There are a couple situations where your swollen feet, ankles and legs are not a cause for concern. If you just spent the last eight hours on your feet or if you are pregnant, you might expect your lower extremities to swell from time to time. However, when swollen feet, ankles or legs stay swollen and are accompanied by other symptoms, the condition may be a sign of a serious health issue that should be promptly addressed with the right treatment.
If your swelling persists even after getting off your feet, you should make an appointment with your podiatrist to diagnose any underlying conditions that could be causing the symptoms. In addition to pregnancy and prolonged periods of standing and walking, the cause of your swollen extremities may be vascular. As the valves that pass blood through your veins function less efficiently over time, water in the blood can enter the tissues of your feet, ankles and legs, resulting in swelling. Conditions like deep-vein thrombosis, venous insufficiency, kidney disease, liver disease, heart failure and phlebitis are all vascular problems with symptoms that commonly include swelling.
While swelling isn’t painful, it can be quite uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to reduce swelling and even prevent it in the first place. However, if your swelling persists, is severe enough to leave an indentation when presses, is painful or affects just one foot, you should make an appointment with your podiatrist for proper treatment to address the root cause of your edema (what your doctor calls swelling).
If your swelling is mild and not related to an underlying medical condition, one of the following treatment options should provide you with some relief.
At the first sign of swollen extremities, you should elevate your feet to increase blood flow. Trying propping your feet up, preferably above your heart, in 20 minute increments. You can also do this if you’re pregnant to prevent swelling in the first place.
When you’re standing or sitting for long periods of time, you need to ensure you move frequently to prevent your feet and legs from becoming swollen. If you can’t squeeze in some exercise, just get moving a little at least every hour.
So many of life’s problems can be solved with staying hydrated, and the same goes for swelling. When your body is dehydrated, it holds the fluids it does have on reserve, resulting in swollen legs, feet and ankles. Try to aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day to reduce and prevent edema.
What you eat and how much you eat can contribute to swelling in your lower extremities. If you commonly experience edema, try opting for lower-sodium foods. If you’re overweight, you should also consider losing weight to decrease the strain and pain caused when walking that often results in swelling.
Available in a variety of compressions and weights, compression socks are an affordable solution to swelling that can be found in most drug or grocery stores. Start with compression socks that are a lighter weight and move up until your find the kind that provides your swelling wit the most relief.
It is important to seek further treatment for your swollen legs, ankle and feet as soon as possible if the condition is not subsiding after at-home intervention. Make an appointment with the board-certified podiatrists at Certified Foot & Ankle Specialists today to address your swollen extremities. We have clinics in Broward, Palm Beach and Martin counties to serve you. 1-855-550-FEET
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