Treatment of Leg and Foot Edema in Women

Yumiko Watanabe, Masafumi Koshiyama*, and Nami Yanagisawa

Treatment of Leg and Foot Edema in Women.

Several body systems, including the circulatory system, lymphatic system and kidneys, help
maintain the appropriate balance of fluids in the body. A problem with any of these systems can
contribute to the retention of fluid. Leg and foot edema, caused by the accumulation of fluids in tissue, is known as peripheral edema. Many women have been suffering from leg and foot edema reportedly. In the present review, we describe several methods of treating leg and foot edema in women, such as leg elevation, water immersion, bandage, stocking, foot massage, intermittent pneumatic compression, taking rutoside, reflexology and monitoring the interstitial fluid movement.

Hydrostatic force is proportional to the depth of immersion. As the pressure gradient increases with depth, this hydrostatic pressure causes an inward and upward squeezing action on the
body. It is this mechanism that causes the effects of buoyancy. The buoyancy reduces the gravitational load on the body, meaning objects such as the human body weigh less when in water.4
Therefore, deep immersion compresses the leg and foot skin and acts on the fluid in the extravascular spaces uniformly from all sides. Kent et al7 experimented on pregnant women standing in water up to the axilla (static immersion) or in low-intensity water aerobics class, also with immersion up to the axilla. They reported no marked difference in the diuretic effects of static immersion and water aerobics.

Water aerobics and static immersion had similar effects on the urine specific gravity. This result implies that a water aerobics class will offer the same diuretic and edema-reducing benefits as simple immersion in the same depth of water.

Women Health Open J. 2017; 3(2): 69-74. doi: 10.17140/WHOJ-3-124