How to overcome swollen feet with home remedies?
Do you suffer from swollen feet? If yes, you also need to know other symptoms along with swelling in your feet, just to know the causes and exact remedies for your kind of swollen feet. Usually there is only general discomfort along with inflammation in your feet which might make it difficult for you to walk or stand. Sometimes, however, other symptoms may include pain, inflammation and redness in the feet. Let’s explore what is swollen feet and what are the causes of swollen feet.
What is swollen feet ?
There is nothing much to explain about it generally because the term, ‘swollen’, in most of such conditions, describes increase in the size of feet due to fluid retention in the tissues. Generally, swollen feet and in some cases swollen ankles too, are a symptom of certain underlying issue which may not be a major cause for concern. However, in some instances, swollen feet might need immediate medical attention. Medically, this condition of swollen feet is known as foot edema. Sometimes, fluids is not the cause but increased inflammatory cells are behind your swollen feet.
Causes of Swollen FeetThese are some common causes of swollen feet.
- Long durations of Sitting
When you stay in one position for long periods, you can get swollen feet. When you move around, you prevent the fluid from building up in your leg or feet area. Moving pumps the fluid into the circulation. Whenever you sit for long duration like traveling or watching movie, due to gravity, fluid in your body naturally travels down to your feet. To avoid feet swelling due to this cause, get up and walk around after every half and hour or so. You may also move your feet up and down while sitting so that the fluid doesn’t build up there.
- Feet Injuries Injury to your feet can lead to swelling. However, this swelling sometimes develop immediately after you get the injury or it may be delayed. If there is bleeding into the joint, you will get an immediate swollen feet and ankle along with bruising. This may indicate ligament tear or bone fracture, both of which require immediate medical attention. Sometimes, you won’t get immediate swelling but the inflammation occurs after a few hours or even a few days of injury. This is due to an increase in synovial fluid in this injured area. Certain conditions like mild ligament sprain may cause the joint to produce excessive synovial fluid which can be used to heal the feet faster.
- Pregnancy If you are a pregnant woman, you can get swollen feet due to the excess weight you gain during pregnancy. This extra weight puts lots of pressure on your legs and feet which results into swollen feet. Sometimes, the expansion of uterus can also put pressure on your blood vessels of the legs leading to swollen feet. There is one more reason why your feet swell in pregnancy. This is due to the hormones that are secreted in your body during pregnancy that cause your body to retain fluids. If, however, you see severe or extraordinary swelling in feet, you should immediately contact your doctor as this can be a sign of pre-eclampsia, a medical emergency.
- Deep Vein Thrombosis When a blood clot forms in one of the major vessels, it is called deep vein thrombosis. It causes pain, redness and swelling in your calf and surrounding areas. The pain gets worse when you pull your toes up towards yourself. Deep vein thrombosis occur usually after severe injuries, prolonged inactivity, surgery or some medical conditions like heart and lung disease. It needs immediate medical attention.
- Diseases Many diseases too cause swollen feet. Some of such diseases are heart and kidney problems, liver diseases and arthritis etc. While heart, kidney and liver diseases give you swollen feet due to fluid retention in the body, swollen feet due to arthritis is caused by inflammation of the membrane which lines the joint.
- Medicines and their side effects Many medicines cause fluid retention in the body. If you are regularly taking these drugs, expect to have swollen feet and ankles. Some such medicines include steroids and NSAIDs, contraceptives, antidepressants, diabetes medicines, blood pressure medications, etc.
- Cellulitis – Bacterial Infection When a bacteria enters your body through a break in your skin, you catch the infection, cellulitis. This infection commonly affects your lower legs or face. Thus, you get red, hot and swollen feet, legs or face. Treatment of cellulitis is done using antibiotics.
Venous Insufficiency,Veins pump your blood back up from the feet and legs towards your heart using one-way valves. If these valves become weak or damaged, they can’t do their work properly. This makes the fluid go back down towards the feet and cause swollen feet and ankles.
Natural Remedies for Swollen Feet and AnklesSwelling in your feet and ankles is called edema, and there are a lot of things that can cause the problem, from high blood pressure to pregnancy. What’s happening is your body is having trouble fighting gravity to move blood and fluids back up your legs, so your ankles, feet, and even your legs can begin to swell. Edema on its own is not harmful, but it is uncomfortable. If you are seeing one foot or leg swelling a lot more than the other, or your face is swelling, you do want to call your doctor, because the cause could be a blood clot, and you don’t want to wait to address that problem.
That uncomfortable swelling is not actually a disorder, just a symptom, and the best way to treat it is to treat the root cause. If you’re swelling because of pregnancy, it should go down not long after you deliver. Talk to your doctor to see what could be causing your swelling.
Whatever the reason, these remedies can help give you some relief while you sort out the cause of your edema.
10 Natural Remedies for Swollen Feet and Ankles
- Try a magnesium supplement Magnesium deficiency can contribute to edema, and taking a supplement can help give you some relief. Most of the recommendations I’ve seen are for 200mg twice a day, but if you’re pregnant you’ll want to talk to your doctor about that first. The RDA for magnesium is 350mg per day, and your doctor might not want you taking an extra 400mg, since you’re also probably getting magnesium in your prenatal vitamin and your diet.
- Do a Little Yoga Exercise can help improve your circulation, and yoga is a great way to get moving and really focus on that circulatory system. Of course, you’ll want to talk to your doctor before starting up with yoga, especially if you haven’t been doing it before. If you’re totally new to yoga, I highly recommend taking a class. A yoga instructor can not only help you overcome any hesitations you have about yoga, but she or he will make sure you are doing the poses properly and might even be able to suggest additional postures to help with your edema! Once you have a swing of how the poses feel, you can practice at home.
- Soak in Tonic Water This one might sound a little odd, but soaking in room temperature – or cold, if it’s not too uncomfortable – tonic water can help with swelling. The quinine and the bubbles can help reduce inflammation, and frankly just soaking your poor, swollen feet feels great!
- Grab Some Grapefruit Essential Oil A warm bath can also help with swelling, and you can give that water a boost with a few drops of grapefruit essential oil! You can also just fill a bucket with nice, warm water to soak in.
- Do a Salt Water Soak Adding a healthy dose of Epsom salts to the tub is another way to boost that bath. Like the grapefruit oil, you can also just use a bucket, if you’re only having swelling in your feet and ankles. If your calves are swollen, too, a bath is probably your best bet.
- Treat Yourself to a Massage A massage therapist can do wonders for swollen feet and ankles! Don’t be shy about mentioning the problem when you get to your appointment, so she or he can focus on getting things moving in your lower extremities.
- Get Some Support Hose Support hose or compression gear can prevent swelling, especially from being on your feet. You can find compression socks that come knee- or thigh-high or full-on compression stockings. These suckers are hard to get on, because they’re meant to be pretty tight on your legs, but they can really make a difference.
- Elevate Those Feet Gravity is not your friend when it comes to edema, so elevate your feet every chance you get! When you’re relaxing in the evening, prop your legs up on some pillows. Ideally, you want your feet above your heart. Take THAT, gravity!
- Make a Splash Swimming or even floating in water can help with swollen feet and ankles. The pressure from the water can help get things moving in your legs, and floating gives your circulatory system a break from gravity’s constant pull. If you don’t have a pool, check out local gyms to see what they offer.
- Drink Up! Excess salt is a big contributor to swelling, and upping your fluid intake can help dilute the salt in your system. Aim for 8-10 glasses of water per day to flush things out. Even better? Try making cucumber-lemon water! Just drop a couple of cucumber and lemon slices in your glass, and enjoy! Both of these fruits have anti-inflammatory properties, so if gives that water an extra swelling-fighting punch!
At six months pregnant, I started taking 250mg of magnesium in the evenings, and the difference in my swelling was dramatic without changing anything else.
If baths aren’t your thing, you can also mix a few drops of grapefruit oil with a carrier oil like olive or sweet almond oil and give yourself a little foot and leg massage. As you rub your feet, ankles, and calves, focus your pressure upward, rather than downward or in a circular motion.
Epsom salts are like magic for swelling. Even before I was pregnant, I took occasional salt baths after super long runs to help my muscles relax.
If you are pregnant, I’d recommending finding a therapist who specializes in prenatal massage. A prenatal massage therapist will be much more knowledgeable about how to make you comfortable. Seriously, I have never had so many pillows around me in my life, but all of that really does help make it a more beneficial experience.
I have read a lot of great experiences with compression socks, but I’ve found that they start out feeling amazing, and after about four hours they start to make my feet cramp. You can find footless compression stockings, so if you experience the same problem, that might be a good solution for you.
If you work a day job, try to find a way to prop your feet up under your desk. Even elevating a bit can make a big difference in your swelling as the day goes on.