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Sole Survival … solving your foot problems 

Swollen Feet

What are Swollen Feet?

Swelling is also called edema.  Swollen feet are a condition where the muscles in the feet have an excessive buildup of fluid. This buildup can lead to a rapid increase in weight over a short period of time.

Slight swelling of the lower legs commonly occurs in warm summer months. Slight swelling is more likely to occur if a person has been standing or walking a lot.

See a doctor if you have persistent swelling, swelling accompanied by shortness of breath and weight gain, or swelling that damages the skin or if you have specific medical conditions or concerns.Swollen Feet

What Causes Feet to Swell?

Swelling is caused by fluid buildup in the tissues. Gravity pulls the fluids to your feet and ankles, causing them to swell.  Swelling can be caused by a serious condition of the kidney, heart, liver or blood vessels. Some other causes of swelling are:

  • Eating a poor diet high in salt and carbohydrates
  • Taking birth control or hormone replacement therapy pills
  • Pregnancy
  • PMS
  • Sodium retention
  • Muscle injury
  • Varicose veins
  • History of phlebitis
  • Allergic reactions
  • Preeclampsia
  • Neuromuscular disorders
  • Trauma
  • Laxative abuse
  • Diuretics abuse
  • Drug abuse

 

Can swollen feet be treated?

Treatment will depend on the cause of the swelling. One of the first treatment options is to elevate the legs above the level of the heart. Anti-inflammatory medicine can also help reduce swelling.  Other treatment options are

  • Leg wedges to elevate the feet while sleeping.
  • Support socks and stocking
  • Support socks and stockings come in various gradients depending on the pressure needed, and various lengths depending on the level of the edema.
  • Proper fitting shoes and socks.

 

How can I reduce swelling?

  • Cut back on salt.  Salt contributes to fluid retention.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Put your feet up, lye on your back, rest your feet at least 12 inches above the level of your heart for 10 to 15 minutes, three or four times a day.
  • Do not abuse laxatives
  • Use support stockings, roll these on in the morning to promote circulation and limit gravitation movement of fluids. Most medical supply or drug stores carry these.
  • Exercise regularly.  Regular exercise improves circulation.
  • Avoid standing in place for long period of time.
  • Lose excess weight.  Excess weight slows circulation of body fluids and puts extra pressure on your veins.
  • Increase muscle activity with walking.
  • Avoid long periods of sitting.  Every one or two hours, get up and walk.
  • Review your medication with your doctors.  Certain drugs, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories and calcium channel blockers, can contribute to swelling.

In this issue of Spavelous “Now You Are In The Know” we will look at:

Twenty Fun Foot Facts

Sole Survival … solving your foot problems

Top 15 tips to Maintaining Happy Healthy Feet

Exercise Your Feet

Steps for a Relaxing Foot Massage

Pedicure Safety

Types of Pedicures

Foot Loose and Fancy Free