Immersion Exercise Reduces Leg Edema in Pregnancy

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Am Fam Physician. 2006 Apr 15;73(8):1444-1446.

Clinical Question: Does immersion exercise reduce dependent edema in pregnant women?

Setting: Outpatient (specialty)

Study Design: Cohort (prospective)

Synopsis: Dependent edema is common in pregnancy. In this study, nine women with marked edema and otherwise uncomplicated pregnancies participated in a 45-minute exercise session while immersed in water. Lower leg volumes were measured before and after the session, including the foot and 4 in (10 cm) of the lower leg. Mean volume decreased by 112 mL on the left leg and 84 mL on the right leg (P = .007). The women also had a subjective impression of reduction in edema. The authors did not report the duration of the effect or other patient-oriented outcomes.

Bottom Line: Water immersion exercise is an option for managing leg edema in otherwise uncomplicated pregnancies. (Level of Evidence: 2b)

Study Reference:

Hartmann S, Huch R. Response of pregnancy leg edema to a single immersion exercise session. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. December 2005;84:1150–3.

Used with permission from French L. Immersion exercise reduces leg edema in pregnancy. Accessed online January 18, 2006, at: http://www.InfoPOEMs.com.


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