Do your legs feel heavy, tight, or achy? Do they look bigger than usual? If so, you may be experiencing leg swelling. While this can be uncomfortable, it’s usually not cause for alarm. Leg swelling, also known as edema, can be a sign of an underlying medical issue or condition. It is important to understand the common causes of leg swelling so that you can take appropriate action to treat and manage it. We will discuss some of the most common causes of leg swelling and provide information on the treatment options available.

Common Causes of Leg Swelling 

Venous Insufficiency

Red Blood Cells

Leg swelling can be a difficult condition to live with, and many individuals suffering from it are unsure of the cause. It turns out that venous insufficiency could be one possible source of the problem. This is where the valves inside the blood vessels aren’t functioning well, meaning that blood gets backed up in these veins – particularly in the legs. As a result, high blood pressure places extra strain on your leg veins, causing them to become swollen as they carry an increased amount of fluid. This can make performing your day-to-day tasks more challenging, and people may experience aches and pains as a result or even see darkened skin color due to excess blood. If you believe venous insufficiency is causing your leg swelling, make sure you speak with a healthcare professional for support and advice.


Lymphedema is a condition in which excess fluid accumulates in certain parts of the body, often in the arms or legs. Diseases affecting the lymph nodes can lead to lymphedema. The lymph nodes are part of the lymphatic system and help filter out bacteria, toxins and waste from the body. When these nodes become damaged or blocked, it can cause a build-up of fluid in certain parts of the body, which makes it one of the common leg swelling causes. In addition to visible swelling, lymphedema can also cause pain and tightness in affected areas. Lymphedema is commonly caused by damage to the lymphatic system, which is responsible for draining away excess fluid from around cells throughout the body. In some cases, lymphedema may be due to diseases such as cancer or genetic disorders affecting lymph vessels. Fortunately, there are treatments available for lymphedema which help reduce plasticity and manage signs and symptoms like leg swelling. It’s important to get immediate treatment if you have persistent leg swelling as it could be an indication of a larger health issue like lymphedema.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), otherwise known as a blood clot in the deep veins of the leg, is a serious condition that if left untreated can cause serious health complications. DVT is often linked to leg swelling, as it prevents healthy circulation of blood in and around the leg. This lack of movement causes the reflux of pressure in the veins and can lead to severe swelling. It can also be difficult to make a diagnosis due to symptom similarity with other conditions, so it is important to talk to your health practitioner if you experience any concerning patterns in your legs. With effective treatment, however, it possible to reduce swelling while managing risk factors associated with the condition and improve your overall health.


Cellulitis is a serious skin infection in which bacteria infects the tissue below the surface of the skin, leading to inflammation and redness. Left untreated, it can result in leg swelling caused by impeded circulation. Leg swelling can be particularly painful and cause further irritation to the already inflamed skin. It’s therefore important to seek medical attention once the symptoms are apparent, so that the underlying infection can be diagnosed and treated early on before more damage is caused. 

Arterial Insufficiency

 arterial insufficiency

One of the possible culprits that’s possible causing swelling is arterial insufficiency, which occurs when there is restricted blood flow to the legs. This lack of circulation results in fluid buildup and leads to considerable swelling of the lower leg and foot. Treatment can include lifestyle modifications such as quitting smoking and exercising regularly, along with medications aimed at improving blood flow. Interventions such as compression stockings may also be used to counteract the effects of tissue swelling and re-establish proper blood circulation in the affected area. If you are suffering from leg swelling, it’s important to consult with your physician so that a diagnosis can be made and proper treatment prescribed.

Treatment Options 

General Treatments 

The treatment for leg swelling depends on its underlying cause but there are some general treatments that may help ease swelling, pain and other symptoms regardless of what’s causing them. These include elevating your legs when possible (i.e., when resting or sleeping), wearing compression stockings during activities that involve standing for long periods (such as exercising), avoiding eating salty foods (which can increase fluid retention) and exercising regularly to improve circulation. 

Sclerotherapy & Endovenous Laser Ablation Therapy 

If you have a more serious medical condition such as venous insufficiency then your doctor may suggest more aggressive treatments like sclerotherapy or endovenous laser ablation therapy (EVLT). Both these treatments are minimally invasive procedures that help improve circulation by closing off varicose veins or other damaged vessels in your legs so they prevent further damage and no longer allow blood to pool in your legs causing edema/swelling. 

Leg swelling is a common symptom that can have several different underlying causes ranging from pregnancy to aging-related vein problems such as venous insufficiency. If you experience any kind of persistent leg pain or swelling then it’s important to speak with your doctor about potential diagnosis and treatment options for relief. While mild cases may be able to be managed at home with lifestyle changes such as elevating your legs when possible and wearing compression stockings during activities involving prolonged standing; more severe cases may require additional treatments such as sclerotherapy or EVLT depending on what’s causing the problem in the first place. Ultimately, speaking with a qualified vascular surgeon who specializes in treating vein issues will help you determine the best course of action for managing any painful symptoms associated with swollen legs due to poor circulation or other medical conditions! If you’re in need of a qualified vascular surgeon, contact the team at Tinsley Surgical to book an appointment today!