6 Health Benefits from Using a Leg Elevation Pillow
You know that it feels good to put your feet up at the end of the day, but do you know why? Well, it’s not just in your head. Elevating your legs increases venous blood flow, reduces swelling and relieves symptoms of high pressure in your veins. Standing on your feet, or sitting at a desk all day can cause your legs to ache because our veins are fighting gravity to get blood back to our heart! Here are six more reasons you should start elevating your legs daily.
1. Improve Blood Flow In The Veins
As soon as you step out of bed in the morning your veins are having to work against gravity, as the veins work to transport blood from our feet all the way up to our heart. This results in high pressure in the veins, stagnant venous blood flow, and swelling. The aching, heavy, tired feeling that you experience at the end of the day is related to this high venous pressure. Leg elevation, if done correctly, allows you to take advantage of gravity to lower the pressure in the veins, improve venous blood flow, and reduce swelling. However, if not done correctly it does not help and can even make things worse, so we suggest using a leg elevation pillow like our Lounge Doctor Leg Rest. Daily leg elevation for 15-20 minutes should be part of your daily routine for the health of your legs.
2. Help Reduce Swelling
Gravity doesn’t just affect your circulation. It can also lead to swelling. If you’ve ever spent a long day on your feet, your feet and calves have probably seemed a bit larger, because they were retaining fluid. When our legs are lower than our heart, the high pressure in the veins causes fluid to exit tiny blood vessels, or capillaries, and results in leg swelling or edema. Leg elevation lowers the pressure in our veins and draws fluid into the capillaries in order to reduce swelling. For leg elevation to be effective, your back should be flat so that your leg is higher than your heart with your knee slightly bent and ankle higher than your knee, to maximize venous flow back to your heart. In this position, you can take advantage of gravity to help increase venous blood flow.
3. Lessen Leg and Back Pain
If you spend all day on your feet, you probably find yourself dealing with leg and back pain long after you’ve come home, or maybe even on your days off. When you elevate your legs to help with venous pressure, keeping your knees bent can help relax the muscles in your back, allowing you to feel better and give you back a break. If your struggling with chronic pain in these areas, as well as the other symptoms listed here, you could consider getting a leg elevation pillow to try at home.
4. Reduce The Pressure On Your Body
Coming home after a long day we automatically want to relax on the couch and watch some tv or catch up on the latest news. You can easily incorporate elevating your legs into your daily routine of decompressing at home while you're relaxing on the couch. Even 15 minutes of proper leg elevation can help relieve tired, achy legs and improve any swelling that may have occurred throughout the day. Using our Lounge Doctor Leg Rest makes it even easier to elevate your legs, simply place the pillow on the couch, put your legs up and relax!
5. Take Time To Relax
We all know relaxation helps improve mood and mental health, but it can also help improve your physical health too! Boosting circulation, reducing swelling and easing pressure on your joints all help your body relax so it can repair itself after a hard day. If you have trouble sleeping, elevating your legs before bed can help you fall asleep faster and increase your quality of sleep. Plus, elevating your legs is so comfortable you might even drift off to sleep.
6. Promote Recovery from Surgery
After surgery, early mobilization is key to a successful recovery. While your body is resting, elevating your legs can help increase venous blood flow to help reduce swelling from embolization. Leg elevation after foot surgery helps reduce pain and can result in faster healing. After most other operations, leg elevation is important and may help lower the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
Daily leg elevation is one of the simplest things you can do for your health-- put your feet up and relax! This will result in legs that look healthy and fit because they’re not swollen. Your legs will feel rested and energized because you have flushed out the sluggish venous blood. Finally, there is no better way to relax. This is one daily habit that you will truly look forward to. Shop our selection here.
About the Author
Kaki Zell - Vice President of Sales, Marketing, eCommerce at Legs-4-Life LLC
Dr. Chris Dickson, M.D., is a board-certified vascular surgeon and Fellow of the American College of Surgeons who received his M.D. Degree from the University of Massachusetts Medical School and has received general surgery training from the Medical College of Pennsylvania. Dr. Dickson has obtained two vascular fellowships and three research fellowships and has also has authored 19 publications and two book chapters. Since 1996, Dr. Dickson has been in practice in Greensboro, North Carolina.