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Water Immersion Therapy for Lymphatic Swelling

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    By Katherine Kozlowski, contributor to Vein News and Veinsveinsveins.com


    With summer coming and warm weather around the corner, how can you minimize leg swelling if you are not wearing your compression stockings?

    Water immersion therapy is a great additional form of therapy to reduce leg and ankle swelling.

    When you are submerged in water, pressure in the water increases as the depth increases. If you are standing in water, your feet and lower legs have greater pressure exerted on them than your upper legs and torso. This creates a therapeutic pressure gradient that promotes blood and lymphatic flow from your feet up to your heart.

    This pressure gradient promotes lymphatic and blood flow upward—from the ankles to the thighs, reducing swelling and fluid pooling in the lower legs.


    Photo adapted from: Salzman, A., MS, PT. (n.d.). Managing Oedema and Lymphodema with Hydrotherapy. Retrieved April 20, 2021, from https://www.ausmed.com/cpd/articles/managing-oedema-lymphoedema-hydrotherapy