Stockings for Swelling
What is Edema?
Swelling caused in your arms or legs due to fluid build-up in your tissues is known as edema. While anyone can experience this type of swelling in their body, it is common for pregnant women and those over the age of 60. Medications and underlying diseases such as kidney disease and venous insufficiency can also cause edema.
This condition is usually easy to treat. If the cause is a medical condition, then that will need to be treated first. Your healthcare professional will help you assess the cause and recommend treatment options. This could be a combination of dietary changes, medications, and the use of compression stockings for leg swelling.
What are the Symptoms of Swelling or Edema?
Before going to a doctor, you can identify swelling on your own. You can look out for the following signs:
Puffy and Inflamed Skin
One immediate way to identify edema is by comparing both your feet to one another. For example, suppose one foot looks fuller and more inflamed in comparison to the other. In that case, that could be an indication of edema. Also, the skin at the area of swelling could look shinier than the rest of your body.
Tightness And Pain
Because of swelling, the skin could feel stretched or tight. This could result in sensitivity and pain in the legs. You might also feel this pain when putting on socks or shoes on your feet. Additionally, suppose you are having trouble moving your ankle or toes, and any movement is triggering pain. In that case, that could be a sign of edema.
Change In Colour
Along with other visual anomalies, the change in skin colour is also a common sign. The discoloration happens because of trouble in blood circulation in your legs, and it could be an indication of more profound underlying diseases.
Heaviness In Your Leg
If your leg or foot feels heavy, that is a sign of edema. Your leg will feel heavier than usual, and you will have a hard time walking. You can also check if your weight has gone up overnight. This is because the rapid building up of fluid in your leg causes swelling and a sudden increase in weight.
Skin dimples, dents, or pitting are common signs of swelling. There are 4 grades in this:
- 1+ for minimum dent
- 2+ for light dent that vanishes within 15 seconds
- 3+ for deeper dent that stays for 30 seconds
- 4+ for a deep dent that takes longer than 30 seconds to vanish
What are the Causes of Swelling in the Legs?
There are many reasons why your legs could be swollen. Here are some of the most common causes of swelling:
When too much fluid builds up in the leg tissue, it could cause swelling. Medically this condition is known as peripheral edema, and it makes your legs look swollen and discoloured. You might even experience tightness and heaviness in your leg.
Diseases like arthritis or an external injury can cause inflammation. This inflammation appears externally as swelling. If you think that the cause of the swelling is injury, visit an orthopaedic doctor. He will ask you to take an x-ray to understand the problem better.
Deep Vein Thrombosis
Swelling can also be a result of a condition called Deep Vein Thrombosis. DVT is a condition in which blood clots form in the deep veins of your body. This condition can be dangerous if a clot breaks free and travels up to the lungs, increasing the risk of a pulmonary embolism.
When veins in your legs become weak, they have trouble carrying the blood back to the heart. This condition is called venous insufficiency and can progress to form varicose veins, DVT and even venous ulcers. These conditions are often accompanied with swelling.
May-Thurner Syndrome is a condition in which one develops blood clots due compression caused by the right iliac artery pressing on the left iliac artery. This condition often causes swelling and heaviness in the legs.
How Compression Stockings for Swelling help treat Edema?
Doctors recommend stockings for leg swelling because it is the most simple and effective solution to the problem. Compression stockings apply graduated compression to the leg, which boosts blood circulation and lymphatic drainage. The increase in blood flow improves oxygen supply to the leg, thus minimizing the edema.
How to Choose the Right Compression Stockings for Edema Treatment?
Based on the severity of the swelling and the cause, your doctor will recommend the correct compression grade and length for your compression socks.
If you suffer from mild swelling in your legs, you may require support compression socks with mild compression. This will help improve blood circulation and lymphatic drainage, thus keeping the swelling at bay. On the other hand, if the edema is severe and a result of another medical issue, you may need higher compression that is medical grade.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the different types of edemas affecting various body parts?
Pedal edema – affects lower legs, ankles, and feet
Peripheral edema – affects arms, legs, and feet
Pulmonary edema – affects lungs
Cerebral edema – affects brain
How long should you wear compression socks for edema?
You must wear compression socks for leg swelling all day long and take them off before bed.
Where does the fluid go when you wear compression socks?
Excess fluid is absorbed by the capillaries and lymphatic vessels when compression is applied to the tissues in your legs.
Should you sleep with compression stockings on?
While sleeping with edema socks on doesn’t harm you in any way, it also doesn’t benefit you. Ideally, compression socks for swelling in the legs should be worn during the day and taken off before going to bed.
Why do legs swell from the knee down?
There could be various reasons for swollen legs such as venous insufficiency, age, pregnancy, and medications. It is best to consult your doctor to find the exact cause and recommended treatment.