A leg elevation pillow does a lot more for your body than you think it does. There are A TON of reasons why you should be elevating your legs each day, and some of these reasons, you might not be aware of!
Fact #1: A leg elevation pillow for circulation, DOES actually help with circulation
You may be thinking "how does a leg elevation pillow help with circulation?" The answer is… gravity! When your feet are resting on a leg elevation wedge, your feet are at the highest point of your body. This allows the force of gravity to assist blood flow back to the heart.
Elevation is important especially if you have any sort of vein related issue. This could be a problem with the valves in your veins, or it could be the result of your veins stiffening. Either way, when someone with a vein issue spends a lot of time standing or sitting, their veins have difficulty transporting blood back to their heart efficiently. This results in blood “pooling” in the legs which causes swelling and leg discomfort.
Elevating your legs on a leg elevation wedge, 15-20 minutes each day, is an excellent way to manage leg swelling caused by venous insufficiency. It takes gravity out of the situation and gives your veins a chance to “catch up,” if you will. After a long day of gravity pulling fluid down to your feet, elevate your legs to help the fluid flow out of your feet and legs.
Fact #2: Inflammation decreases when you use a leg elevation pillow for swelling
A leg elevation pillow for swelling can help those who have redness, skin sensitivity, fluid retention, and tenderness in their legs as a result of edema. These symptoms occur as a direct result of the pressure built up in your compromised veins. Leaving this untreated can cause serious complications.
To prevent and help treat complications from lower extremity swelling, use a leg elevation pillow. Consistent elevation will gradually decrease the swelling in your legs. As your swelling decreases, so will the pressure in your veins, leaving your feet and ankles more mobile and leaving you in less pain.
Fact #3: The best way to elevate is with a contoured leg wedge
You heard it, the best way to elevate your legs is with a contoured leg wedge. Why, you ask? First, when you recline on this type of leg wedge, your ankles are resting at the highest point of the wedge. This is important because it ensures gravity will be able to bring blood flow from the furthest part of your leg, back up towards your heart.
Secondly, the contours spread out the force of gravity on your legs to eliminate pressure points. These are areas where blood flow may be restricted due to excessive pressure. When you rest your legs in the contours, it ensures that your legs won’t be resting on any painful pressure points.
Thirdly, the strategically placed contours are ergonomic. They match the natural shape of your legs and offer them the most support. This offers you the most comfort while you elevate.
Fact #4: You can use a leg elevation pillow for varicose veins
A leg elevation pillow for varicose veins is a natural treatment for varicose veins with no side effects. Leg elevation can even be combined with simple exercises to reduce swelling.
When you exercise while you elevate your legs, your muscles act like a pump sending blood back to your heart. This, combined with gravity, is an effective way to reduce lower extremity swelling. Check with your doctor if you have a complex medical history, just to make sure using a leg elevation pillow is appropriate.
A leg elevation pillow is a great tool to use daily. There are very few things that most everyone will benefit from, but leg elevation is one of them!
-Bryan Blare, Doctor of Physical Therapy