Mild cases can be caused by sitting or staying in one position for too long, or consuming too much salt. However, in more serious cases, edema can be an indicator of something more serious: heart failure (the heart loses its ability to pump blood effectively and blood backs up in your legs); severe liver disease (compromised liver function causes changes in the way your body regulates fluids); or kidney disease (when the kidneys can not eliminate enough fluid and sodium from your blood).
E Brantley Burns, MD
Specialty: Orthopedic Surgery
Location and Office HoursTennessee Orthopaedic Clinics
105 W Troutman
Knoxville, TN 37916
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What causes my legs and feet to swell?
Mehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answeredIf you've suddenly found yourself shopping for wider or larger shoes, you may want to take a better look at the reasons why. If your shoes no longer fit, this could be a sign of edema, a swelling of the feet, ankles and legs caused by excess fluid trapped in your body's tissues. This may present itself as what people more commonly recognize as "cankles," or calf-ankles.
Mild cases can be caused by sitting or staying in one position for too long, or consuming too much salt. However, in more serious cases, edema can be an indicator of something more serious: heart failure (the heart loses its ability to pump blood effectively and blood backs up in your legs); severe liver disease (compromised liver function causes changes in the way your body regulates fluids); or kidney disease (when the kidneys can not eliminate enough fluid and sodium from your blood).Helpful? 8 people found this helpful.
How flexible am I?
Michael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answered
Flexibility is like real estate - it all depends on location. Some may be able to twist their necks around like a horror-movie monster, while others probably have hamstrings that are tighter than football pants. If you want to test your flexibility, try these exercises. But do not force them or elicit pain - they're not designed to cause you disability, just to test your current state. If you have doubt, only do them with guidance of a professional. You can also perform these tests routinely to improve your flexibility.
Forearms: Place your hands against each other upside down with the backs of your hands against each other for 30 to 60 seconds. If any numbness or tingling develops on the surface of the thumb, index or middle fingers, it may mean you have carpel tunnel syndrome.
Hips: Sit and rotate your legs approximately 45 degrees in both directions. Normal rotation is 45 degrees.
Shoulders: Test both internal and external rotation of the shoulder. Reach behind you with one arm and touch the opposite shoulder blade. Reach up over your shoulder touching your reaching hand to the inside of the same shoulder. If you can't reach those points, you likely have weak rotator cuffs.
Neck: Tilt your head down to your chest and then up and back so you're looking toward the ceiling. Normal neck flexion allows your chin to be about a finger's length away from your chest. Normal neck extension means that eye, ear lobe, and shoulder are all in line. Now, that's usually a little bit further than most people can do, so don't force it; just work gradually to get a better range of motion.
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What is the most important muscle for improving my vertical jump height?
National Academy of Sports Medicine answeredThis common question is not easily answered. Many muscles contribute to a vertical leap, including your entire lower body, core, and some of your upper body musculature. For example, although the calves are commonly given credit for leaping ability, if you only had your calf muscles and not your thigh and hip muscles, you probably wouldn't be able to jump very high. Also, your upper body is important in helping to generate momentum for the vertical jump, making it vitally important as well. In summary, the most important muscle for for improving your vertical is all of them! However, when choosing only one muscle to focus on, a strong gluteus maximus is crucial to good vertical. This is due to its force production capabilities since it is the largest muscle in the body, and if this muscle is weak, it can disrupt lower-extremity mechanics which can lead to decreased overall force production and poor jumping performance.
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