Swollen feet and ankles, particularly from a condition known as edema, can be painful, lead to difficulty walking, and make it quite uncomfortable to wear shoes. Fortunately, there are various treatment methods that can be used to resolve the situation and restore your comfort.
Edema can cause swelling in the feet and ankles, but let’s take a closer look at what is actually happening in this situation. Tiny blood vessels known as capillaries can start to leak fluid, which then collects and builds up in the surrounding tissues. The excess fluid will frequently pool in the lower extremities because of gravity. As such, feet and ankles have a particularly heightened risk of becoming swollen.
There are several different causes and risk factors for edema. It happens often during pregnancy, following surgery, and when sitting in one position for an extended time.
With regard to treatment for swollen feet, some of the best remedies include:
- Ice – When using ice to treat edema, make sure to wrap the ice or ice pack in a thin towel first to protect your skin.
- Elevation – Keeping the swollen limb(s) above heart-level several times during the day will help. Even better is to make sure your legs are propped up when you sleep at night.
- Reduced sodium intake – Salt can increase fluid retention, so modify your diet to exclude as much salt as possible.
- Exercise and movement – Using your muscles can help to pump excess fluid back up to your heart. Aquatic exercises are particularly beneficial because water places external pressure.
- Compression stockings – These garments can keep consistent pressure on your limbs, which prevents fluid from pooling in the area.
Those can all potentially contribute to both the treatment and prevention of edema, but sometimes professional care is needed as well. We may need to prescribe medication to help the body expel excess fluid.
If you need additional information on preventing and treating swollen feet, Richardson Podiatry Associates can help. Give us a call at (972) 690-5374 and our staff will be glad to help. While on the line, be sure to schedule your appointment with our Richardson, TX office, or use our online form to request an appointment today.