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Leg elevation to reduce limb swelling

Discover the health benefits of putting your legs up

When you elevate your legs, it can help keep the blood from pooling in your lower legs, ankles and feet.

Did you know that leg elevation has multiple benefits? These include:

  • Improving blood flow: Elevating your legs can help to improve blood flow and prevent or improve varicose veins by pushing the excess fluid back up towards your heart.
  • Reducing inflammation and limb swelling: Swelling can be caused by the build-up of excess fluid travelling down to the lowest part of your body. Elevating your legs above your heart will help to drain the fluid away quicker.
  • Decreasing pressure: Prolonged sitting or standing, can cause blood to pool in the veins in your legs, increasing the pressure on your veins. Elevating your legs can help to alleviate this pressure.
  • Managing swelling: Leg elevation may help reduce swelling and puffiness in your legs encouraging fluid to drain from the place of highest elevation (your feet) back to the place of lowest elevation (your upper body). 

"Get your legs up! Elevation is a great thing. Lie down somewhere comfy and elevate your legs above the level of your heart. Get yourself a good book – let your skin breathe while you relax!" [Legs Matter](http://legsmatter.org/)

How to elevate your legs

  1. Get into a comfortable position, sitting or lying down
  2. Position your legs above your heart, you can use a cushion or two to help you achieve this
  3. Relax! Grab a book, or your favourite Netflix series and rest for at least 15 minutes
  4. If you can, repeat 3-4 times a day 

It is possible that leg elevation may not be recommended for your condition. If you have concerns about your legs or feet, please talk to your GP, nurse or pharmacist for further advice.

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