Swelling of the feet is an unpleasant symptom that, in addition to discomfort, also creates aesthetic problems: your favorite shoes become small, and your previously slender legs do not look attractive. Of course, the reason may be that you sinned the day before and drank a lot of fluids or ate more s alty food, but if your feet are often swollen, this is a reason to look for the causes of the problem.
How does leg swelling occur?
Oedema is an overflow of the intercellular space of soft tissues with fluid. The blood in our body is retained in the vascular bed. Despite the fact that the exchange is constantly carried out through the thin wall of the capillaries, the liquid is retained in the lumen of the smallest vessels due to a certain level of oncotic blood pressure. In other words, blood binds water at the expense of proteins. The liquid is retained in the lumen of the capillary and due to the fact that its walls are adapted to this, preventing the free passage of the liquid into the extravascular bed. This whole complex system is designed for a certain hydrostatic pressure, therefore, as soon as it rises, the liquid part of the blood is filtered through the capillary wall into the intercellular space.
Three main reasons for the formation of edema
1. A decrease in the amount of protein in the blood. This is due to either nutritional factors, how protein is absorbed, or massive protein losses through the kidneys.
2. Increased capillary permeability - can be due to, for example, an allergic or post-traumatic reaction, inflammation.
3. An increase in the hydrostatic pressure in the lumen of the capillaries, due to which the liquid "seeps out". This is the most common cause of swelling. This happens in the vast majority of cases, due to previous trauma to the coccyx. What does this have to do with feet, you ask? The link is direct.
First, trauma to the coccyx leads to prolapse of the internal organs and, having shifted downward, they compress the venous and lymphatic vessels, both primary and secondary, through which blood flows from the legs.
Secondly, when the coccyx and sacrum are displaced, tension arises in the muscles and ligaments of the pelvic floor and they begin to press on the venous and lymphatic vessels. Edema of cardiac origin also occurs against the background of increased pressure in the capillaries of the legs, when the heart does not create a sufficient velocity of blood flow through the body and the blood is forced to stagnate in the lower extremities.
How to prevent swelling?
Some people think that edema occurs only because they spend too much time on their feet or sit all the time. Indeed, in this case, the blood stagnates in the legs, which contributes to the formation of edema. But, if this were the only reason, then anyone who stands or sits for a long time would have swelling of the legs, which is not observed in practice. So look for the cause of the swelling and start working on it. An experienced therapist should help you with this.
If serious diseases are excluded, then our recommendations will help you reduce swelling. Exclude excessively fatty and s alty foods from the diet, minimize the intake of alcoholic beverages. To improve blood circulation in your feet, at any convenient moment give them the opportunity to rest: lie with your feet elevated, massage them, pour cool water over them.
A few easy exercises
• If you have to stand straight for a long time, periodically rise on your toes: the blood from the legs flows passively. Due to the action of the muscle pump, you will begin to pump blood through the venous vessels more actively
• Imagine pulling up a sock to put it on. Grasp the foot with both hands tightly enough, but not too tightly, and begin to "pull the sock" first on the foot, then on the ankle joint, lower leg, knee, thigh to the groin crease. It is important not to lose contact with the skin even for a second
• The “Vacuum” exercise is not only suitable for training the abdominal muscles, but also works great for elevating the internal organs and therefore preventing leg swelling. Starting position - lying on your back, arms - along the body, legs - bent at the knees. Exhale the air from the lungs and "swallow" your stomach inward as much as possible. Hold this position as long as possible, do several repetitions. On average, the exercise takes about 2.5 minutes. To increase the effect, you can also do the exercise in a sitting position, gradually increasing the time of muscle tension