Published: 02/22/2016 - Updated: 08/29/2018
Author: MSc. Miriam Reyes
Having swollen feet is pretty common. It is known as peripheral swelling due to fluid retention concentrated in the body’s extremities, such as feet and ankles. It is now a very common symptom that may occur as a result of certain habits.
Causes of Swollen Feet
Swelling may occur for common causes, such as poor nutrition, stress, a sedentary lifestyle or excess weight, however, the causes are very variable.
Swollen feet often occur in pregnant women or during hormonal changes, such as those which occur during the menstrual cycle.
Other causes are more serious conditions such as heart disease, kidney failure and liver problems, so it is important to consult your doctor especially if symptoms persist.
Massage can help boost circulation and relieve swelling. Try spreading a little olive oil on your feet and massage them working up the way, from the tips of your toes to your knees.
Another massage which you can try is using a tennis ball. Place the ball on the floor and then one by one put the sole of your foot on top, rolling the ball backwards and forwards. This can help relieve swelling.
You can also use chamomile to massage your feet. To do this, prepare a chamomile tea, leave it to cool and then use it to give yourself a foot massage.
2. Immerse your feet in water
Another remedy for swollen feet is to immerse them in warm water to combat inflammation and allow them to calm down.
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A popular folk remedy is to dip them in salted water. Use coarse or sea salt dissolved in warm water, submerge them for about 20-30 minutes, then remove and dry them. Rub a little olive oil on them to finish.
Another remedy is to dip your feet in warm water with a little oatmeal, which helps fight swelling. Keep them in for as long as the water remains warm, remove, dry well and rest.
Finally, remember that sage can be a useful ingredient as it is a plant that can help combat fluid retention. To make use of these medicinal properties, prepare a sufficient amount of infusion to dip your
in, wait for it to cool down a little and submerge your feet in it when it is warm.
3. Use natural diuretics
Some teas and even fruits have diuretic properties, which means that they can help fight fluid retention by promoting urination. These can be very useful if consumed.
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Fruits like pineapple, tamarind and strawberries are natural diuretics, so it could be a good idea to include them in your diet.
Moreover, infusion of horsetail and infusion of hibiscus flower are also useful diuretics, as well as many other teas. However, it is not recommended to depend on them, and they should preferably not be consumed for over a week, or excessively, because they can alter the levels of potassium in the blood.
4. Apply ice
Ice has been an effective remedy for swelling since ancient times. In the case of sore or swollen feet, ice is a practical solution when the swelling has occurred due to exercise. Wrap some ice in a towel or cloth and apply gentle pressure to the affected area.
5. Elevate your feet
A simple solution which is regularly effective against swelling of the feet consists of placing them in an elevated position relative to the rest of your body. It is usually recommended to lie down and elevate your feet against a wall or on some pillows, trying to keep your legs firm and straight for about 5-10 minutes.
If you want to prevent peripheral swelling, it might be a good idea to follow these recommendations, since they are not only suggested to combat the swelling, but also to prevent it in the first place:
Reduce salt intake: Salt promotes water retention, so it is necessary to avoid direct consumption, but you can also limit your intake of processed foods such as cured meats and cheeses, tinned foods and seasoning such as spices, sauces, etc.
Exercise: Regular exercise like walking can be very useful to prevent swelling of the feet. Try to exercise three times a week at least and dedicate to your activity for at least 30 minutes. Walking barefoot on grass or sand can also help to combat sore or swollen feet when the problem presents itself.
Lose weight: Remember that obesity can be a cause of swelling of the feet and ankles, so if you are obese or overweight, consider following a diet to achieve your ideal weight.
Stand up: If your job requires you to spend a lot of time in the same position, especially sitting down, try to stand up and mobilise your legs every now and then to reactivate the circulation. Also be sure to wear comfortable shoes.
Revised by: Dra. Loredana Lunadei on 08/29/2018
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