Swollen body parts may be uncomfortable but with older adults, it can be a sign of edema. This serious condition can occur in any part of your body but usually results in fluid leaking from legs in elderly individuals.
Home Care Put your legs on pillows to raise them above your heart while lying down. Exercise your legs . Follow a low-salt diet, which may reduce fluid buildup and swelling . Wear support stockings (sold at most drugstores and medical supply stores). When traveling, take breaks often to stand up and move around.
Seek medical care right away if your legs swell for no apparent reason, especially if you have unexplained leg pain, difficulty breathing, chest pain or other warning signs of a blood clot in your lungs or a heart condition. Many factors — varying greatly in severity — can cause leg swelling .
Some edema can be expected, such as swollen ankles when you’re pregnant or a traumatic ankle sprain; but edema can be caused by life – threatening conditions, such as heart disease or kidney failure.
Common causes of leg swelling include salt retention, cellulitis, congestive heart failure , venous insufficiency, pregnancy, and medication side effects.
“Usually, individuals who suffer from heaviness and leg swelling make the mistake of not drinking enough water – says Dr. Marco Setti, Head of Vascular Surgery at Humanitas Gavazzeni. Instead, it is necessary to introduce fluids into the body by eating lots of vegetables and fruits as well as drinking natural water .
The best weapon in the fight against swollen legs is a simple one: walking . Getting your legs moving means circulation is improved which will sweep up that collected fluid and get it shifted.
Swelling ( edema ) in your lower legs is another sign of a heart problem . When your heart doesn’t work as well, blood flow slows and backs up in the veins in your legs . This causes fluid to build up in your tissues. You may also have swelling in your stomach or notice some weight gain.
If leg swelling is accompanied by shortness of breath or chest pain, go to the ER. To get a diagnosis and treatment of your leg pain and swelling, find a primary care physician or cardiologist.
If you experience any of the following symptoms along with swollen legs , call 911 or seek immediate help: Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. Coughing blood. Chest pain.
Lifestyle and home remedies Movement. Moving and using the muscles in the part of your body affected by edema , especially your legs , may help pump the excess fluid back toward your heart. Elevation. Massage. Compression. Protection. Reduce salt intake.
Edema left untreated can cause skin stretching to a point of pruritus and discomfort accompanied by painful swelling, stiffness, and difficulty walking. Swollen areas are at increased risk of skin ulcers and infection.
Some of the causes for swelling in only one leg include: Infection in the foot or leg . Muscle strain or tear in the affected leg . Blockage of the leg’s lymphatic system.
You can have swelling due to fluid buildup simply from being overweight, being inactive, sitting or standing for a long time, or wearing tight stockings or jeans. Factors related to fluid buildup include: Acute kidney failure. Cardiomyopathy (problem with the heart muscle)
The body becomes unable to eliminate fluid properly when certain medical conditions are present. Standing for long periods of time causes fluids to pool in the legs , thus increasing water retention . Hot weather can also lead to fluid retention because the body is less efficient at removing fluid from the body.
Applying an ice-pack or cold compress to an injury is the fastest way to deal with immediate swelling . It helps reduce swelling by restricting blood flow to the area and slowing down cellular metabolism. Cold therapy systems and ice baths are other methods you can use to apply cold to the area.