COVID vs. Leg Health
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many of life’s normal routines over the last year, leading many of us to work from home, sitting at a desk for long hours and becoming more sedentary as health clubs are closed. Opportunities for activity and exercise have been more limited particularly during winter months.
The result of this “work from home era” often contributes to leg, ankle, foot swelling and aching. These symptoms may largely be due to lack of exercise, a bit of weight gain, and decreased circulation in the lower legs due to inactivity.
When the legs are moving and leg muscles are contracting, this helps blood and lymphatic fluid circulate back up the leg. Sitting at a desk with legs in a dependent position for long hours without activity can cause decreased vein circulation resulting in pooling of blood and lymphatic fluid in the lower legs.
The result? Puffy legs and varicose veins that become worse. You may notice symptoms such as leg fatigue, heaviness, aching and painful inflamed veins becoming worse as well.
Leg swelling and lymphedema can usually be managed well with activity, exercise, leg elevation and compression hose. Varicose veins are often a progressive issue and early treatment can help mitigate complications of advanced disease. An in-office, minimally invasive procedure can help restore normal vascular flow, as well as help reduce the risk of blood clots. These treatments are covered by most insurance plans including Medicare.
COVID-19 has placed many obstacles in our paths, but being proactive in optimizing your leg health can improve overall fitness and reduce risks of longer term complications.