Your body can experience many things each day. It works hard to keep you healthy and comfortable, so that you can keep being you. However, when certain things are out of alignment or unhealthy, your body may not be able to keep up with the changes. One of the consequences of healthy issues and injury can be swelling.
Some swelling is not usually cause for alarm. Your body can exhibit peripheral edema (swelling) from pregnancy, long periods of inactivity, standing for a long time, medication, being overweight, injury, or other medical complications. Minor swelling that subsides after some home treatment can be a normal bodily response. However, when the swelling does not go down, gets worse, or swells unevenly in the body (like in one leg but not the other) it’s best to get it promptly checked by a medical professional.
Some home treatments you can try to reduce uncomfortable and sometimes painful swelling in the feet and ankles include:
- Compression– Compression socks or stockings are helpful in preventing swelling in the first place. They help promote circulation and reduce the amount of fluid that can build up in your lower extremities.
Elevation – To allow the fluid buildup to return and circulate back into the rest of the body. Elevating your feet can help counter the effects of gravity, which keeps fluid down in the feet and legs.
Exercise – Swimming is a particularly good exercise for relieving swelling. The water pressure encourages circulation and while you’re floating in the water, you put less weight on your feet. Yoga also promotes good circulation! Any type of activity, really, can help you increase circulation so that fluid doesn’t pool at your feet.
Weight Loss – For some, excessive weight can cause swelling due to extra pressure that your feet have to support. Losing weight can help reduce that chronic swelling.
Epsom Salt/Magnesium supplements – Epsom salt baths can relieve pain related to swelling. Magnesium also helps limit water retention, which can lead to swelling.
Hydration – If you don’t get enough water intake, excessive salt build up in your body can cause excessive water retention. That’s why you can feel bloated after eating a lot of salty foods. Drinking enough water can help flush out extra salt and toxins.
Massage – A foot rub not only relaxes the feet and helps relieve tension and pain, it can also encourage circulation of fluids that make your feet swell. Give yourself a little foot rub or treat yourself to some time with a masseuse!
Have concerns about swelling in your feet and/or ankles? Come see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry. Make an appointment by calling (410) 721-4505 to get an assessment to make sure that the swelling is not an indication of something more serious. Our team is ready to assist you at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas.