What Causes Swelling in the Legs?

If you’re experiencing swelling in your legs, you’re not alone. Swollen feet and legs are a common occurrence that can be caused by a variety of factors. At New York Vein Treatment, we understand the discomfort and frustration that can come with swollen legs. In this article, we’ll explore the causes of leg swelling and what you can do to alleviate it.

What is Leg Swelling?

Swelling in the legs is medically known as edema. It occurs when excess fluid accumulates in the tissues, causing them to expand. Leg swelling can occur in one or both legs, and it can affect any part of the leg, from the foot to the thigh. It’s essential to determine the cause of leg swelling to provide proper treatment.

Common Causes of Leg Swelling:

  • Fluid Buildup: One of the most common causes of leg swelling is fluid buildup. This can occur due to a range of reasons, including standing or sitting for long periods of time, high salt intake, and heart failure. Fluid buildup can cause the legs to feel heavy and uncomfortable, and it’s often accompanied by other symptoms, such as shortness of breath and fatigue.
  • Liver Disease: Liver disease can also lead to leg swelling. When the liver isn’t functioning correctly, it can cause fluid to accumulate in the legs and abdomen. This type of swelling is known as ascites, and it can be severe and uncomfortable.
  • Problematic Blood Vessels: Issues with blood vessels, such as blood clots or varicose veins, can cause leg swelling. Blood clots can block the flow of blood and cause the affected leg to swell, while varicose veins can lead to fluid buildup and swelling.
  • Kidney Disease: Kidney disease can cause fluid buildup in the legs, leading to swelling. This can occur when the kidneys don’t correctly and can’t eliminate excess fluid from the body.
  • Blood Pressure Medicines: Certain blood pressure medicines can cause leg swelling as a side effect. This type of swelling typically occurs in the feet and ankles and is usually mild.
  • Sitting or Standing for Long Periods: Sitting or standing for long periods of time can cause leg swelling. This is because the muscles in the legs aren’t working to pump blood back up to the heart, causing fluid buildup and swelling.
  • Chronic Venous Insufficiency: Chronic venous insufficiency is a condition where the valves in the veins don’t function correctly, leading to blood pooling in the legs. This can cause swelling, pain, and skin changes, such as discoloration and thickening.
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis: Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a condition where a blood clot forms in the deep veins of the legs. This can cause pain, swelling, and warmth in the affected leg, and it requires urgent medical attention.
What causes swelling in the legs? Discover what causes swelling in legs and how to treat it at New York Vein Treatment. Get a personalized treatment plan from our board-certified vein doctors.

Can Asthma Cause Swelling in Legs?

Asthma is a respiratory condition that causes inflammation in the airways, making it difficult to breathe. While asthma doesn’t directly cause leg swelling, some asthma medications can lead to fluid buildup and swelling in the legs. If you’re experiencing leg swelling and are taking asthma medication, talk to your doctor to determine if the medication is the cause.

Treating Leg Swelling

The treatment for leg swelling will depend on the underlying cause. At New York Vein Treatment, we always diagnose the root cause of leg swelling before curating a personalized treatment plan. Here are some common treatment options:

  • Compression Stockings: Compression stockings are a non-invasive treatment that can help alleviate leg swelling. These stockings apply pressure to the legs, helping to improve circulation and reduce fluid buildup.
  • Diuretics: Diuretics are medications that can help reduce fluid buildup in the body by increasing urine output. These medications can be effective in treating leg swelling caused by heart, liver, or kidney disease.
  • Elevating the Legs: Elevating the legs above the heart can help reduce fluid buildup in the legs. This can be done by lying down with the legs elevated on pillows or by sitting with the legs raised on a footstool or some pillows.
  • Lifestyle Changes: Making lifestyle changes such as reducing salt intake, staying active, and avoiding prolonged periods of sitting or standing can alleviate leg swelling caused by fluid buildup and underlying vein problems.
  • Vein Treatment: If leg swelling is caused by issues with blood vessels, such as varicose veins or chronic venous insufficiency, vein treatment may be necessary. We offer a range of minimally invasive treatments, including sclerotherapy, endovenous laser ablation, radiofrequency ablation, and VenaSeal, to effectively treat these conditions.


Experiencing symptoms of vein disease? Book an appointment with one of the our Vein Specialists in New York.

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Preventing Leg Swelling

While leg swelling can be uncomfortable, there are steps you can take to prevent it from occurring. Here are some tips for preventing leg swelling:

  • Stay Active: Staying active can help improve circulation in the legs, preventing fluid buildup and swelling. Exercise regularly and try to avoid prolonged periods of sitting or standing.
  • Maintain a Healthy Weight: Carrying excess weight can put additional pressure on the legs, leading to fluid buildup and swelling. Maintaining a healthy weight can help alleviate this issue.
  • Avoid High Salt Intake: Consuming too much salt can lead to fluid retention in the body, including the legs. Avoid high salt intake and opt for low-sodium foods instead.
  • Wear Compression Stockings: If you’re prone to leg swelling, wearing compression stockings can help prevent it from occurring. These stockings apply pressure to the legs, improving circulation and reducing fluid buildup.

Visit New York Vein Treatment

Leg swelling can be a common and uncomfortable issue. Understanding the underlying cause of leg swelling is crucial in developing an effective treatment plan. At New York Vein Treatment, we offer a range of minimally invasive treatments to effectively treat leg swelling caused by issues with blood vessels. By making lifestyle changes and following preventive measures, you can reduce the risk of leg swelling and improve overall leg health.

At New York Vein Treatment, we offer two convenient locations for patients to receive personalized consultations and treatment plans. Our Midtown Manhattan location is located in the heart of the city, opposite Grand Central Station and Penn Station. Our Financial District location is easily accessible and conveniently located near the 9/11 Tribute Museum. We offer free insurance verification, and our board-certified vein doctors are committed to providing top-quality care and personalized treatment plans to help alleviate your leg swelling.

If you’re experiencing leg swelling, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment today!




Veins Specialist NYC

He leads the team of vein doctors offering the highest level of care at our Spider and Varicose Vein Treatment Center NYC.



Veins Specialists NYC

Highly sought after for his expertise and excellent outcomes in Vein Treatments in Manhattan.



Veins Specialists NYC

She has extensive experience with vein performing procedures based on New York City.


Dr. Caroline Novak

Veins Specialists NYC

She is an Internal Medicine and Vein Disease specialist with experience in minimally invasive treatments at our Long Island clinic.


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