Leg Swelling – Causes and Concerns

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leg swelling foot

Swelling is a symptom nearly every adult will have experienced at some point in their lives. So it’s not surprising that many people tend to ignore swelling in their legs when it first occurs. But leg swelling is one of the most obvious signs of venous insufficiency and left untreated, will only worsen with time.

Why does leg swelling occur?

Inside our veins are tiny one-way valves that moderate blood flow and keep blood circulating in the right direction toward the heart. Venous insufficiency or chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) occurs when those small valves in your leg veins aren’t working properly and blood “leaks” backward. Due to gravity, that blood then pools in your legs rather than flowing freely and effectively back up to your heart. 

Enter, swollen legs.

This lack of blood flow is a concern to medical professionals because it can actually impact your heart health. What’s more, leg swelling due to venous insufficiency can cause such a build-up of pressure over time that it can cause severe pain and even result in permanent damage to your skin. (See more on leg ulcers)

How do you know if your leg swelling is the result of a vein disorder?

Leg swelling due to CVI can come on rather quickly or progress slowly over time. If your swollen legs are:

  • Heavy
  • Tight
  • Painful 
  • Itchy
  • Discolored
  • Cramping regularly
  • Tired 
  • Hot to the touch
  • Have spider veins
  • Have varicose veins
  • Have ulcers

These are telltale signs the swelling could be due to CVI. As the swelling worsens, it can begin to impact mobility, and even interfere with how well you can sleep, among many other health issues.

To determine whether your leg swelling is a result of venous disease, our expert team can examine your legs and conduct an ultrasound exam to evaluate your vein health. If venous disease is found to be the cause of your leg swelling, there are a variety of effective, non-invasive treatments to help address your venous insufficiency, bolster your vein health and improve the appearance of your legs.

So if you have swollen, even painful legs, contact us today to schedule a free telemedicine screening to determine if vein treatment might be right for you.