Thinkstock

How to Deal with Lower Body Swelling

After a dance-packed day, it's not uncommon for your lower body to be swollen. This phenomenon isn't anything to worry about, but it can be uncomfortable. Luckily, there are a number of easy fixes—and ways to prevent swelling altogether. Dance Spirit turned to Jessica Lassiter, DPT, OCS, ATC, CMPT, a physical therapist and certified athletic trainer in NYC, for a crash course on how to stop the swell.


What It Is

"Swelling happens when your tissues retain water," explains Lassiter. "The lower body is especially prone to swelling because of gravity."

What Causes It

"Swelling occurs when your body's vascular system leaks water into your joints' surrounding tissues," Lassiter says. "This is a normal process that can go into overdrive for a number of reasons: ingesting a lot of salt, dancing in a hot, humid environment, or wearing especially tight clothing."

How to Deal

​Use Gravity

Thinkstock

"Elevating your lower limbs above your heart will help fluid reabsorb into the bloodstream more easily. Try lying on your back with your legs extended straight up against a wall."

Minimal swelling is completely normal. "But if you're able to press into the swollen area and it maintains indentation for more than a second or two, it'd be best to consult your doctor," Lassiter advises.


A version of this story appeared in the November 2018 issue of Dance Spirit with the title "Your Aches And Pains Addressed: Lower Body Swelling."

Latest Posts


Photo by Joe Toreno. Hair by Marina Migliaccio and makeup by Lisa Chamberlain, both for the Rex Agency.

Sienna Lalau: The Dynamite Dancer and Choreographer Helping BTS Make Magic

At just 20 years old, Sienna Lalau is the living definition of "dynamite dancer": bold, confident, almost addicting to watch, and, at her core, overflowing with pure passion. From her work with The Lab Studios to Video Music Award–winning choreography for BTS, there's no stopping this starlet from bringing her love of dance to the global stage.

"Dance is something that can truly connect people," Sienna tells Dance Spirit. "It's a universal language. We may not speak the same language physically, but when we dance, there's a connection where we understand each other on another level."

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Tanishq Joshi brings his star quality to stage in his hometown of Indore, India (courtesy Tanishq Joshi)

Tanishq Joshi is Stomping on South Asian Stereotypes by Fusing Hip-Hop Choreo With Bollywood Music

For Tanishq Joshi (aka Taneesky), becoming a dancer was as unexpected as your music cutting off mid-performance. An unfortunate injury in his hometown of Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India, led to the more fortunate discovery of a new passion and a flourishing career.

Joshi's had the opportunity to choreograph and compete at "World of Dance" events, perform at the JaQuel Knight Showdown, and grace the stage at Pharrell Williams' "Something in the Water" concert. And that's all on top of work and training with dancers and choreographers like Devin Solomon, Denzel Chisolm, Josh Killacky, Samantha Caudle, and Jake Kodish.

Joshi shared his story with Dance Spirit, and broke down how his unique approach to choreography is helping him diminish stereotypes, open doors for South Asian dancers, and inspire the dance community at large.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Houston Ballet Demi Soloist Natalie Varnum shows off her signature style (Claire McAdams, courtesy Houston Ballet)

Fashion Forward: 3 Pros Share What Goes into Their Dancewear Choices

When it comes to in-studio dancewear, the pros know that the right look, piece, or material can mean the difference between a day feeling confident and comfortable, or just plain out of sorts. With so much time spent honing their craft in dance clothes, choosing those items takes equal parts strategy, creativity and a healthy dose of fun.

Here, professional dancers Ian Eastwood, Karilyn Ashley Surratt, and Natlie Varnum share what goes into their fashion choices that enables them to look good, feel great, and turn heads in the studio.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

contest
Enter the Cover Model Search