Swelling is a frustrating, sometimes painful, aspect of many short-term and chronic health issues. It can happen to anyone at anytime. Ultimately swelling is rooted in temporary disruption or permanent damage to your lymphatic system.
Sometimes it’s a tell-tale symptom of an underlying problem. Other times swelling itself is the primary issue.
Swelling in your leg or arm -- or anywhere in the body for that matter -- is triggered in these ways:
Lymphedema is chronic, progressive swelling in your body's tissues. Most people develop lymphedema following trauma, surgery or disease; some are born with it.
Lipedema is a chronic condition of lymphatic dysfunction with abnormal accumulation of fat affecting women. It's activated with hormonal events -- puberty, pregnancy and menopause.
If you've had lymph node dissection and/or removal and radiation during testing and treatments for cancer, damage to your lymphatic system and subsequent swelling may result.
Swelling is a hitchhiker along for the ride when you have certain health conditions, especially diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, ulcers, cancers, chronic venous insufficiency (poor leg circulation), and obesity.
Whether it's scheduled or emergent following a mishap, your body experiences trauma, inflammation and acute swelling after surgery.