What causes chronic swelling?

There are many causes of leg swelling that is NOT due to Lymphoedema. Click here to read more about it from Mayo Clinic. Reasons for such swelling may arise from medications, being wheelchair bound, renal/cardiac issues and other reasons.

For example, this client (see photos included with permission) had persistent swelling in both legs, skin discolouration and repeated infections with skin tears a few years ago. The chronic swelling arose from several causes.

What do you think are the factors to successful effective oedema management in you case?

I have Type I diabetes and a history of renal failure with renal transplant in 2001. I have had vascular oedema of both legs for about 6 years or so. It has been exacerbated by antihypertensive (blood pressure) medications, in particular, calcium channel blockers.

The most important factor in managing my oedema has been the regular and consistent wearing of elastic stockings. Keeping on top of the swelling. This helps the swelling at bay and has improved the condition of my skin of lower limbs and no longer at risk of skin lesions and cellulitis.

Before photo was taken 1 year after regular treatment of CDT , stockings and more at the clinic.

After photo was taken 4 years later (2019). No more episodes of infections since treatment started, markedly reduced swelling and improved appearance.  From the therapist’s perspective, the positive outcome can be attributed to thorough assessment cum management and the client’s positive attitude with sustained regular follow-up over time to manage the chronic condition.

It is important that you seek medical clearance first especially if you have swelling in both legs before booking an appointment with the clinic.