Edema can be caused by:
- Injury to an area, such as a sprained ankle
- Compression of blood vessels by tensed muscles
- Allergic reactions
- Chronic Venous Insufficiency
- Heart conditions
- Blood clots
Some medications can also cause edema.
It is important to understand that edema is a symptom, not a disease.
Whenever there is prolonged swelling and you do not know the cause, it should be evaluated by your physician. Edema should not be confused with Lymphedema, which is a disease caused by a problem with your lymphatic system that results in swelling due to an accumulation of protein rich fluid in the tissue.
Depending upon the cause of your edema, Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) can be helpful in reducing the swelling. This gentle form of massage helps stimulate the movement of lymph through the body, reducing swelling. Lymphedema is also treated with MLD in addition to the use of compression bandaging.
See our pages on Manual Lymphatic Drainage and Lymphedema for more information.