Many factors can cause leg swelling and lower leg pain, but the most common are standing for a long time, sitting for extended periods of time, pregnancy, and varicose veins.

Both standing and sitting for long periods impede circulation since the muscles aren’t contracting for blood flow. Pregnancy increases pressure in leg veins as there is additional blood volume and weight. Varicose veins are caused by weakened valves in the veins. These one-way valves prevent blood from flowing backward, but when they fail, blood is free to collect in the legs and cause pressure, swelling, and pain.

Reducing Leg Swelling and Pain Due to Inactivity and Pregnancylower leg pain

Wearing compression stockings may help reduce swelling and pain during long periods of standing or sitting. These stockings gently squeeze the legs to move blood up towards the heart. If you’re sitting for a long period, be sure to move the legs a bit to keep that blood flowing.

During pregnancy, it is recommended to take regular breaks from sitting or standing with a short walk to keep the blood from pooling to lower extremities. When sitting, keeping the legs up with a stack of books helps circulation.

Reducing Lower Leg Swelling and Pain Due to Varicose Veins

There are a variety of minimally invasive, in-office treatments to reduce lower leg swelling and leg pain caused by varicose veins. Ultrasound guided radio frequency or laser energy can be used to send bursts of energy directly into the vein to collapse it, rerouting blood through a healthier vein. Foam sclerotherapy is another minimally invasive treatment, though it is most often used on spider veins.

Another treatment option is ambulatory phlebectomy. In this method, the physician extracts the vein via a hook-like device. This works well when the body hasn’t absorbed the vein.

Our registered vascular technologist, using a duplex Doppler ultrasound machine, can determine if leg swelling and pain are being caused by chronic venous insufficiency, the root cause of most cases of varicose veins. The ultrasound test measures the speed of blood flow and depicts the structure of leg veins.