6 Health Benefits of Leg Elevation Pillows
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. The many benefits of leg elevation include increasing venous blood flow, reducing swelling, and relieving 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 your veins are fighting gravity to deliver blood back to your heart. Here are six more reasons you should invest in a leg elevation pillow.
1. Improve Blood Flow in the Veins
When you step out of bed each morning, your veins begin to work against gravity as they transport blood from your feet all the way up to your heart. This often results in high pressure in the veins, stagnant venous blood flow, and swelling, all of which contribute to the tired, aching feeling that your legs may experience at the end of the day. One of the benefits of elevating your legs every day is countering this effect. 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 done incorrectly, leg elevation is ineffective, and you may risk worsening symptoms. To avoid this, we suggest using a leg elevation wedge or 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 not only affects your circulation but can also lead to swelling. If you’ve ever spent a long day on your feet, your feet and calves have likely appeared a bit larger. This is due to fluid retention, which occurs when high pressure in veins causes fluid to exit tiny blood vessels, or capillaries, resulting in leg swelling or edema. The good news is that you can also take advantage of gravity by elevating your legs, which lowers the pressure in your veins and draws fluid into the capillaries 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. Using a wedge pillow for leg elevation is an easy way to comfortably stay in this position, which maximizes venous flow back to your heart.
3. Lessen Leg and Back Pain
If you spend all day on your feet, you may find yourself dealing with back pain in addition to leg pain, perhaps long after you’ve come home or even on your days off. Another great benefit of leg elevation is that keeping your knees bent can help relax the muscles in your back. If you struggle with chronic pain in these areas, getting a leg elevation pillow to try at home can allow you to give your back a much-needed break and feel better.
4. Reduce The Pressure on Your Body
It's common to automatically head for the couch and watch some tv or catch up on the latest news upon coming home after a long day. If you needed another reason to do so, relaxation not only helps improve mood and mental health, but it can help improve your physical health too! Proper blood circulation and reducing joint pressure assist your body in repairing itself after a hard day. You can easily make the most of your daily routine of decompressing at home by using this time to incorporate leg elevation and all its benefits. 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 a leg elevation pillow makes it even easier to elevate your legs while you're relaxing on the couch. Simply place the pillow on the couch, kick your legs up and unwind!
5. Sleep Better at Night
But it doesn't stop with pain relief – the benefits of sleeping with your legs elevated include relief from insomnia! If you have trouble sleeping, elevating your legs before bed can help you fall asleep faster and increase your quality of sleep. Boosting circulation, reducing swelling, and easing pressure on your joints all assist your body in relaxing. In fact, elevating your legs is so comfortable that you might even find yourself drifting off to sleep. As with daily leg elevation, investing in a quality leg elevation pillow for sleeping is more important than ever to ensure the proper position. Normal bedroom pillows not only tend to move around and deflate throughout the night, but also usually do not create the proper angle for optimal blood flow.
6. Promote Recovery from Surgery
Finally, another benefit of leg elevation is to aid in healing after an operation. After surgery, early mobilization is often key to a successful recovery. While your body is resting, elevating your legs increases venous blood flow to help reduce swelling from embolization. Using a leg or foot elevation pillow after foot surgery can alleviate pain as well as result in faster healing. After most other hip or leg operations, leg elevation can also help lower the risk of blood clots or developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Designed by a Board-Certified Vascular Surgeon, our patented Lounge Doctor Leg Rest makes a great post-surgery leg elevation pillow.
Now that you know the benefits of leg elevation, you can see that it's one of the easiest things you can do for your health. Your legs will feel well-rested and energized because you have flushed out the sluggish venous blood – and they'll look healthy and fit because they're not swollen. This is one daily habit that you will truly look forward to. Shop our selection here to put your feet up and take it easy!
Kaki Zell - Vice President of Sales, Marketing, eCommerce at Legs-4-Life LLC
Medically Reviewed February 2021
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.
Written June 2019 | Page last updated December 2021
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