Swelling in the legs can be painful, uncomfortable, and can keep you from enjoying your life to the fullest. The swelling can be caused by heart disease, blood clots, or something as ordinary as prolonged standing or sitting, pregnancy, or taking ibuprofen.
The Mayo Clinic recommends that if you suffer from leg edema (the technical term for the swelling of the legs, ankles and feet), you follow the following measures and make an appointment with your doctor:
- Take frequent breaks when standing or sitting for an extended period of time. Move around, unless it causes pain.
- Don’t stop taking your medications, even if you think that they might be the source of the swelling of the legs.
- Try an over the counter pain medication that lessens swelling. It may also help alleviate the pain associated with leg edema.
- Elevate your legs when lying down, as this can lessen the buildup of fluid.
It’s this last tip that we will focus on here. An adjustable bed can keep your legs comfortably elevated while resting, sleeping, watching TV, or reading.
Piling pillows under your legs may be an effective short term solution, but anyone that has tried to sleep this way knows that the pillows will slide and eventually become misaligned, causing the legs to fall. This most often happens when you’re asleep, and therefore unaware. This type of unsteady elevation is beneficial for the first hour, but is ineffective for the entire night.
Elevating swollen legs, ankles, and feet doesn’t only make the condition more comfortable, it can actually assist in draining that extra fluid from the extremities, and improving the condition.
More serious than regular leg edema, ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, can also be helped immensely by an adjustable bed. The ALS Association defines ALS as a progressive disease that affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, eventually making them unable to control the movement of muscles. This disease eventually leads to decreased movement, up to paralysis.
While adjustable beds cannot assist in some areas of ALS such as difficulty swallowing or speaking, it can help with the painful swelling of the legs due to inactivity. The heart pumps blood into the extremities, but often needs help from muscle movement to bring that blood back to the heart. ALS sufferers are either unable to move, or have such painful, restricted movement, that the blood doesn’t travel quickly back to the heart, and pools at the feet.
An actual ALS sufferer noted that she felt much better after getting a full night’s sleep, elevating her legs. This took down the swelling in her feet and legs, and kept it at bay for most of the day. She stated that lying in bed was more beneficial for her than sitting in a recliner.
By raising the foot of the adjustable bed, this assists in getting that blood back to the heart, and reducing swelling. Not only does this make for a more pleasant day, but it also helps the ALS sufferer stay more active, and keep the swelling at bay. An adjustable bed is just one way to help combat the symptoms of this painful and devastating disease.
Whether you just have occasional swelling, or chronic edema or ALS, an adjustable bed can increase your circulation, and get that blood and fluid back into your circulation system, instead of pooling in your legs and feet.
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