Swelling in the legs can happen as a result of inflammation in leg tissues. This can be a result of problem in the circulatory or lymphatic system. There are conditions that can disrupt the flow of the lymphatic fluid, leading to inflammation in leg tissues. These include lipedema and lymphedema.

About Lipedema

Approximately 11% of women are affected by lipedema. The exact cause of this condition is still unknown but is believed that the female hormone plays a role in its occurrence.

In lipedema, the fat beneath the skin is distributed in an irregular way. While it can affect any part of the body, it mostly affects the buttocks and the legs. As fat builds up, it blocks the lymphatic vessels, preventing proper drainage of the lymphatic fluid. When left unmanaged, this can lead to lymphedema.

About Lymphedema

In lymphedema, a person’s arm or leg swells usually as a result of damage to the lymph nodes. Women who undergo breast cancer surgery that involves removal of the lymph nodes are at higher risk of developing lymphedema.

Swelling in the legs happen in lymphedema as blockage in the lymphatic system keeps the lymphatic fluid from draining well, resulting to fluid buildup.

There is still no cure for lymphedema but the symptoms can be managed.

Managing Swelling in the Legs

Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Manual lymphatic drainage is a form of massage that makes use of gentle but rhythmic movements in order to improve the flow of the lymphatic fluid around the blocked areas. When done well, this helps in reducing the inflammation, relieving pain, and preventing fibrosis.

Healthy Lifestyle

Losing weight may not reduce the inflammation but it definitely can help in preventing further swelling especially in cases of lipedema. This can be done through making lifestyle changes like learning to eat healthier and working out regularly.

Compression Garments

Wearing compression garments help in managing the swelling in the legs as the added pressure from these garments helps in promoting good flow of blood and lymphatic fluid. It helps to have good quality compression garments like the ones from Bioflect.

Bioflect has a wide range of therapeutic garments that can help in managing swelling in the legs. Specially made with FIR therapy fabric, Bioflect’s compression garments are comfortable to wear. These garments help in improving lymphatic fluid movement, which in turn, could help in reducing the swelling.

You can find these compression garments here.

Image: Janis Petranis

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