Swelling of the legs can take many different shapes, thus it may affect the feet, joints, calves, or thighs. Although fluid retention (edema) in the legs and feet is the most frequent cause of swelling, it is not always the case. Inflamed or diseased joints or wounded tissue might result from swelling. Long periods of standing or sitting, injuries of any severity, as well as more serious conditions like heart disease or blood clots, are thought to be some of the causes.
It’s critical to make the right diagnosis because not all causes of edema are grave. Peripheral edema is another name for swellings brought on by fluid buildup. Gravity is partially to blame for the fluid buildup in the lower half of the body, particularly in the legs and feet, therefore it is not strange that swelling in the legs happens after prolonged standing or sitting. Be cautious, though, as other factors, such as hormonal fluctuations, cardiomyopathy, damage to the kidneys’ tiny blood veins, using painkillers like ibuprofen, as well as taking numerous prescription medications, can also contribute to edema. Inflammations brought on by immune system reactions can also result in swelling.
While leg swelling is not a medical emergency, its appearance makes it difficult to go about everyday activities and warrants a trip to the doctor. You shouldn’t disregard swollen legs given the wide range of potential causes, some of which are connected to the function and disorders of the kidney.
Any of the following signs or symptoms indicates an emergency that needs prompt medical attention: chest pain that lasts a few minutes, dizziness, numbness or tingling in the feet and legs, confusion, difficulty breathing, if you drank a new medication right before the swelling began, if your groin or lower abdomen swells at the same time as your legs swell and you also feel pain, and if you are pregnant in addition to the complaints listed here.