Why Are My Legs Swollen and Can They Be Treated?

Leg swelling, while unattractive, is usually harmless. It’s a common condition, especially among older people. In most cases, it’s simply fluid retention. But there are certain instances when leg swelling is a sign of something more serious. 

Any part of your lower body can swell: your feet, legs, or ankles. Leg swelling, or lower body swelling, is called edema. At Suffolk Vascular & Vein Center, our vascular experts can accurately diagnose the cause of your leg swelling and develop a personalized treatment plan to help you find relief. 

Here we share important information about why your legs swell and your treatment options.

Reasons for swollen legs

Everyone’s legs swell from time to time. It could be from sitting or standing too long, a long plane ride, or wearing tight or restrictive clothing. 

If your leg swelling is frequent and persistent, it may be a sign of a health condition like deep vein thrombosis, which is a blood clot, or venous insufficiency, or weakened veins.

You’re more likely to experience mild leg swelling if you’re overweight, eat a salt-heavy diet, and are older. While you can’t change your age, you can lose weight and reduce your salt consumption. 

Other causes for fluid retention in your legs include:

An injury can also cause leg swelling. Additionally, leg swelling can be a sign of heart failure. Call 911 immediately if you feel short of breath, dizzy, or have chest pain, or if you’re pregnant. 

Treatments for swollen legs

Fortunately, there are a variety of treatments to help reduce leg swelling. Your treatment plan depends on your symptoms and condition. Some simple home treatment options include:

If you’ve tried these home remedies and they’ve been unsuccessful, or your condition is getting worse, we may recommend surgery. 

If you have leg swelling due to narrowed blood vessels or a blood clot, surgery can prevent a pulmonary embolism, a condition in which part of a blood clot breaks off from your leg and travels to your lungs.

If your legs are swollen and causing you pain or concern, call us at Suffolk Vascular & Vein Center for an appointment with one of our vascular specialists or request an appointment via our online tool. Our offices are located in Riverhead, Port Jefferson Station, and Hauppauge, New York.

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