Skip to main content

When to Worry About Swollen Legs

You notice that your shoes, especially if you’re wearing boots, feel a little tighter than normal, or you see that your lower legs and ankles have become puffy. There’s no injury to explain the leg swelling so you’re stumped as to what could be causing the issue. And you’re wondering whether you should be concerned.

To help you get to the bottom of your lower leg swelling, Dr. Madaiah Revana and the team here at Humble Cardiology Associates pulled together a few common causes of leg swelling — some of which are perfectly normal while others warrant further investigation.

When leg swelling is normal

First, let’s look at situations in which leg swelling is perfectly normal and usually not anything you should worry about. 

For example, let’s say that your lower legs routinely puff up during long flights or drives in the car. This is likely due to the fact that your legs are stuck in a bent, immobile position because of prolonged sitting. As a result, blood pools in the veins in your lower legs and fluid builds up in the surrounding tissues. 

This type of leg swelling typically goes away once you’re up and moving around again. You can also try wearing compression socks during travel to prevent your legs from swelling.

Another instance in which leg swelling isn’t usually cause for alarm is if you’re pregnant. A growing fetus can place pressure on your blood vessels and cause blood and fluids to back up in your lower legs. This leg swelling should clear up after you give birth.

When to seek help for leg swelling

Now let’s take a look at a few situations in which you should come see us for leg swelling. First, if you’re experiencing lower leg swelling more and more, even though you’re getting up and moving around, it’s time for us to take a look.

One of our concerns is chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), which affects about 25 million Americans. With CVI, valves in the veins in your legs weaken and don't close all the way, allowing blood to pool backward.

Another issue that can lead to swollen legs is congestive heart failure. With heart failure, which affects more than 6 million people in the United States, the lower chambers of your heart aren't pumping blood out efficiently, causing blood to back up in different areas of your body, including your legs, arms, and abdomen.

Another cardiovascular issue that can lead to leg swelling is deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which is when a clot has developed in one of the deep veins in your legs. With DVT, the swelling would only be in one leg and you might also experience tenderness, redness, and pain in the area of the clot.

There are other issues that can lead to leg swelling, but we wanted to give you an idea of the types of cardiovascular problems that are often accompanied by leg swelling.

As you might imagine, the best way to find out what’s causing the swelling in your legs is to come see for an extensive evaluation. To get started, please schedule an appointment with us at one of our two offices in Humble or Houston, Texas, by clicking here.

You Might Also Enjoy...

5 Signs of Deep Vein Thrombosis

5 Signs of Deep Vein Thrombosis

Each year in the United States, about 200,000 people develop deep vein thrombosis — a cardiovascular condition that requires immediate attention. Here are some warning signs of this vascular issue.
How an Angioplasty Can Improve Your Heart Health

How an Angioplasty Can Improve Your Heart Health

If your heart isn’t getting the blood and oxygen it needs to function properly, imagine what this means for the rest of your body. This is where an angioplasty can change the course of your health for the better.

Why Am I Getting Spider Veins in Pregnancy?

Your body undergoes an incredible amount of change during the nine months of your pregnancy. One of those changes might be the appearance of spider veins on your legs and elsewhere. Here’s why.

4 Sneaky Causes of High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a tricky condition since it has no obvious symptoms when it first develops. Making matters more complicated is that there are some less-than-obvious drivers of this common condition.

Head Into the New Year With Less Stubborn Fat

You’ve been waging a battle against stubborn fat, and you’re not making the progress you had hoped for. Here's a look at how we can give you a powerful fat-reduction boost to kick off the new year.