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Oedema VS Lymphoedema: The Facts

Oedema and lymphoedema both cause bodily swelling symptoms, which can affect any part of the body. Though the conditions sound similar, they both have very different causes: this edition of the Foot Orthotics blog sets out to accurately define and differentiate oedema and lymphodema.

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Oedema is swelling that is caused by trapped fluid in the tissues of the body. Everyone has experienced the condition to some degree even if they don't know it: oedema is simply the body's natural response to an injury such as a bump or sprain. Oedema can, however, be caused by disorders of the circulatory system, such as congestive heart failure, deep vein thrombosis or kidney failure. Oedema swelling usually occurs in the lower limbs, particularly in the feet.


Lymphoedema occurs when the body's lymphatic system is impaired. When functioning normally, this system safely removes excess amounts of lymphatic fluid from the body: impairment of the system means that the amount of lymphatic fluid in any given area of the body exceeds the system's capacity to remove it. The fluid remains trapped in the tissues, causing, the area to swell. Such swollen areas are extremely vulnerable to even slight injuries, which heal slowly and can become seriously infected.

Finding comfortable, supportive footwear and socks can be a challenge for people with oedema or lymphoedema. Foot Orthotics are here to help patients overcome that challenge, with a vast range of therapeutic and orthopaedic footwear available, as well as a comprehensive collection of socks.

Order before 30th April 2020 and you'll receive a special 20% discount on any of our specialist socks!