Practicing leg elevation at the end of a long busy day has to be one of the most rewarding things. However, most people do not know it helps cure certain conditions like leg ulcers and varicose veins.
A leg elevation pillow is a unique, versatile pillow designed to provide comfort, leisure and improve medical conditions. Doctors recommend using leg elevation pillows for patients with orthopedic issues.
The most appropriate way to practice leg elevation is by laying flat on your back and placing a pillow under your feet. Note that your leg should be higher than your heart, and the knee bent slightly.
Some people might consider using a pile of clothes or a towel as an alternative. However, this method is less effective as the materials are not firm enough to hold your weight. Leg elevation pillows, on the other hand, have a design that works efficiently.
Why Is A Leg Elevation Pillow Important?
While leg elevation pillows may look like leisure to some people, they are medical tools to others. Different people benefit from leg elevation pillows in different ways. For instance, many older people use leg elevation pillows to improve their general body health and productivity.
Improves Blood Flow
When standing upright, veins work against gravity to transport blood back to the heart. As a result, there is high pressure in the veins, slow blood flow, and swelling, causing tiredness and pain.
Using a leg elevation pillow for about fifteen to twenty minutes daily reduces the above risks if done correctly. It improves blood flow by decreasing the veins' pressure and reducing swelling.
After a long day of standing, you will most likely notice swelling around your feet. The swelling comes from fluid retention from high pressure in veins—fluids exit blood vessels, resulting in conditions like edema.
Leg elevation using the right pillow uses gravity to lower the pressure in the veins. As a result, the blood vessels draw the fluids back, reducing swelling.
Eases Leg And Back Pain
Practicing leg elevation helps relax the muscles on the lower back, reducing pain due to sciatica. Also, using the right leg elevation pillow improves posture and relieves pain in the spine due to compression.
For people with insomnia, a good leg elevation pillow helps improve blood circulation and eases pain hence better sleep. Also, the practice of elevating your legs is very comfortable, and you might find yourself drifting to sleep easily.
Facilitates Recovery From Surgery
After surgery, an elevation pillow improves blood flow, and body movement helps in recovery. It also reduces the risk of blood clots by elevating the hips and legs once the operation is over.
Refreshes The Body
Laying down and elevating your legs after a long day is very therapeutic. Aside from improving blood flow and relieving pain, good leg elevation pillows improve your mood and overall mental health.
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What To Consider Before Buying A Leg Elevation Pillow
Buying the best elevation pillow can be tiresome. Depending on whether it was a prescription or your choice to buy one, there are some things to consider. This way, you can purchase a pillow that addresses your problems.
The Purpose Of The Pillow
Before buying a leg elevation pillow, you want to know the purpose of the pillow, whether medical or leisure. Knowing how you want your leg elevation pillow to serve you enables you to understand what to look for when searching.
Material Of The Pillow
Leg elevation pillows are available in foam, feather, and down materials. While memory foam is the most functional, it is not a good choice for those who sweat in their sleep. On the other hand, feather leg elevation pillows might trigger allergic reactions in those allergic to feathers.
Another alternative available in the market nowadays is the double-layered leg elevation pillow. The double-layered leg elevation pillow has a top layer of memory foam, while the remaining part has polyurethane foam.
The Sturdiness Of The Pillow
When looking for a leg elevation pillow, you want to choose one that is not too soft and not too firm. You also want to ensure that the pillow you choose has high responsiveness and does not flatten easily. Double-layered leg elevation pillows have excellent sturdiness.
Memory foam is firm yet highly responsive but flattens quickly and fits the top part of the double-layered pillow. Polyurethane foams, on the other hand, are very firm and can withstand a lot of weight, therefore fitting for the pillow's bottom part.
Size And Shape Of The Pillow
Most medical conditions require a leg elevation pillow that offers a forty-five degrees angle of elevation. However, your pillow's size and shape depend on your situation and preference.
Before buying a pillow, check whether the cover is removable, machine-washable, or hypoallergenic. The best leg elevation pillow has a soft pillow cover that is easy to clean and durable.
Some pillow companies do not offer pillowcases for their leg elevation pillows. Therefore, when choosing a pillow case for your pillow, ensure that it fits well; otherwise, it causes slipping. Some materials to consider for your pillow cover include cotton, polyester, and polycotton.
While it is crucial to stay on budget, do not forget to aim for the best leg elevation pillow. Leg elevation pillows are affordable and available; therefore, saving for a high-quality pillow is possible.
In addition, we recommend buying your leg elevation pillows from companies that offer Return policies in case you are dissatisfied.
What Health Conditions Do Leg Elevation Help?
Many physicians recommend leg elevation to help cure some of the conditions their patients suffer from. Whether it is an injury or recovery from surgery, leg elevation using the right pillow facilitates healing.
Chronic Vein Insufficiency (CVI) is when blood fails to travel back to the heart like normal. As a result, blood accumulates in your legs, causing pain, and swelling, and can even lead to varicose veins. Varicose veins occur when blood pools in the veins appear blue and swollen.
Superficial thrombophlebitis is a condition causing swelling and tenderness due to a blood clot in a vein under the skin. Another vein condition is Deep Vein Thrombosis which involves a blood clot forming in a deep vein on the leg.
Lymphedema is a condition that happens due to a problem in the lymphatic system. The lymphatic fluid accumulates in different body parts, including the legs. Doctors recommend practicing leg elevation during the early stages of the condition.
Pregnant women tend to experience a lot of swelling during their expectancy period. The reason is the pressure of the uterus, high fluid retention, and hormonal changes. Leg elevation reduces the swelling.
Cellulitis is a skin condition whose symptoms include swelling, skin redness, and tenderness. The condition is due to bacteria entering the body through the skin, and you can easily control it using antibiotics. However, doctors recommend leg elevation if it affects the limb.
What To Do Before Practicing Leg Elevation?
Before practicing leg elevation, it is essential to consult with your doctor. Some conditions do not require leg elevation and practicing it might worsen the situation. Also, adhere to the doctor's recommendation if leg elevation is part of your recovery process.
Note that you must practice leg elevation properly; otherwise, it will not be effective. Remember, you want to ensure that your back has good support before elevating your leg to an angle above the heart.
A leg elevation pillow improves your overall body and mental health. It improves blood flow, lowers blood pressure, and reduces swelling. However, please consult your doctor in case you have an underlying condition for informed decision-making.
Feruza is a mom and a blogger. She had a neck pain for 15 years, which made her interested in everything about pillows.
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