There are many reasons why your feet might swell. From pregnancy to standing all day, the lowest parts of your body is going to have the hardest time returning blood and fluids to the top part of your body.
The following are ways to increase circulation so that your feet and ankles do not swell excessively and cause you discomfort:
● Elevate: Ideally, you would lie down and raise the feet above heart level to allow gravity to help the fluids go back to the top half of the body. However, this is not always practical. Instead, sit with your feet raised, at least at hip level as you work or rest.
● Exercise: Keeping your toes, feet, and ankles moving is very helpful for increasing circulation. You can do exercises such as pointing and flexing the feet, making foot circles, and walking around (if it doesn’t cause you pain).
● Hydrate: When you don’t drink enough water, or if you take in too much salt in your diet, your body begins to swell as it retains water to counteract the salt. Drink more water to help flush out the excessive salts.
● Massage: The movements from a nice foot rub or foot massage can encourage fluids to move, rather than stay retained in the feet and legs. If you can’t reach your feet and no one is around to help you, roll a golf ball or water bottle to gently massage your feet. Applying too much pressure can cause additional inflammation, so be kind to your feet.
● Lose Weight: If one of the reasons for your chronic swelling is due to being overweight or obese, take steps to get to a healthier weight. Speak to your primary care physician to make a plan to safely lose weight.
For those of you who have suffered an injury and subsequently experienced swelling in the feet, try the above-mentioned self-remedies. If the swelling does not subside after a few days, it’s best to come see us to make sure it’s not a more serious injury.
Please note: If you notice that one leg is more swollen than the other, it may indicate a clot. This can be very serious, so it’s important to have it checked out ASAP.
If you experience chronic swelling, make an appointment with us at The Podiatry Group to find the best treatment. Dr. Mark E. Reiner and his team of podiatrists can help you at our Jonesboro, AR office.