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)