Lifestyle and home remedies

By Mayo Clinic Staff

The following may help decrease edema and keep it from coming back. Before trying these self-care techniques, talk to your doctor about which ones are right for you.

  • Movement. Moving and using the muscles in the part of your body affected by edema may help pump the excess fluid back to your heart. Ask your doctor about exercises you can do that may reduce swelling.
  • Elevation. Hold the swollen part of your body above the level of your heart for at least 30 minutes three or four times a day. In some cases, elevating the affected body part while you sleep may be helpful.
  • Massage. Stroking the affected area toward your heart using firm, but not painful, pressure may help move the excess fluid out of that area.
  • Compression. If one of your limbs is affected by edema, your doctor may recommend you wear compression stockings, sleeves or gloves. These garments keep pressure on your limbs to prevent fluid from collecting in the tissue.
  • Reduce salt intake. Follow your doctor's suggestions about limiting how much salt you consume.
Oct. 13, 2011

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