The Lounge Doctor Leg Rest™
The only patented leg rest designed by a Physician and based on science.
Our leg wedge pillow is the only patented leg elevation pillow which correctly positions the lower extremities in order to maximize venous and lymphatic flow.
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The most common medical conditions associated with leg swelling are venous disease, lymphatic disease, leg injuries, and pregnancy. All of these conditions are treated with leg elevation. To learn more about each of these indications, click on the links below.
Some less common medical conditions associated with leg swelling include: kidney failure, malnutrition, and liver disease. Leg elevation can also reduce the swelling associated with these conditions. Finally, simply standing or sitting for several hours can cause leg swelling.
The only cause of leg swelling that may not be treated with leg elevation is leg swelling secondary to congestive heart failure (CHF). Patients with CHF may become short of breath when lying flat, and, therefore may not be able to use this product.
Visit the Leg Elevation Classroom to learn why leg elevation reduces leg swelling.
Half of the adult population has some form of venous disease. Leg elevation is an essential part of the treatment for all venous disorders. The most common venous disorders are: varicose veins, chronic venous insufficiency, deep vein thrombosis, and phlebitis.
Varicose Veins are large dilated, superficial veins that can be painful. 20-30% of the adult population has varicose veins. Leg elevation relieves the pressure in the veins and alleviates the pain and swelling associated with venous engorgement. Leg elevation is also used after varicose vein surgery or laser ablation of the saphenous vein.
Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) affects 40% of the adult population. With this condition the vein valves don't work properly. For this reason, venous blood flow becomes stagnant and venous pressure increases. Red blood cells are squeezed out of the capillary into the surrounding tissue. Milder forms of CVI are associated with brownish discoloration of our skin. More sever forms result in thick scarred skin and venous ulcers. Leg elevation is used to treat the leg swelling and ulcers associated with chronic venous insufficiency. This is a chronic problem and patients with CVI need to make daily leg elevation a part of their lifestyle.
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot in the larger, deep veins. More than 500,000 hospitalized patients develop DVT each year. Leg elevation is part of the standard treatment for deep vein thrombosis and is also used to prevent deep vein thrombosis because it increases venous flow and prevents venous stasis or stagnant venous flow. Leg elevation also reduces the elevated venous pressure associated with a DVT and reduces swelling. Both elevated venous pressure and swelling are what cause the aching pain associated with a DVT.
Phlebitis is inflammation around a clotted superficial vein. This is treated with leg elevation, warm compresses, and ibuprofen. Leg elevation reduces the swelling and pain associated with phlebitis.
Visit the Leg Elevation Classroom to learn why leg elevation lowers venous pressure and improves venous blood flow.
Whenever we exercise, lactic acid accumulates in the muscle. Lactic acid is a breakdown product of muscle metabolism. This contributes to the muscles being sore the next day. Accumulated lactic acid can also cause cramps and spasms. Competitive athletes are instructed to elevate their legs after intense training or competition in order to rid their muscles of lactic acid. In addition, the muscle compartments swell after exercise as fluid and nutrients rush to the cells to try to repair the damage. This swelling also contributes to muscle soreness. Elevation gets rid of the accumulated lactic acid and reduces the swelling in order to prevent muscle soreness.
Muscle Recovery/Sports Performance:
Serious athletes play hard on game day and do significant damage to their muscles. However, our body has some amazing capabilities and our muscles respond by repairing the damage and becoming even stronger. The same principle applies to intense training. We push the muscles to the limit so that they will gradually become stronger over time. We injure the muscle so that it builds back stronger.
This type of intense competition and training results in swelling in the muscles. This swelling is actually the accumulation of interstitial fluid, which is the fluid which surrounds all of our cells. Accumulation of this fluid makes it more difficult for oxygen, proteins, and other nutrients to get to the cells which need them to repair the damage that was done. Leg elevation empties, this “cellular bathwater” and allows for more efficient exchange of nutrients so that muscles can recover more quickly and get ready to do battle again tomorrow.
Visit the Leg Elevation Classroom to learn more about the circulation of this critical interstitial fluid which surrounds every cell in our body.
Leg injuries are common. These include pulled muscles, sprains, fractures and shin splints. Leg injuries are treated with RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation). All four of these treatment methods prevent swelling. Swelling in the soft tissues is responsible for some of the pain associated with these injuries. In addition, swelling can interfere with healing. When the soft tissue is swollen, it is more difficult for important proteins and nutrients to be delivered to the injured tissue.
Visit the Leg Elevation Classroom to learn more about the harmful effects of swelling.
Many surgical patients can benefit from leg elevation. Here are a few examples.
First, surgical patients are at risk for developing a blood clot in their veins after surgery. This is called a Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT). Surgery increases our risk of developing a DVT because after surgery we are in bed a lot and are not active. This results in stagnant venous blood flow which is one of the major risk factors for DVT. Leg elevation lowers our risk of developing a DVT because it increases venous flow.
Leg elevation also reduces pain and swelling after surgery on our feet or legs. Also, reduced swelling results in better healing because swelling makes it more difficult for the proteins and nutrients to get to the cells that need them.
Visit the Leg Elevation Classroom to learn more about how the proteins and nutrients get from our blood to the cells that need them.
Many surgical patients are at risk for developing lymphedema after surgery. Lymphatic vessels are tiny microscopic vessels that collect fluid from the soft tissue in our legs and eventually empty this fluid back into a vein in the chest. The groin region and pelvic region have lots of lymphatic channels. Incisions heal by forming scar tissue which obstructs these lymphatic channels. Radiation therapy for cancer in these areas can also obstruct lymphatic flow.
Some examples of operations that can result in lymphedema I include: 1) Coronary Artery Bypass (because the vein is taken from the leg); 2) knee replacement surgery; 3) hip replacement surgery; 4) surgery in the pelvis for gynecologic cancer, prostate cancer, or colon cancer; 5) lymph node biopsy in the groin. Leg elevation reduces the swelling associated with lymphatic obstruction.
Visit the Leg Elevation Classroom to learn more about the lymphatic vessels.
Simply lying down can take pressure off of the back and relieve low back pain. However, there is an added benefit to having the thighs flexed at the hip as this partially flattens the lower back and reduces muscle tension. Flexing the thigh also relieves tension on the psoas muscle. The Lounge Doctor Leg Rest flexes the thigh 40 degrees. If you suffer from chronic low back pain, and do not own The Lounge Doctor Leg Rest™, trying lying flat and have someone position 3 or 4 pillows to elevate your thigh and calf to see if this helps your pain.
The Lounge Doctor Leg Rest™ will not cure your back problem. However, elevating your legs may provide temporary relief of your pain.
40 % of pregnant women develop varicose veins. This is largely due to hormonal changes that take place. Of those women who develop varicose veins, they begin in the first trimester 75% of the time, in the second trimester 20% of the time, and in the third trimester 5% of the time. Elevating the legs during the first and second trimesters helps to lower pressure in the veins and therefore reduce the pain and swelling associated with varicose veins. During the third trimester, it is most helpful to lie on your left side in order to take the weight of the uterus off of the inferior vena cava (the large vein in our abdomen that carries blood back to the heart.)
Pregnant women all retain fluid during pregnancy, and after delivery, leg elevation helps to remove the extra fluid.
Visit the Leg Elevation Classroom to learn why leg elevation lowers venous pressure and reduces leg swelling.
Standing/Sitting At Work
Standing/Sitting At Work
If you are on your feet a lot, you may ask, "Why does standing cause my legs to ache?" People who have jobs which require prolonged standing often complain of aching, heavy legs. Prolonged standing results in the accumulation of fluid in the soft tissue and high pressure in the veins. Both of these cause pain and discomfort.
Visit the Leg Elevation Classroom to learn more about the effects of standing and sitting on the health of our legs. However, what follows is a brief explanation of why standing and sitting elevates the pressure in our veins and makes our legs ache.
Our veins must get the venous blood back to the heart and therefore must work against gravity. Veins have valves to help keep blood flowing in the right direction. These valves only come into play when we are walking or are active. When the calf muscles contract, they squeeze the veins causing the valves to close and only allow blood flow back towards the heart. This is called the “calf muscle pump.” When we are simply standing or sitting, the valves are open which results in high pressure in the veins and leg swelling.
Patients with venous disease often have valves which don’t function. These are called incompetent valves. This makes it very difficult for venous blood to get back to the heart, as the “calf muscle pump” is no longer effective. Studies have shown that even in patients without venous disease, after 5 hours of standing, the veins can become enlarged and this can result in the valves not working properly. This results in even higher venous pressure which can hurt and result in even more swelling.
The same principles apply when we are sitting, but the pressure in the veins is not as high as when we are standing.
At the end of the work day, leg elevation lowers the venous pressure and empties the fluid that has accumulated in our legs all day. After standing or sitting all day, nothing feels better than 20 minutes with the Lounge Doctor Leg Rest.
There are many jobs which require long periods of standing. You probably spend a lot of time standing if you work in a:
- Grocery store
- Department Store
- Home improvement store
- Construction site
- Theme park
You may also have to stand for an outrageous length of time if you need to have anything done at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or if your wife makes you go shopping with her.
Regardless of how we travel, when traveling we spend a lot of time sitting. If we are traveling by plane, we may also spend a lot of time standing in line. Refer to the link above “Standing/sitting at work” in order to understand the effect that this has on our legs. Travel can also be stressful. If we miss our flight, we will have to spend even more time standing and sitting! Leg elevation is a great way to relieve the aching pain associated with standing and sitting too much when we travel. It is also a great way to relax.
Visit the Leg Elevation Classroom to learn why standing and sitting cause our legs to ache.
Lymphatic Disorders affect 2. 5 million patients in the United states alone.
In addition to arteries and veins, there are a third group of blood vessels that few people know about. These are the lymphatics. Lymphatics are tiny blood vessels that are extremely small and thin. They are invisible to the naked eye. Lymphatics collect fluid from the soft tissue and eventually empty this fluid into a vein in the chest.
Lymphatics can become blocked for several reasons:
- Scar tissue can form after surgery which obstructs the lymphatics. For example, patients who have had their saphenous vein taken for Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery can develop lymphedema in the leg from which the vein was taken.
- Scar tissue can result from radiation therapy used for treating cancer
- Lymphatic obstruction can occur for no apparent reason (Idiopathic Lymphedema).
- People can be born with obstructed lymphatics (Congenital Lymphedema)
When the lymphatics become blocked, the leg swells because fluid accumulates in the soft tissue. This is called lymphedema. The standard treatment for Lymphedema is elevation and compression therapy.
Visit the Leg Elevation Classroom to learn more about lymphatics and the role of daily leg elevation in improving lymphatic flow.
Our current medical system waits until we become sick and then tries to heal us. Wellness is an approach to medicine that tries to prevent disease, and in doing so, also improves the quality of our lives.
The health of our legs is important. Our legs account for 40% of our body weight. They are how we get around, and how we enjoy ourselves. Our legs allow us to participate in other wellness activities like walking or Tai Chi. Our legs also help us feel good about ourselves. No one likes to have swollen legs or thick ulcerated skin. It’s no fun wearing long pants all of the time in order to hide our legs.
So how do we make our legs look and feel great? Wellness really comes down to the health of our cells. We are well and feel good when our cells are functioning normally. In order to do this, our cells really don’t ask too much. They need oxygen and nutrients to perform their functions. They then need to get rid of CO2 and waste products that they produce. The circulatory system is a critical component of providing nutrients to the cells and washing away the waste products. Although, we typically think of the circulatory system as the heart and the 5 liters of blood circulating in the arteries and veins, the real work gets done at the cellular level by the 11 liters of interstitial fluid which circulates around all of the cells in our body.
The one part of the body where this circulation of interstitial fluid can be compromised is in the legs. The legs are uniquely subjected to the challenges of gravity. When we are standing or sitting, the interstitial fluid in our legs accumulates and this is not healthy for the cells. When this occurs our cells are sitting in their own waste.
Visit the Leg Elevation Classroom to learn more about the circulation of interstitial fluid.
The most efficient way to empty that “cellular bathwater” is to take advantage of gravity, the same force that caused the problem to begin with. Elevating our legs and lowering the hydrostatic pressure draws the interstitial fluid back into the capillary. Then, gravity helps to get the venous blood back to the heart where it can be pumped to the appropriate organs in order to remove the CO2 and cellular waste products. Maintaining a thin layer of interstitial fluid also allows for the efficient delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the cells. Daily leg elevation is a simple practical approach to addressing the one area of the body that is really at risk for the accumulation and stagnation of the interstitial fluid.
Prevention is another component of wellness. Since half of the adult population has some form of venous disease, there is clearly room for improvement. This is not a big surprise given that the veins in our legs are subjected to the challenges of gravity from the minute we wake up in the morning until we go to bed at night.
Having an active lifestyle helps to improve venous blood flow. For example, walking and deep breathing are 2 things that clearly increase venous blood flow. However, as our lifestyle has changed we are not taking advantage of many of these mechanisms. Even, if we exercise every day, many of us still have jobs which require us to sit or stand for most of the day. This sedentary lifestyle combined with the challenges of gravity sets us up for chronic venous disease.
We can lower our risk of developing chronic venous disease by elevating our legs daily in order to lower the pressure in the veins and empty the veins of stagnant venous blood. In addition, we should try to remain as active as possible. If we have jobs that require prolonged standing or sitting we should consider wearing fitted compression stockings, to help prevent pooling of blood in our veins.
Visit the Leg Elevation Classroom to learn more about the science behind the benefits of daily leg elevation.
Need To Chillax
Need To Chillax?
The Urban Dictionary defines Chillax as:
- To chill and relax simultaneously.
- To loosen or reduce the level of stress by employing a more relaxed or groovy outlook.
Our world has become more complex and we are always on the run. There is something to be said for stopping and doing nothing. The Lounge Doctor recommends some time in "The Lounge" every day. Your "Lounge" can be anywhere you want it to be... a chalet in Switzerland... a café on Lake Como... a hammock on the beach in Fiji. Click Here for examples.
Click Here to check out the Lounge Doctor's Crib. (Caution contains possibly loud audio based on your speaker settings.)