[pct-l] Edema

Jeffrey Olson jolson at olc.edu
Tue Jan 9 20:20:53 CST 2007

dsaufley at sprynet.com wrote:
> Another advantage of using poles that no one has mentioned is that they keep your hands from swelling; I find that when I hike without them, my hands become somewhat engorged with blood (gravity, I guess), and I have to keep lifting them up above my head periodically to make the swelling go down.  When I use the poles, I have no such problems.
I've noticed the swelling of my hands when hiking as well.  My 
understanding, which a nurse or physician can correct or elaborate on, 
is that the body is mostly water, and the lymph system is responsible 
for transporting water where it is needed.  In normal living homeostasis 
is maintained and we don't notice we are mostly water.  When we 
exercise, the constant use of leg muscles develops hydrostatic pressure 
that moves water from legs to other extremities, the hands for hikers.  
The pressures in the lymph system are relatively small so that you can 
make the swelling go down by walking with arms upraised, eyes cast 
upwards in rhapsodic bliss as the heavenly body swings to its own rhythm 
down the trail...  Or stop, take a nap, and let the body once again 
achieve calm, centered homeostasis...

Jeff, just Jeff...

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