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Health Forum    Injuries
Health Discussion Forum

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Additional Details
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Why does elevating the leg help when you have a leg injury?
like what's the science behind it?

King John
It is because normally you have all this blood going down to your legs, right? so ur heart doesn't have to do much work to make ur blood flow down to ur legs, but when the blood goes down to ur legs, ur legs have to work hard to push the blood back up to your heart. If you elevate your legs over your heart, thenthey don't have to do hardly any work to move blood back to your heart thanx to gravity. You see?

i think it has to do with blood flow and oxygen

it helps your circulation and reduces the swelling

It all depends on the blood flow...

If your leg were to be cut off...
Wouldn't you stick it in the air to stop the blood from coming out?

I guess not...

But the blood flow has something to do with it...

Im not sure on the exact science but its because your leg will swell with blood when you have an injury. To reduce swelling you elevate your leg so the blood wont be sitting in the leg

reduces blood flow to the injured part bringing down swelling and pressure

Katie is me
if you keep the injured body part above the level of your heart the blood flows away from it and makes the swelling go down.

Always has a question
It depends on the leg injury. In my experience the only time it really works is if your leg/ankle is swollen. It takes the blood away from the injury, which will help the swelling go down as well as stop the throbbing.

RICE - Rest Ice Compression Elevation

Gravity makes everything want to be at the bottom. When liquid does this without constraint, it wants to be flat. Think about spilled water; it's flat, right? Your blood is liquid.

When you stand, gravity puts downward pressure on your body. We call this downward pressure weight. But gravity also affects each individual part of your body. For example, each time you take a step, the joints in your ankles, knees, hips, spine shoulders absorb some of the impact.

The same is true for your blood. Suspended alone your blood would fall to the floor, flat, because of gravity. When you stand, your body is vertical, therefore your blood is more vertical, While some of the blood is being pumped upward (back to the heart), the vertical nature of your body means that more downward pressure is being placed on the blood in your body. A sitting position causes less gravitational force on your blood, so naturally, when a person's leg is elevated, gravity still pulls downward no matter where you are on earth, and your blood and will travel away from the wound...

But there's more. Gravity causes downward pressure, but a side effect is outward pressure when a substance is constrained by a container. Using a plastic bag as an example, if you put water in the bag and poke a pin hole through the bag just below water level at the top, it will leak, but not much. Now, poke a hole in the side of the bag at the bottom and both the force of gravity and the outward pressure on the container will cause the leak to be much faster.

The container for our blood is our skin. Though it is more complex than the example, the principle still applies.

So, when you get a cut on any of your limbs, elevate it, but don't forget to apply pressure!

Heart doesn't pump as much blood uphill, less bruising/swelling

Reduce the blood flow in the area, reducing swelling.

You want the blood flow to the leg to decrease so that you don't lose too much blood and to decrease swelling.

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