Five ways to manage chronic swelling

Do you suffer from chronic swelling? If so, read on for five tips to help you manage your condition and reduce your symptoms.

There are certain conditions like lymphedema and lipedema that can cause intense swelling. This type of swelling can cause pain and difficulty in everyday movements, so managing the chronic swelling is important to improve your quality of life. Here are five tips to help you manage your condition.

1) Elevation helps

If you have to be on your legs for a while during the day and your affected limb or limbs are your legs, it may be a good idea to take some time every evening to elevate your legs. 

This helps reduce fluid retention and improve blood flow in your veins, so you can decrease swelling and pain. In addition to elevation, you can learn how to do focused, therapeutic exercises for your limbs that can alleviate pain, discomfort, and swelling as you go about your days. 

2) Keep your skin clean and moisturized

Wherever your chronic swelling may be, and whether you’re getting head and neck lymphedema treatment, it’s very important to care for your skin. This is especially true when dealing with chronic swelling, as chapped skin and cuts could cause severe infections, which could be dangerous for your condition. 

Invest in quality products for skincare with cleansing and moisturizing properties. It can help to have a skincare routine every evening so that you remember to do it. This also helps keep the moisturizer fresh throughout the night and allows you to avoid any issues with moisturizers as you go about your day. 

3) Use compression garments

Compression garments are very helpful for those with early-stage lipedema or lymphedema (a primary cause of chronic swelling) since it can help you decrease swelling and avoid intense pain. 

However, you will need to speak to your healthcare provider about the right kind of compression for your particular needs. For example, if your affected limb is located in your arm, the compression level is going to be a bit lower than what you’d need for your legs. 

4) Live a healthy lifestyle

Eating healthy food that has anti-inflammatory properties can be helpful for your condition and decrease swelling. The same goes for getting exercise. Keep in mind that you may not be able to do high-impact workouts and sports because of the swelling. 

However, certain activities like swimming or hiking can be helpful for you as you’re still moving, getting your blood pumping, and encouraging the movement of fluids. Additionally, therapeutic exercises can be beneficial for your swelling as well since concentrated movement helps to prevent fluid buildup. 

Keep in mind that obesity can impact swelling. So, if you can afford to lose a few pounds, consider incorporating a weight loss routine into your everyday activities. Doing so can significantly reduce swelling. 

5) Avoid wearing tight clothing

Tight clothing that leaves marks on your legs is too tight for you if you have chronic swelling. Loose clothing is not only better for your swelling but is also so much more comfortable, whereas tight clothes can cause discomfort and pain. 

Keep in mind that compression garments are very different since they are created to help decrease swelling with the right compression level. Loose clothing allows you to wear these compression bandages and garments much more comfortably. If you have to show your compression garments, you can find some really cute designs online that are created with trends in mind. 

Take care of your body

Chronic swelling requires care and focused attention on a regular basis. You have to think about your skincare as well. While you may have to spend more time thinking about your body than most people, chronic swelling is manageable.

Speak to your healthcare provider about ways to manage your condition. Remember that a healthy lifestyle can make a world of difference with your chronic swelling.  

Photo by Kelly McCrimmon