If a swollen leg does not require immediate medical attention, Mayo Clinic recommends resting the leg in an elevated position, using a pillow under the leg. Moving around instead of standing or sitting for long periods is also beneficial for reducing leg swelling. MedlinePlus suggests wearing support stockings and avoiding clothing, such as garters, that constricts the leg.
Sometimes leg swelling requires medical attention, notes Mayo Clinic. Leg swelling that is accompanied by chest pain, difficulty breathing, dizziness or confusion may indicate a serious medical condition and requires emergency care. People with heart, kidney or liver ailments should contact a doctor immediately, according to MedlinePlus, as should pregnant women who experience unusual swelling.
Some types of blood pressure medication cause leg swelling, MedlinePlus explains. A doctor can modify medication or introduce new drugs to alleviate the problem. Specific medical treatment for leg swelling depends on the cause, so treatment first involves tests to determine what injury or medical condition has led to the swelling.
If the knee or swollen area is painful, WebMD recommends rest and elevation. Ice also helps reduce swelling after an injury. Anti-inflammatory medications, such as Aleve or Mortin, help reduce both pain and swelling. If pain occurs after exercise, switching to exercises such as swimming or low-impact aerobics can help prevent future problems.