Oedema and How It Can Affect Foot Function


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Oedema and How It Can Affect Foot Function


When Shoes Say ‘No More’ it might not just be because your foot is changing shape, (as we age our feet tend to increase by a size or more from the loss of ligament tension and the more splayed the foot becomes meaning footwear needs to become more accommodative).  However other changes in life can also lead to increased oedema with many conditions leading to this.

Oedema is the medical term for swelling brought on by fluid being trapped in your body’s tissues.  Although oedema is more prevalent in the lower extremity it can also occur in our face, hands and abdomen.  There are a variety of types of swelling and in the case of a ‘pitting oedema’ it can be graded in severity.

Oedema usually starts slowly, but the onset can be sudden.  This illness is common because there are so many causes linked with this condition. The swelling can make it harder for you to carry out your usual daily living activities.  Simple lifestyle modifications such as elevating the swollen part(s) of your body or just moving around more if you were sitting or standing for a long period of time can lessen the swelling, wearing compression socks, staying very well hydrated with nutritional modifications can all assist.

What are the symptoms of Oedema?

Symptoms depend on the underlying cause, but swelling, tightness and pain are common.  A person with oedema in the foot may also notice walking and balance is compromised, the skin over the swollen foot can look shiny and stretched, a feeling of fullness or tightness in the swollen area can be reported.  Weight gain or finding it very problematic to shift excess weight, an increase in coughing and/or trouble breathing and a sore feeling in the affected area(s) can also be reported.  It is also harder for wounds to heal.  This can become ongoing and quite problematic.

Symptoms can also depend on what type of edema a person has and which part of the body it affects.

Causes of Oedema

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