Seek emergency medical care if you have leg swelling and any of the following signs or symptoms, which can indicate a blood clot in your lungs or a serious heart condition:
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Shortness of breath with exertion or lying flat in bed
- Fainting or dizziness
- Coughing blood
Also, seek immediate care if your leg swelling:
- Occurs suddenly and for no apparent reason
- Is related to a physical injury, such as from a fall, a sports injury or a car accident
- Occurs in one leg and is painful, or is accompanied by cool, pale skin
Schedule a doctor's visit
Nonemergency problems related to leg swelling still need prompt care. Leg swelling that is the side effect of a drug can look just like leg swelling caused by a kidney disorder. Make an appointment as soon as possible so that your doctor can diagnose the cause.
Before your appointment, consider the following tips:
- Restrict the amount of salt in your diet.
- Put a pillow under your legs when lying down, which may lessen swelling related to the buildup of fluid.
- Wear elastic compression stockings, but avoid stockings that are tight around the top — if you can see the indentation from the elastic, they might be too tight.
- If you need to stand or sit for long periods, give yourself frequent breaks and move around, unless the movement causes pain.
- Don't stop taking a prescription medication without talking to your doctor, even if you suspect it may be causing leg swelling.
- Over-the-counter acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) might ease pain associated with the swelling.
March 05, 2022
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