do compression stockings make the feeling worse?

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do compression stockings make the feeling worse?

Postby drummer26 » Mon Jul 28, 2008 10:00 am

Hi everyone,

to make a long story short, my grandfather has leg edema. He lost a lot of muscle due to muscle wasting after 1 month in the hospital. So his legs "look" fairly normal, however there is definitely fluid built up inside. When gravity takes over in sitting or standing positions, then the ankles get worse. lying down and elevating helps a little, but it' s a slow painful cycle. He has always been complaining of a "binding sensation" around the ankles 24 hours a day. The soles of his feet, especially the right, feels very thick and filled with fluid to him, and i think it really is more plump sometimes. his toes get a little swollen. sometimes, swollen or not, his toes feel tingling. the sensations don't seem to have any rhyme or reason. i don't even know if they are edema related. he says it feels more uncomfortable to elevate legs on a pillow. but when he's in a standing position (with the help of a tilt table machine during rehab), he says all those uncomfortable sensations are significantly reduced.....strange. but of course in those positions, gravity takes it's toll and swelling will inevitably get worse.

he's afraid to use compression stockings, cause he says it will only be binding his legs more and make things more uncomfortable. i will add that his situation is complex cause he has heart, kidney problems, as well as circulation problems in legs (legs turn purple when sitting or standing), and albumin was low (3.2) last week. so the edema could be a result of any of those. pinpointing an underlying treatment seems impossible, and even if the cause was found, the solution may not exist.

my question is does anyone suffer from these same "binding" sensations...and have you found it's related directly to the edema? does wearing compression stockings make the sensations worse? or does it reduce the edema and therefore reduce the compressed nerves? it seems that compression stockings would compress the nerves more...

well, i hope someone can help out. he's been suffering too long...don't know if the reality of it is that he'll have to suffer forever.
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Re: do compression stockings make the feeling worse?

Postby patoco » Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:23 pm

Hey Drummer

Super welcome to our family here. :)

Wow...your grandfather really could be experiencing edema from several causes.

I think one of the best suggestions would be for him to have an evaluation by a certified lymphedema therapist. They would have to work with his doctor to work out a management program. It is going to be tricky with the heart problems.

He's right in a sense about the compression stockings. They really can be a pain - literally. Many people buy the over-the-counter varieties and they are infamous for bunching at the ankles - and the knees on the whole leg ones.

I have terrible albumin levels too....mine is 1.9. As a result I am on mega protein supplements. I use whey based powder in addition to a high protein regular diet. That definately will cause edema.

That "binding" sensation could well be associated with the edema. The skin and tissue get very tight when there is swelling. Many people also report a "heaviness" or "tingling" sensation in a limb with lymphedema. A lot of that comes from nerve compression due to the fluid filling the interstitial spaces.

The solution does exist, just a matter of figuring it all out and putting the pieces in place.

Give him my very best :!: :!:

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Re: do compression stockings make the feeling worse?

Postby drummer26 » Tue Jul 29, 2008 8:48 am

HI Patoco,

thanks for the reply. due to my grandfather's condition, seeing new doctors is already a big burden. he's already got a regular routine with the cardiologist, rheumatologist, and a new one with the nephrologist. He's in a senior care center at the moment, trying to rehab. The Dr. here only says that along with his already preexisting medical conditions, that he thinks there may be something with the lymphatic system, and tissues being very permeable. So even without official diagnosis, the conclusion is still the same....he's got edema. Whether it's lymph or other fluid, nobody is really sure...but at this moment, it's too much of a problem to find out. He's improving in all aspects which include eating foods again, nutrition, and some movements, but being in the hospital for one solid month back in march really took a toll on his physical body. he lost all appetite, and barely ate anything for about another month. he wasted to nothing. now he's slowly....very very slowly, gaining some of that back...however this annoying "binding sensation" and edema, make progress so hard. he's in 24 hour annoying "binding sensation" pain. it's always an uphill battle. I hope you're right about there being a solution out there. We've been patiently waiting and waiting and waiting.

Well, i'd still like to hear if people's neuropathy gets better or worse before and after using compression stockings. I think he has a fear of trying them, since logically it's going to compress his legs more. i guess i just have to respect his choices, and look to other outlets for solutions.
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