Swollen legs and ankles affect safety and quality of life
Swollen legs and ankles affect many older adults, as excess fluid is drawn down by gravity and accumulates in the lower body. Edema can be caused by a variety of medical conditions, including heart failure, kidney disease, gout, and arthritis, as well as after surgery when the body is healing.
How exercise reduces swelling in legs and ankles
Exercising is a great way to get rid of excess fluid in the body because it helps the body pump fluids up from the feet and back into the trunk, where it can be processed by the kidneys and eliminated in urine.
Safety first: get the doctor’s approval
The goal is to improve overall health, not just reduce swelling in the legs, so moving fluid out of the legs and into the center of the body to be processed could put extra strain on their system.
3 simple home exercises for swollen legs and ankles
Aim for 30 repetitions of ankle pumps, butt squeezes, and knee-to-chest exercises three times a day; they don’t specify how many repetitions per side to do, so use your best judgment.
What causes ankles to swell in elderly?
Edema (swelling) of the lower limbs is common in older people, with Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) being the most common cause (about 70%). Other serious causes of edema include congestive heart failure, kidney disease, and liver disease.
How do I get rid of water retention in my legs and ankles?
Care at Home
- Put your legs on pillows to raise them above your heart while lying down.
- Exercise your legs.
- Follow a low-salt diet to help reduce fluid retention and swelling.
- Wear support stockings (available at most drugstores and medical supply stores).
What causes fluid retention in legs and ankles?
Oedema, or a build-up of fluid in the ankles, feet, and legs, is often the cause of swelling in these areas. Oedema is usually caused by: standing or sitting in the same position for too long; eating too much salty food.
What helps with water retention in elderly?
Even the tiniest movements and mildest exercise regimens can help get blood and lymph circulating and strengthen the cardiovascular system, which can help reduce swelling and eliminate excess fluid.
Will drinking more water help with edema?
Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water per day Though it may seem counterintuitive, staying hydrated helps to reduce swelling because when your body is dehydrated, it holds on to the fluid it does have, contributing to swelling.
What helps swollen ankles in elderly?
Rest to avoid walking on the injured ankle or foot, apply ice packs, wrap the foot or ankle in compression bandage, and elevate the foot on a stool or pillow to reduce swelling. See your doctor if swelling and pain are severe or don’t improve with home treatment.
Does walking help swollen ankles?
Walking is the most effective weapon in the fight against swollen legs because it improves circulation, which helps to sweep up and shift the fluid that has accumulated.
What happens if edema is left untreated?
Edema can cause painful swelling, stiffness, difficulty walking, stretched or itchy skin, skin ulcers, scarring, and decreased blood circulation if left untreated.
What is the fastest way to get rid of water retention?
Here are 13 easy ways to lose water weight quickly and safely.
- Share on Pinterest.
- Get More Sleep.
- Get Less Stress.
- Take Electrolytes.
- Manage Salt Intake.
- Take a Magnesium Supplement.
- Take a Dandelion Supplement.
- Drink More Water.
Is edema in the legs life threatening?
Some edema is normal, such as swollen ankles during pregnancy or after a traumatic ankle sprain; however, edema can also be caused by life-threatening conditions like heart disease or kidney failure.
When should you go to the hospital for swollen feet and legs?
If you have leg swelling and any of the signs or symptoms listed below, you may have a blood clot in your lungs or a serious heart condition: Chest pain. Difficulty breathing. Shortness of breath when exercising or lying flat in bed.
When should I be concerned about edema?
In most cases, a doctor should determine the cause of pitting edema and, if necessary, refer a patient to a specialist. However, some accompanying symptoms require immediate medical attention, such as shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, or swelling in a single limb.
Why do the elderly retain water?
This causes his body to be unable to pump enough blood through his kidneys to allow the kidneys to produce enough urine, resulting in a great deal of fluid retention, which builds up in his blood vessels until it leaks out and into his lungs and ankles.
How do you make swelling go down fast?
Applying an ice pack or cold compress to an injury reduces swelling by restricting blood flow to the area and slowing cellular metabolism. Cold therapy systems and ice baths are other ways to apply cold to an injury.
Is it normal to retain water as you get older?
Dehydration can cause a variety of ailments, including muscle pain, fatigue, and heat exhaustion, according to researchers. As people age, they need to drink more water to compensate for changes in their body temperature regulation.