelling infiltrates, purulent and inflammatory diseases of the skin and soft tissue leg injuries. Then swelling is also limited and can manifest itself in different ways. After the biting or injury fluid accumulates around the lesion. With deep-seated purulent diseases of the entire affected area grows in size. After fractures swelling is observed specifically at the site of injury, and tearing of the ligaments and tension — spreads by type of hematoma.

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Treatment

Given the large number of possible causes of a symptom, treatment is chosen individually after undergoing additional diagnostic procedures. You can speed up the process of falling swelling by using simple steps. First review the food and mode of life. Refrain from salty, fatty and spicy. Try not to stand too long in one place and not to go, give yourself a break. Useful is to periodically lie down with raised legs — so improves venous blood flow. If necessary, briefly perebintovany lower extremity edema and wear spanx. Before applying it is better to consult a doctor.

If you have frequent swollen feet and the swelling goes bad, be sure to consult your doctor! The main problem may affect multiple organ systems, resulting in health will quickly deteriorate. Do not self-medicate, it is dangerous for your health!