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Risk Factors Related to Lower Limb Edema, Compression, and Physical Activity During Pregnancy

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    Los Angeles, California


    A study published in Lymphatic Research Biology March 27, 2017 resports an analysis of risk factors related to lower lim edema, compression and physical activity during pregnancy. 


    Study authors are Ochalek K, Pacyga KCurylo MFrydrych-Szymonik ASzygula Z and the research institutions are :


    Department of Clinical Rehabilitation, Faculty of Motor Rehabilitation, University of Physical Education , Krakow, Poland .

    Doctorial Studies, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, University of Physical Education Krakow , Krakow, Poland .
    Fifty-four women during the early 24-hour period following delivery were assigned to two groups-either to a group with swellings of lower limbs during pregnancy, located mostly in the region of feet and lower legs (Group A, n = 42), or to a group without edema.

    The analysis has led to a conclusion that there is a link between the occurrence of edema during pregnancy on the one hand and the pregravidity episodes of venous conditions (vascular insufficiency and thrombosis, p < 0.05) and the lack of physical exercise during pregnancy (p = 0.01).
    The authors have concluded that compression therapy in combination with proper physical exercises appears to be an effective means to prevent and treat venous thrombosis and lower limb edema in pregnant women, yet further research in line with the principles of evidence-based medicine is required.

    Dr Karamanoukian's comments:  It is interesting that only 33% of the analyzed women applied compression therapy during pregnancy; a half of them continued to apply compression during the postpartum period. I recommend my patients with known venous insufficiency to wear knee high compression stockings in the first trimester and to switch to maternity compression stockings in the third trimester. This has been my practice recommendations for the last 12 years.