Your legs are an essential part of your body. They are used every day for support and mobility. Although we may experience pain in our bodies from time to time, it seems that some of the worst pain is associated with our legs. It could be because you use them often or due to the fact, that our legs support the body when standing. No matter what, it is not a comfortable feeling when your legs are sore, especially when you are experiencing swelling in your legs. Some people simply believe that when there is swelling in their legs it will simply go away in time. Although such may be true, nevertheless, you could have an underlying issue with your legs; that issue could be peripheral vascular disease.
Peripheral vascular disease is a circulation disorder that is known to be slow and progressive. When one is dealing with peripheral vascular disease you are experiencing blockage, narrowing, or spasms in a blood vessel or blood vessels. With peripheral vascular disease any of your blood vessels that are outside of the heart may be affected; that includes your veins, arteries, as well as your lymphatic vessels.
The most common cause of peripheral vascular disease is atherosclerosis; this is when plaque builds up inside the wall of your blood vessels. The buildup of plaque in your blood vessels reduces the amount of blood that flows to your limbs. This lowers the nutrients and oxygen that are available to tissue in our legs. When you are dealing with peripheral vascular disease one of the symptoms you may experience is leg swelling, which in turn will cause leg pain. A very valid question that many patients ask is if swelling of the legs is dangerous. As indicated earlier swollen legs may be due to standing too long or even sitting too long, but the truth of the matter is swollen legs can be a huge indicator of something way more serious, including peripheral vascular disease. Not having proper blood flow to your legs is very serious and can lead to more problems and issues. Here are some risk factors that may cause peripheral vascular disease.
Risk Factors of Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD)
- High blood pressure
- Coronary artery disease
- Smoking and using other tobacco products
- High cholesterol
- Physical inactivity
While these risk factors may lead to leg swelling and leg pain there are some things you can do to ward off PVD to help you get rid of leg swelling or at least keep it at bay. Here are some of the treatments that you may find useful.
- Changing your lifestyle to include proper nutrition, regular exercise, and stop the use of tobacco including quitting smoking
- Aggressively treating diabetes
- Take certain medications that will help improve your blood flow and that will relax the blood vessel walls
- Getting vascular surgery
These treatments may be useful and help with the leg swelling as well as other issues that may be caused due to PVD. PVD can be serious and can lead to issues that may be even more serious. Yes, leg swelling is serious and can lead to serious heart issues. If you are experiencing leg swelling or know you have peripheral vascular disease, you can do something about it; and we can help. Please give us a call and let’s discuss.