Nearly 75% of Americans will experience foot health problems at least once in their lives.
Swollen feet are a major discomfort but there are many ways you can soothe them at home. From home remedies to switching up your diet, we’ve compiled a list of the most effective treatments.
Not sure what they are? Don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything you need to know.
Causes of Swollen Feet
Before we dive into swollen feet remedies, it's important to discuss the causes. Our ankles, feet, and legs swell often because of a build-up of fluid, known as edema.
This is caused by:
- Standing or sitting in the same position for an extended period
- Eating too much salty food
- Being pregnant
- Taking certain medicines
Other causes include insect bites, problems with your liver, a blood clot, or an infection. The tell-tale symptoms include swollen ankles, puffy feet or legs, and red skin.
How to Treat Swollen Feet
Not sure how to help swollen feet?
There's a wide range of swollen feet treatment options you can try so your feet return to normal. Consider these, for example:
Drink More Water
You may find it strange to add more water into your body but you must. When you’re dehydrated, your body holds onto the fluid which results in swelling. Drink at least eight glasses of water a day to promote swelling in your feet and ankles.
Instead of plain water, pop in a few slices of cucumber as they have anti-inflammatory properties to help your feet.
Because being sedentary can accelerate swelling, move around each hour even if it’s a walk around the block. Aim to regularly move your knees and flex your ankles for relief.
Swimming is fantastic because it’s low-impact while letting you stretch and move your joints.
Compression stockings or socks help treat swollen feet. They come in an array of weights and compressions so start with the lighter-weight ones and work your way up until you find relief.
As a general rule, start between 12 to 15 millimeters of mercury and wear them as long you can tolerate.
Epsom Salt Bath
One of the most effective natural remedies for swollen feet is an Epsom salt bath.
Otherwise known as magnesium sulfate, Epsom salt eases muscle pain while reducing swelling or inflammation. Soak your feet in a bucket of lukewarm water for 15 to 20 minutes.
Never use hot water as it can worsen the swelling and soak your feet twice a day until the swelling subsides.
Make sure the Epsom salt is marked with the USP designation so it’s FDA-approved. And it’s important to note only rock salt, the purest form, gets the best results.
Elevate Your Feet
Prop your feet on cushions or pillows so they’re above your heart. If you’re pregnant, elevate your feet several times a day for 20 minutes.
You can also try yoga posts and lie on the floor with your legs raised, pushed against the wall.
Reduce Salt Intake
Try to reduce your salt intake as it’ll help decrease swelling in your feet. Avoid adding extra salt to your food and look for low-sodium options. Once you do this, you’ll notice a difference.
Lose Weight If You're Overweight
When you’re overweight, there’s less blood circulation which can lead to swelling in your feet and legs. Plus, there’s the added strain on your feet which makes walking painful. This means you’ll want to be more sedentary even though it’ll cause fluid buildup in your feet.
Aim to lose weight as it’ll reduce the strain on your feet so there’s less swelling. But first, discuss with your doctor to see whether this is a cause of your swollen feet as every case is different.
Massage Your Feet
Massages are another effective swollen feet treatment plus it promotes relaxation. Ask someone to massage your feet with firm strokes and a little pressure. This will help the fluid circulate and reduce the swelling.
Consume Potassium-Rich Foods
Those with a potassium deficiency can experience high blood pressure and water retention. Unless you have dietary restrictions, eat potassium-rich foods like bananas, sweet potatoes, and salmon. You can also try white beans and pistachios too.
Watermelon is 92% water, making them a fantastic diuretic. This helps you reduce water retention so there's less swelling in your feet. To reap the benefits, snack on a few slices a day.
Add Grapefruit Essential Oil to Your Bath
Grapefruit has antioxidant properties that reduce pain and swelling in your feet.
Squeeze several drops of grapefruit essential oil into your bath. Or you can alternate between an Epsom salt soak and a grapefruit essential oil one.
Eat Magnesium-Rich Foods
Try adding magnesium to your diet as it helps flush out water. Eat almonds, tofu, broccoli, and spinach to reduce the swelling.
But before you do this, discuss with your doctor because magnesium supplements aren’t good for those with a kidney or heart condition.
Try Coriander Seeds
A popular Ayurvedic treatment for swollen feet is coriander seeds. This is because they are anti-inflammatory so they can ease your feet’ swelling.
Add three teaspoons of coriander seeds into a cup of water and let it boil until the amount reduces by half. Strain the solution, let it cool, and drink. You should repeat this twice a day.
That's How to Treat Swollen Feet
Now you know how to treat swollen feet without heading to the doctor. Consider your diet, limit your salt intake, and keep your feet elevated. You should also do ankle or foot exercises to improve circulation and consider a massage as it helps too.
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