Swollen legs can pose a common issue, particularly among women who may be overweight or spend prolonged periods in high heels. This can lead to sensations of tiredness, heaviness, and swelling in the feet and ankles, especially in hot and humid conditions.

When encountering these discomforts, the instinct might be to opt for rest as the solution. However, there might be more effective approaches.

According to research, when you find yourself in situations that require extended periods of standing or sitting, it’s advisable to incorporate walking or calf muscle contractions into your routine to alleviate leg swelling. This practice supports blood return to the heart, reducing venous stasis, the primary cause of lower leg swelling and the associated sense of heaviness. Venous stasis occurs due to a loss of elasticity in the walls of veins, hindering the efficient return of blood from the lower limbs to the heart and lungs, often resulting in varicose vein formation.

Risk Factors for Telangiectasias and Varicose Veins

Varicose veins, also known as varicosities, stem from disorders within the superficial venous system of the lower limbs. These disorders encompass telangiectasias, characterized by the dilation of small venules that become swollen and painful.

The distinctive tortuous appearance and bluish color of varicose veins arise from a lack of elasticity and consistent venous congestion, as veins and venules permanently dilate, swelling and becoming tender to the touch.

Experts emphasize that venous system disorders can be associated with compromised lymphatic systems in the lower extremities, leading to issues such as varicose vein swelling, leg heaviness, nocturnal cramps, itching, and lower limb pain.

Age and a family history of these conditions constitute predisposing factors for superficial venous system diseases. A family history of varicose veins, especially when combined with lifestyle-related risk factors like obesity, smoking, and a sedentary way of life, elevates the likelihood of developing venous diseases. Moreover, occupations that entail prolonged standing, particularly in hot and humid environments, can heighten the risk.

Tips for Alleviating Fatigued and Swollen Legs

While there is no singular method to prevent varicose veins, certain lifestyle adjustments can enhance blood circulation and reduce the risk of venous loss of elasticity, benefiting individuals with varicose veins:

  • Maintain an active lifestyle and exercise regularly, encompassing walking, swimming, and cycling to enhance circulation and manage weight.
  • Regulate your weight to avoid overweight and obesity.
  • Adopt a balanced diet, especially during the summer, emphasizing high-fiber foods like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains (spelt, barley, brown rice, millet). Restrict overly salty foods.
  • Make informed choices regarding footwear, particularly in hot weather, minimizing the extended use of high heels, which can contribute to increased venous stasis.
  • Minimize or abstain from smoking, a risk factor for venous system diseases.
  • Vary your sitting or standing positions, as excessive consecutive hours of either can exacerbate varicose vein symptoms. If compelled to stand for extended periods, as is typical during work or waiting in the summer sun, intermittently contracting and releasing calf muscles while standing can enhance venous return from the legs to the heart, mitigating venous stasis and leg swelling. Similarly, when seated for extended durations, such as during air travel, try elevating your limbs by placing your feet on a small support or pillow.