Swollen feet can both look and feel uncomfortable. It can be caused by a number of things – varying from simple factors such as too much standing or too much sitting. It can also be a result of excessive salt in the diet or may be a symptom of pregnancy. On the other hand, it may also be an underlying symptom of a more serious condition, such as a problem with the kidneys or the heart. Or it may indicate the presence of a blood clot.
Nevertheless, if you do suffer from chronic swollen feet, it’s suggested that you see your healthcare practitioner for a thorough diagnosis, understanding the underlying cause. However, if your swollen feet have occurred because you have just hopped off a long plane or train ride, or because you’ve spent most of your day out and about, here are a couple of things that you can do to treat the swelling:
9 Healthy Habits to Prevent Swollen Ankles
1. Quit smoking: It’s a well known fact that smoking can be detrimental to your health. And one of its many life-threatening diseases is swelling of the extremities.
2. Stay hydrated: Dehydration can cause swelling of the feet, alongside many other negative and uncomfortable symptoms.
3. Eat well: Eat a healthy, whole foods diet that consists mostly of fresh fruits and vegetables. Your healthy diet should also contain high quality fiber and high quality protein. Include plenty of pure filtered water to keep you in tip-top shape.
4. Get proper nutrition: Include high quality multivitamins as part of your daily diet. Ensure that they contain enough magnesium, helping to prevent the swelling of the extremities. Problems with swollen ankles and feet may be a magnesium deficiency problem. Consult with a health care practitioner and see if you should take 350mg of magnesium daily.
5. Reduce your salt intake: Avoid processed food as much as possible, since packaged foods contain a great deal of salt. And get into the habit of tasting your food before putting salt on it. Alternatively, you can use healthy spices such as turmeric, red pepper, cumin and chili powder to add more flavor to your food, without the need to use salt.
6. Exercise several times a week: There’s no better way to take good care of your heart and circulatory system than through engaging in some form of exercise as often as you can. Aim to get 15 to 20 minutes of light to moderate exercise every day, this can include walking, swimming, yoga, dancing, cycling and other forms of light and enjoyable exercise you enjoy. As a result, good blood circulation will help prevent swelling of the extremities.
7. Take a break: Particularly if you spend much of your time sitting at your desk. Stand up for a couple of minutes every half hour and during your lunch break, get into the habit of going for a short walk. Getting up to move and stretch your body every 30 minutes or so will help improve your circulation and will help you avoid swollen feet and ankles, or more serious problems such as thrombosis.
8. Keep your feet and ankles supported: Compression socks are a great way to support your feet and ankles, particularly when you need to sit for long periods of time. It’s also suggested that you wear them for traveling, keeping your feet and ankles from swelling and helping to prevent varicose veins.
9. Put your feet up: A great way to prevent and treat swollen feet and ankles is to put your feet up. Keep them elevated while watching television or while you sleep, doing so will help engage the power of gravity, draining excess fluid from your feet and ankles.
3 Ways to Treat Swollen Ankles and Feet
Swollen feet as a result of overexertion, excessive sitting or another easily identifiable cause, can be treated using these simple remedies coupled with lifestyle changes.
1. Pamper your feet: Epsom salt is an excellent treatment for swollen feet and general relieving of stress and aching muscles. Have a warm, relaxing foot bath with a cup of Epsom salt several times as well. You can also add some sea salt to your bath to help you soak up its soothing effects.
2. Get a foot massage: After soaking your feet in Epsom salt, use some healing oils to massage your feet. Coconut oil is a good option as it has natural antifungal and antibacterial properties. For further anti-inflammatory and aromatherapy effects, add a couple of drops of an essential oil such as Eucalyptus, tea tree, peppermint and lemon oil – all of which are good for reducing inflammation. You may also add a few drops of lavender or chamomile to help promote relaxation.
3. Use castor oil: For a stimulating treatment, massage your feet with castor oil coupled with a few drops of mustard oil. Castor oil has strong anti-inflammatory properties, while mustard oil helps generate heat and improve circulation. Mustard oil also contains magnesium and selenium which can both be absorbed by the skin after a massage. Once you have massaged your feet, wrap them in a warm towel and keep them elevated for at least half an hour.
If these simple methods and treatments do not work, consult with your doctor as your swollen feet may be a symptom of a more serious condition.
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