3 Exercises To Stretch Swollen Legs And Ankles In Seniors
Legs and ankles that are swollen have an impact in seniors safety and quality of life, swollen legs and ankles are common among the elderly.
This can make it more difficult to move around, raise the danger of tripping, and make the lower body feel heavy and uncomfortable.
Gravity pulls excess fluid down into the lower body, causing swelling in the legs, ankles, and feet.Did You Know?
Edema is a condition that affects older people on both sides of their bodies.
Heart failure, kidney illness, gout, and arthritis are all examples of health issues that might cause it. It can also occur as the body heals following surgery.
We explain why certain exercises are beneficial and provide a 7-minute video with three simple exercises for reducing swollen legs and ankles in seniors.
How Does Exercise Help With Swollen Legs And Ankles In Seniors?
These easy workouts assist the body pump fluids up from the feet and back into the trunk (central area) of the body by working against gravity.
Once the fluid reaches the upper body, the kidneys may digest it and expel it through urine.
Because these movements aid in the removal of extra fluid from the body, your senior may need to pee more frequently.
First and foremost, ensure that you have the doctor’s consent.
It’s critical to check with your older adult’s doctor and receive their permission before doing any of these exercises.
Moving fluid from the legs to the center of the body to be processed could put additional strain on their system, particularly for people who have heart or kidney problems.
Reduced leg edema, for example, might be counterproductive if it exacerbated a heart issue. The goal is to improve general health in a safe manner.
And, like with any workout, it’s recommended to begin cautiously and gradually increase to avoid injuries or discomfort.
3 Home Exercises For Reducing Leg and Ankle Swelling
Physical therapists Bob, Brad, and Aaron demonstrate and discuss three basic exercises that may be done at home.
Exercise 1: Ankle Pumps (1:28 in video)
- Elevate your feet by lying down. Point your toes up toward your head, then down away from your head, using only your feet.
- Aim for 30 repetitions three times a day by going back and forth.
This exercise is best done lying down, although it can also be done sitting down. Use a stool to elevate the feet and make them more effective when sitting.
Another senior-friendly option is to touch the toes like you’re tapping along to a song (2:48 in video). To make it even more enjoyable, some toe-tapping music may be played.
Exercise 2: Squeeze Your Buttocks (3:17 min in video)
- Tighten the glutes (butt muscles) when sitting or lying down, as if trying to pick up a quarter between the butt cheeks.
- Slowly squeeze, attempting to keep the squeeze for a few seconds before releasing and relaxing for a few seconds before resuming the squeeze.
Make sure your senior does not hold their breath while performing this exercise. They should take slow, deep breaths.
3 times a day, aim for 10 of these squeezes.
Exercise 3: Single Knee to Chest (5:09 min in video)
- Raise one knee to the chest while lying down, then lower the leg to the flat position. To relieve pressure on the back, keep the opposite leg flat or bent with the foot on the bed.
- Switch to the opposite leg after complete the exercises with one leg.
They don’t specify how many repetitions to perform. 10 reps on each side, three times a day, seems fair, but use your best judgment to find what works best for your senior.
Swollen legs and ankles in seniors have negative impact on their general wellbeing, these simple exercises will make it less difficult for seniors to move about.