Leg swelling commonly occurs when the veins in your lower limbs swell and leak fluid out of the vascular system into the soft tissue, where it must be mobilized by the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system gets overloaded, and swelling results from the fluid buildup. Some of the most common causes of leg swelling are:
Vein problems, particularly in the lower limbs, are the most common causes of leg swelling, aching, restless legs syndrome, nighttime leg cramping, and feelings of achy, heavy, or tired legs.
The main job of your veins is to send blood upwards to the heart. The valves inside the veins are designed to open, allowing the blood to go up before sealing tightly to prevent backflow.
Over time these valves do not close as tightly as they should, and the loose seal allows blood to fall downwards and pool in those veins. As the blood accumulates in these leg veins, they stretch out. This is what leads to the tortuous and protruding veins that are recognized as varicose veins.
Unfortunately, leg swelling is only one of the symptoms that problems like leaking vein valves can cause. Other common issues include:
You have an increased risk of these issues if you're female, are inactive, stand for extended periods, struggle with your weight, or take certain types of blood pressure or diabetes medications.
Some people have a genetic predisposition to vascular issues, which also increases the risk of leg swelling.
The Colorado Skin and Vein team emphasizes the importance of treating the root cause of your leg swelling. The first part of our process is determining the correct cause for your issues and determining the most effective plan for treatment.
For patients with leg swelling caused by venous reflux, we will determine all the things at home that can help and may suggest advanced minimally invasive vein treatments to provide long-term results.
Ancillary treatments that help slow the progression of vein disease include:
Minimally invasive procedures that help provide long-term results for both visible signs of venous disease, as well as all the symptoms associated with vein problems, include:
A combination of lifestyle interventions and medical treatments can help get your leg swelling under control, improving issues like restless legs, cramping, and leg heaviness.
If you’re struggling with uncomfortable leg swelling, call Colorado Skin and Vein or click on the online appointment maker to set up your consultation now.