Do You Have Swollen Legs and Feet?
Had a long day, mostly standing up, at work? Walked or jogged a few miles this morning? Sat on a 12-hour flight? Are you in your third trimester of pregnancy?
If your answer to any of the questions above is yes, chances are your legs and feet are a bit swollen right now.
Whatever the reason is, it’s unnerving to look down at your legs and feet and see it unnaturally reddish and bloated – calf and ankles so swollen it’s almost the same size, your toes unable to wriggle individually because each one is so huge, it all feels stuck to each other.
And it’s not just a pain to look at. Some people have complained of discomfort. A few have reported pain that is accompanied by a low-grade fever and other worrisome symptoms.
It’s not just you who asked: will this go away any time soon or will it stay forever?
Why are My Legs and Feet Swelling?
It’s always important to know the root cause of whatever it is that you’re feeling so that you can deal with it in the right manner. According to medical experts, these are the two reasons for swelling of the legs and feet:
- Edema or the build-up of fluid in the blood vessels or tissues.
- Inflammation, which is the natural response of the body to irritation or break in the affected area.
Edema has several underlying reasons such as Congestive Heart Failure, Kidney Failure, and Deep Vein Thrombosis, just to name a few. Medications like Estrogens and NSAIDs may also cause Edema. Inflammation, on the other hand, is caused by infections or injuries. Treat the root cause and this troublesome symptom will go away too.
However, some people get swollen legs and feet frequently even if they do not suffer from serious heart or kidney diseases or have muscle sprain or fractures. In this case, the culprit is poor blood circulation.
Understanding Poor Circulation of Blood
(And Why Does It Affect Your Legs and Feet?)
The Circulatory System is the organ system responsible for moving blood, which carries oxygen and important nutrients, throughout our body. If there is a problem with the blood flow, it’s our extremities which tend to suffer first as these are farthest from the heart. And more often than not, our legs and feet get the brunt of it because of gravity.
The presence of varicose veins – those engorged and gnarled blue lines at the back of your legs – is a sure sign of poor blood circulation. However, you should be more alarmed if these veins don’t look that bad but your legs and feet are still swelling as you may have Venous Insufficiency affecting the deep veins in your leg. Venous Insufficiency occurs when the pressure in your blood vessels is too high.
To ascertain that your problem is poor blood circulation, you should check for the following symptoms aside from the obvious swelling of the legs and feet:
- Numbness of the limbs,
- Tingling sensation on the skin,
- Throbbing or pain in the extremities,
- Cramping of the muscles
Even if you haven’t experienced any of these symptoms, you can just imagine how difficult all those can be. And you will surely want a solution fast.
GET RID of LEG AND FEET SWELLING NOW!
If you’re frequently suffering from mild edema in the legs and feet, there are some things you can do at home to lessen the swelling and other symptoms which may accompany it.
- Elevating your feet is one of the most effective because it re-distributes the fluids that got trapped in your extremities. You can do this by lying down flat on your back and raising your legs on the wall for thirty minutes or so or propping your legs on several pillows (higher than your heart) while you sleep.
- Soaking in a cool bath with Epsom salts is another great tip as Magnesium Sulfate is said to draw toxins out of the body, relieving the body of edema and inflammation.
- Making healthier changes to your diet is always a good idea. Eat more almonds, cashews, broccoli, and spinach because these are rich in Magnesium. Lessen or completely get rid of salt in your diet because it draws more water in. And, while this feels counterintuitive, drink a lot of water. When your body feels like it has a lot of water, it will release most of it and hold on to what it needs.
There are so many other tips which can help aside from those mentioned above. But as mentioned earlier, it’s important to consult with your doctor to ensure that there are no serious underlying causes to the edema or inflammation, and to get specific recommendations on how you can deal with your problem.
Interestingly, there is one piece of advice most doctors will give to their patients suffering from swelling of legs and feet: compression socks.
What are Compression Socks?
More elastic and tight-fitting than regular socks, compression socks are specially made to promote good venous circulation (from the extremities back to the heart) by applying slight pressure to the legs, ankles, and feet.
The concept of putting pressure on the legs to treat injuries and aid with certain medical conditions is not new. However, it was only in the 1950s that the modern compression clothing was introduced, with many crediting Conrad Jobst as the inventor. There is no doubt that compression socks aided him and many others diagnosed with Chronic Venous Insufficiency. However, his design wasn’t perfect. For instance, his socks featured the same level of compression on the feet, the ankle, and up the calf.
Several decades and numerous improvements later, the graduated compression socks were launched. Compared to Jobst’s, graduated compression socks are tighter in ankles and less snug in the calf area. This is supposed to add force in the venous blood flow.
How Do Compression Socks Work?
(Or What Do Compression Socks Compress?)
To have good blood circulation, the arteries should bring oxygenated blood from the heart to the other parts of the body, and the veins should return the deoxygenated blood to the heart. The problem with swelling of the legs and feet is that the veins can’t carry the deoxygenated blood up to the heart because of various underlying reasons and gravity.
In the simplest terms, compression socks squeeze the legs and feet so tightly, narrowing the veins in the legs and feet, increasing the pressure within the vessels, and pushing the blood back up to the heart. And it’s not just the edema-causing fluids in the blood that get pushed out of the extremities. Lactic acid, the substance causing inflammation when your muscles are overworked, is also returned to the heart for oxygenation.
The Various Compression Garments and Different Levels of Compression
Most complain of swelling in their legs and feet compared to other parts of their body. But some people also suffer from edema in their thighs or poor blood circulation on their arms. This is why there are various compression garments available in the market today:
- Thigh-high socks
- Tights and stockings/pantyhose
- Arm sleeves
Do take note that most stockings and tights sold in the market today have uniform pressure from the ankle up to the thigh and waist. If you need one for medical purposes, it is better to go for compression socks with graduated pressure.
It’s the level of compression you need to take into consideration when buying compression garments. There are five different levels of compression available today:
- 8-15 mmHg / Light Compression
This is an over-the-counter variant which can be used by people who experience or want to prevent slight leg and feet swelling because of standing or sitting for a long period of time. It is also perfect for pregnant women in their first or second trimester.
- 15-20 mmHg / Mild Compression
Another over-the-counter variant, this is for people who have mild to moderate varicosities and want to prevent these problems from getting worse. Workout enthusiasts and runners use this to avoid muscle strains.
- 20-30 mmHg / Firm or Moderate Compression
Because this provides medical-grade compression, this is highly recommended by doctors to improve blood flow and alleviate moderate swelling of the legs caused by venous problems. This type of compression is preferred by athletes for better protection and enhanced performance. While this is considered as Class I medical-grade, a prescription is not needed for this level of compression.
- 30-40 mmHg / Extra Firm or High Compression
Marked as a Class II medical-grade garment, this requires prescription from your doctor as it is used for severe venous conditions and as post-surgical management of varicose veins and ulcers.
- 40-50 mmHg / Very High Compression
Having the highest level of compression, you should never use this without your doctor’s permission. This is prescribed for the management of chronic symptoms of Lymphedema, Thrombophlebitis, and Deep Vein Thrombosis.
What’s the Best Compression Socks for Swelling?
There is no best compression level because it’s all about choosing the appropriate compression level for you. And that hinges on your medical condition. However, if you are generally healthy and the swelling of your legs and feet is not caused by serious venous problems, the best compression socks to get is the one which provides firm to moderate compression (20-30mmHg). It’s firm enough to prevent the worsening of minor venous disorders but is not too constricting for frequent use.
But Which Brand Should I Buy?
Choosing a brand of compression socks is harder, especially when there are so many available in the market. Believe it or not, there are over 10,000 variants on the shopping site Amazon alone. But you can easily narrow down your options if you know the must-have features of high-quality compression socks.
Compression socks should work. To make sure of this, see that it is tight around the feet and ankles – almost like it’s difficult to put on – and somewhat less snug at the calves. These should not be too constricting that it causes discomfort especially if you’re on your feet for a long period of time. But the cuff should be tight that it stays put instead of constantly slipping down.
- High Quality Fabric
To provide the snug fit and appropriate pressure, compression socks should be composed of durable, elastic fibers instead of the flimsy, more cottony materials regular socks are made of. The fabric used should also be able to draw the moisture out for faster evaporation. This is good for people with sensitive skin since humidity is a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi, causing smelly feet and other infections.
You may see gold, silver and copper socks, supposedly infused with nanoparticles of those metals to afford anti-bacterial properties to the garments. While these work to a certain extent, it makes the compression socks slightly more expensive than it should be.
- Over-all Comfort and Protection
Socks are meant to be worn for long periods of time so it should be able to afford comfort and protection to the user. Aside from bracing the ankle well to stop the swelling, it should also cushion the heel so every step is relaxed, have arch support to ease pain in the spot and shield the toes to prevent blisters.
- Suits Both Men and Women of Different Sizes
There is no such thing as one-size-fits-all when it comes to compression socks. The brand you should go for must have specific compression socks for men and compression socks for women. See to it that it also comes in various size to ensure proper fit.
Although socks are often hidden in shoes and under the pants, having just the black and white options can be a bore. Choose compression socks which offer more than just black, white or skin color.
- Affordable, Offers Fast Shipping and with 100% Money Back Guarantee
Compression socks are admittedly pricier than regular socks but it shouldn’t break the bank either. Since most products are bought online, the company selling your compression gear should offer fast shipping and, more importantly, provide money-back guarantee just in case it’s not what you expected it to be.
YOU CAN STOP LEG AND FOOT SWELLING NOW!!!
All those amazing features can be found in one amazing product: ComproGear Compression Socks. This Class I medical grade (with 20-30mmHg) compression gear has been prescribed by doctors and is perfect for travelers who will get stuck in flights for half a day, nurses and doctors doing double shifts, athletes who want protection and enhanced performance and people suffering from symptoms of Venous Insufficiency.
ComproGear Compression Socks is available for men and women, in four different calf and shoe size. It also comes in six different designs and color: onyx black, red wine, savory blue chevrons, sunset stripes, mountain blue and navy blue. Best of all, it is priced just right, you can get two or more pairs!
Why put up with swelling of the legs and feet when you can get instant relief now? Get a pair of ComproGear Compression Socks now and see its amazing effects!