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How to Treat Swollen Feet

Swelling of the feet and ankles usually happens because of a fluid buildup within the tissues and muscles.

Foot swelling usually goes away after you rest and elevate your feet. But when swelling in the feet gets worse, it can cause stiffness, scarred tissue, skin ulcerations, difficulty in walking, risk of infection, and decrease in blood circulation.

What should you do? Keep reading!

(picture by thehealthsite.com)

The medical term for excessive swelling of the foot and lower leg is “peripheral edema,” which can happen to anyone, but is more common in adults.

Elderly people can get peripheral edema from their muscles wearing and tearing, and from medical conditions, such as diabetes. Athletes in high-impact sports may also be susceptible to peripheral edema.

Peripheral edema can be caused by injury or trauma, being overweight, aging, too much salt,
too much alcohol, menstruation and/or PMS,  sitting or standing in one position for a long period of time, medications (diabetes medicines, high-estrogen birth-control pills, anti-depressants, steroids, calcium channel blockers) and high altitudes (flying in a plane).

When pregnant women experience weight gain, they can feel pressure on their legs, ankles, and feet, which can cause swelling.

You should always seek medical treatment (call 911 or go to the hospital) if the swelling gets  worse after you have taken steps to control it. If you are pregnant and concerned about your swollen feet, call 911 or go to the hospital.

In non-emergency situations, people with swollen feet who stand all day for work may find relief by wearing orthotics.  You can also try placing your legs one foot above heart level for a period of ten to fifteen minutes, three to four times a day.

Try limiting mobility, anti-inflammatory medication, medications such as acetaminophen, aspirin, and ibuprofen, leg wedges during sleep hours, proper footwear, support socks, drinking plenty of water, reducing salt intake and lose weight.

If you know that a certain activity is causing your swollen feet, you may want to avoid that activity as much as possible. It’s also important that you inform your foot and ankle doctor of all medications you are taking. Simple changes in your lifestyle and diet can prevent other foot problems.

If you have foot pain, do not let it go untreated or it could very well get worse. Get your foot looked at today so that tomorrow is pain-free.

Please call 626-447-2184 (Arcadia) or 818-408-2800 (San Fernando) to speak make an appointment with a foot and ankle doctor about your foot and/or ankle needs.

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