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How to keep your legs healthy

Sunday, Aug 09, 2020 15:45 [IST]

Last Update: Sunday, Aug 09, 2020 10:04 [IST]

How to keep your legs healthy

In this fast changing world, you will be hearing quite often yourfamily members especially in their fifties complaining now and then about all kinds of problems related to their feet. If you happen to visit your friend or relative, you will observe elderly people(aunties, grand old ladies and grandpas) suffering from either pain in their knee joints orrecurring swelling in their feet. If you go to any of your friend’s house or an acquaintance, you just cannot escapeduring a friendly chat being enumerated about the problems of redness intheir legs or appearance of black spots in feet. Sometimes,by chance, you happen to meet a person in a distant place who has been suffering from leg ulcers for along time. More often, you will come across people complaining of emergence of blue-coloured veins on their legs. After hearing and listening to all sorts of complaints, you will be forced to think that these problems related to leg and feet are a natural gift of an old age. You will be surprised to know our young generation too is suffering from a variety of leg problems now –a-days. As our youth is leading a sedentary and a comfortable modern life, so is the problem of legs is growing very rapidly.
Beware of enemies of legs
The biggest enemy of legs is the lack of habit of daily walk and exercise. Anybody who sits in shops or in front of TV for many hours continuously will sooner or later suffer from leg problems definitely. Whosoever increases his body weight, will suffer after some years with diseases of leg and joint. All diabetics will always have one or the other problems of feet, including tingling sensation in the sole of foot, or pain or the problem of leg ulcer. Apart from these factors, smoking or tobacco-chewing happens to be one of the biggest enemies of leg. Smoking if combined with high blood sugar level will uproot the very existence of leg. In our country, the disease of filarial too is proving very harmful to leg.
What is essential for good health of feet?
Every humanleg has three types of pipes inside. One pipe carries pure oxygen-rich blood to legs. Because of this pipe line and its supply of pure blood,one is able to walk and move his legs comfortably. If this pipe, due to any reason stops functioning,the leg will develop non healing ulcer and gangrene. Diabetes and tobacco is the greatest enemy of this pipe which is called “ARTERY” in medical terms. Sugar and nicotine cause severe disease of the artery of leg.
The second type of pipe in leg is the one that collects and carries back to lung, an impure(deoxygenated) blood collected in legs for purification. If this pipe in leg functions normally, a leg will neither develop swelling nor black spots nor dark patches on feet. Lack of regular walking and increase in weight are the only two factors which are detrimental to a good health of leg. This type of pipe is called in medical terms “VEIN”.
The third type of pipe in leg carries upward towards heart a specialized kind of water which is called “LYMPH” in medical terms. If this special pipe gets blocked completely or starts malfunctioning, the leg will start swelling up. If this swelling is not controlled in the beginning, leg size will gradually increase to a gigantic size just like elephant’s feet. Other problems like gastric or intestinal cancer or human bite by a special mosquito or congenital defect in the pipe--all these problems impede the proper flow and functioning of lymphatic duct.
Always remember all these pipes as mentioned above have a special role in keeping legs and feet healthy. If any of these three pipes, at any stage of life, stops functioning properly, believe me, your legs can never remain healthy. The responsibility of keeping all these three pipes of leg rests with a vascular surgeon.Therefore always keep in touch with him for goodness of your legs.
Some Fundamental Points to keep your feet healthy.
Daily walk for two hours and controlled weight are the two fundamental factors, without implementation of these it is almost impossible to keep your legs and feet healthy. Exposure to sunlight for 2 to 3 hours daily is very essential. In summers you can get exposure to sunlight in the morning(from 6 A.M. to 8 A.M.) or in the evening(5 P.M. to 6 P.M.). Avoid prolonged sitting and prolonged standing for more than one hour. Avoid, if possible, joining a profession that requires long hours of continuous sitting or standing.If time permits, do cycling and swimming.
Stop smoking altogether and avoid using tobacco-mixed products (Zarda Paan Masaala, Zaafraani Patti & Gul--a tobacco-based tooth paste), as use of these products will eventually cause amputation or loss of feet in near future.If you are a diabetic, firstly you must control your sugar level at any cost, secondly keep your feet clean and dry and avoid any injury to feet. Never use chappals,sandals and slippers. Use soft and well-cushioned shoes and never wear shoes without socks.Never walk bare-footed neither inside nor outside the house.Never allow breeding of mosquitoes in immediate surroundings.Use anti mosquito spray and mosquito- net in the night. This is the only way out to avoid the attack of Filaria.
Where to go in case of leg problem?
If you notice in your leg either black discoloration or patches or ulcer or prominent blue-colored veins or swelling or redness,please do not sit idle and promptly consult an experienced Vascular Surgeon. Your careless attitude may cost you your leg eventually.Always go to a hospital where facilities for special investigations like Dopplerstudy,angiography,venography,lymphangiographyand ventilation perfusion scan are available. Never forget fundamental points for foot care as mentioned above, while being treated.
 (The writer is Senior Consultant, Department of Vascular  &CardioThoracic Surgery, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi. Ph. No.- 9911114081, 9810114081. E-mail:

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi