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Thread: My leg swells up

  1. #1
    Super Member seamstome's Avatar
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    I have noticed that my left leg gets swollen after sitting for hours sewing. Example today I started at about 10am and it's 9pm--my right leg is fine but my left is all puffy. I dont have varicose veins, heart problems etc. My kidneys are working fine.

    I figure this is like when you fly and you are supposed to move your legs around to increase your veinous flow. Do you guys do some kind of exercise to get rid of this or move your legs around etc?

    I get so "into" what I am doing that hours fly by. I get up to iron and today I actually got up every three hours and walked around or laid down with my legs up. I wonder if it is how the chair hits the back of my left leg because when you are sewing you dont sit square.

    This only happens when I am sewing and I just had a full MD workup so I am not concerned about anythingelse.

  2. #2
    granniebj's Avatar
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    I've never noticed any problems with my legs, so far. But then I'am up and down alot. I'm sure the way you sit does have something to do with it.

  3. #3
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    my legs haven't swelled up either, see if you remember how you had your foot, maybe you need to move around more when you are sewing

  4. #4
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I never sit for more than 30 minutes at my machine... Maybe set a timer as a reminder to get up and move around more often?

  5. #5
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    Mine does that all the time also ... Don't know why :roll: I do try to get up and move more

  6. #6
    Super Member Lisanne's Avatar
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    If your sewing position is the problem, I would think your leg would fall asleep or get a cramp - not swell up. I'm glad your last physical was fine, but I'd still ask the doctor about it.

    Maybe show him/her a photo of how your leg looks after it swells up. Make sure your other leg is in the photo, too, so the doc can compare.

    You might also ask someone to look at your sitting position after you've been sewing for a while. Maybe even photograph it, so you can both study it for what you might be doing that leads to the swelling.

  7. #7
    skyle1968's Avatar
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    My left leg has been swelling up alot lately. I'm not sure what the deal is. Like you said, it's only my left.

    Hmmmmm

  8. #8
    Super Member seamstome's Avatar
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    Thanks. I brought an Ottoman over and propped my leg up on it. I think it is edge of the chair as it only happens in my sewing room

  9. #9
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    i had a really bad sun burn and the skin on my legs just peeled off in strips. ever since then, they swell easily.
    i'd still ask your Doctor about only one leg swelling.

  10. #10
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    I use a timer because I sit on the chair funky and by tush goes to sleep. It won't bother me until it is too late. My doctor tells me I should get up and move, change my activity, etc. around every 20 minutes. Which I have to say is about my attention span anyway.

  11. #11
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I haven't had that problem but I would talk to your doctor about that.

  12. #12
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    Both my feet and ankles swell up. I know it's because I've been sitting at the sewing machine for hours on end--but do I get up and walk around? Noooooo!

  13. #13
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    Hi there seamstome. I don't have swelling in my legs (that's one thing I don't have.LOL) But my hubby does when he sits to play cards or such. He uses a little ottoman when we play and it helps. It could be the weather, heat, etc. Maybe put your ironing board where you get up to go iron and move around. Hope it goes down soon.

  14. #14
    Super Member walen's Avatar
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    I had some swelling in my left leg. I lowered my sewing machine chair and, like magic, no swelling. I think that my circulation was being reduced because there was too much pressure from the edge of the seat of my sewing chair. Give it a try, maybe it will work for you.

  15. #15
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I think you are onto it, how you rest your leg ont the chair edge. I get up about every 10 - 15 min.s and walk back and forth to press, use the toilet,get more coffee, go outside to smoke, get a cat out of something or whatever, just get up and move more often.

  16. #16
    Super Member nursie76's Avatar
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    Interesting that you should mention this right now...I have been sewing since about 10 or 11 am (need to get a quilt finished by Friday) and it is now 1:27 am. I just noticed that my feet and ankles are puffy. Hmmm, I did jump up and down, ironing, going to the BR, getting something to drink, running out to the clothes line to take down a bit of fabric that I had washed...but still puffy. I am sure it has something to do with the slowing down of the circulation. I wish I had a chair that would adjust...maybe for Christmas. Meanwhile, I think you all are right, need to get up and move frequently.

  17. #17
    reach for the stars 2's Avatar
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    I say get up and move around every 20-30 min. It differently will keep circulation going.

  18. #18
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    I always try to get up and move around.

  19. #19
    Super Member JoanneS's Avatar
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    I set my timer for 30 min. I have a bottle of water in my sewing room. When the timer goes off, I grab the bottle, walk around for a few minutes, drink some water, go to the BR. Then sit down, set the timer again, and start sewing again.

    Which foot do you use on the pedal? Try alternating feet. I do that. I have a Neez EEz that keeps my foot pedal from sliding around, and I put the non-sewing foot beside the other foot, so my back isn't 'skewed.' Also, if your chair is hard-edged, try a foam cushion on your chair so you're not cutting off circulation on that hard edge.

  20. #20
    ForestHobbit's Avatar
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    Three hours is a long time to sit at a sewing machine. Do you get up often in that time to iron something or do something else? I make sure that I do not sit for more than 30 minutes at the sew machine. I find reasons to get up and move a bit. Could you put something on the floor to keep the foot up a bit instead of flat on the floor? Good luck on finding an answer.

  21. #21
    Super Member b.zang's Avatar
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    Try to remember as you sit to wiggle your toes and swivel your feet as much as possible. This keeps the circulation moving in your legs.

  22. #22
    Dix
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    A quilt teacher told us once that she quilted downstairs and kept the iron and ironing board upstairs. That way she was always on the move. I have always tried to get mine as close as possible.

  23. #23
    Super Member Barb M's Avatar
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    i was having trouble, not with swelling, but with really bad leg cramps, after only 15 mins of sewing. So i put a wedge, about 1/2 inch thick, under both of the back legs of my chair, so the chair tilts forward just a tiny bit, and it took the chair pressure off the bottom of my thighs, and that did the trick

  24. #24
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    Be careful!!! You can get deep vein thrombosis (blood clot) from sitting in one place that long. You MUST get up and move around for several minutes at least once an hour. Especially us women of "an age". My mom had intermittent swelling of her left leg for a few months, and then ended up with a huge blood clot. Don't take this lightly!! You could end up in the hospital.

  25. #25
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    Could it be a medication issue? I was having a lot of swelling, mainly in my left foot. My doctor switched my blood pressure meds from Norvasc to Avapro and within a few days, the swelling has gone. I've been on it for almost a month, and it's been great. I actually have ankles again!

    I think we get so caught up in our sewing we forget to take breaks. The chair puts a lot of pressure on the backs of our legs. Even cushioned chairs cause pressure. Get in the habit of getting up and walking around a little. I hope you get a good report from the doctor.

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