Why Are My Feet Swollen?
Long days of standing, walking, bending and stooping can make the legs and feet tired, but it is miserable to find out that the ankles and feet are actually swollen. Usually a little rest or pampering and the swelling goes away.
However, there could be a more serious health issue lurking if the swelling refuses to leave or is accompanied by other unexplained symptoms like pain, fever or tingling. Find out what might be behind the foot and ankle swelling you have experienced and see if it might be worth getting immediate medical advice.
Carrying more weight than your body frame is designed to handle can cause all sorts of pain and feelings of discomfort. It puts a strain on the legs, ankles and feet any time you have to stand or walk. Blood has a harder time properly circulating back towards the heart. This leaves behind fluid that builds up at the ends of the limbs, especially targeting the hands and feet.
Elevating the feet to waist level can help during times that your feet or ankles are swollen. It helps increase blood circulation so that the body can naturally dispose of the extra fluid buildup. If this happens frequently it may be time to begin a slow process of losing some of the extra weight.
Ankle and Foot Injury
Injuries to the feet and ankles are unpredictable and can happen while handling the simplest of chores. You can easily twist an ankle or step on a rock while in the yard or taking a walk. You may not notice the damage it does right away. It becomes apparent after removing shoes and socks and you see swelling and feel tenderness.
The first order of business is to make sure that nothing is broken or in need of serious medical attention. Once you are certain that it is merely a small injury that will take a little time to heal, try soaking the foot and ankle in a warm bath of Epsom salt and water. Placing a cold pack on the injured area can be soothing. Loose wrap the area for added stability for a few days until the swelling disappears.
I also write an article about how to reduce swelling, check it out here!
Standing and Walking Too Much
Jobs and activities that require hours of standing or walking can make your feet and ankles begin to swell and hurt. It places a lot of strain on the muscles and tendons to hold up normal body weight during extended periods of time. If there is additional weight from backpacks or other equipment, such as in the case of backpacking swelling in the ankles or feet is a normal result.
The best remedy is resting and letting the swelling go down on its own. A nice warm soaking bath can prove helpful.
Poor Blood Circulation
Swelling in the limbs can signal a problem in restricted or limited blood flow and circulatory difficulties, particularly if it is experienced in the hands and feet on a regular basis. If the symptoms are accompanied by a cough, fever or localized pain you should seek medical advice as it could be the signs of an arterial blockage.
Getting the blood to flow regularly each day should be a top priority for all people. Sedentary jobs and too much relaxation can play a big role in the slowing of blood circulation. Get involved in some type of cardio activity such as bicycling, power walking or aerobics. 30-minutes a day can make a huge difference.
Diabetes is a condition where there can be too much or too little sugar in the blood due to improper amounts of insulin in the system. One of the first major symptoms of diabetes is a patients insatiable need to drink water. All of this water has to settle in somewhere, since the kidneys can only handle the processing of a certain amount each 24-hour period. This leads to water retention in all areas of the body.
Discuss any frequent swelling in the feet with your physician. If you are diagnosed with diabetes it is important to take care of your health and take any and all prescribed medications. It may become necessary to take a diuretic to bring swelling down to a comfortable level. Balance your active and inactive times each day.
Swelling of the feet is not an unusual symptom for pregnant women, especially in the last trimester. It is not that the weight of a baby is that much, but it is placed in awkward position front and center of the body. The changes that have to be made for balance can cause strain and tension on the muscles and tendons of the feet and ankles.
What is not normal is to have swelling in the body along with symptoms of high blood pressure. It can be a sign of Preeclampsia or Eclampsia. It can be life-threatening by causing seizures. You should discuss any symptoms with your doctor that seem to be out of the ordinary. Normal swelling should go down with plenty of rest.
Wearing shoes that are too tight is one way to cut off blood circulation to the feet and cause some serious swelling. Wearing poor quality high heels, or even excellent designed high heeled shoes for too long at one time will cause swelling, pain and possibly permanent damage.
Make sure that you are wearing shoes that are the proper size and do not lace them up too tight. If it feels uncomfortable walk they are too tight. Wear low heeled shoes. You may not feel they look as good with your outfits, but it is important to take care of your feet so they will last a lifetime. Spend a few hours each day without any shoes on. Keep a comfortable pair of slippers, like these, near the door to put on as soon as you walk in the door.
Being observant and knowing when something with the foot does not look or feel right can tip you off to a more serious medical condition. The great thing about swelling in the feet is that it is an obvious symptom that cannot be missed. Many health problems are very subtle, but swelling allows you to clue in early that something might be wrong. This gives you every opportunity for a better outcome in regaining full health.
Not every swollen ankle or foot is a guarantee that something bad is happening, but it allows you the ability to really focus in and see if there are other symptoms you might be missing. Take good care of your feet so that they will provide you mobility in the years to come.