When fluid accumulates in the spaces between your cells in the feet and ankles it leads to swelling which is commonly known as edema.
Besides it being unsightly and uncomfortable, if left untreated it can get quite painful and end up causing you permanent damage. Both ankles and feet can be swollen at one time or you might only experience the swelling on one side.
You may also experience a change in your skin color as well as the texture of the skin as blood circulation slows and the skin becomes taut. There are a lot of different reasons that edema can happen, some are benign while others are serious.
In general, your lower extremities tend to swell more than other parts of your body because they are the furthest from the heart and take longer to receive blood flow through circulation. Certain ailments can cause circulation to become more strained than usual and lead to edema as well as other cardiovascular problems.
The treatment for the underlying condition causing your edema can help eliminate the swelling but there are also natural remedies for swollen feet and ankles that you can try on your own.
The Causes of Swollen Feet and Ankles
Before the remedies are discussed, it’s important to understand what might be causing your edema. There are various causes, some more serious than others, that could be leading to your swollen feet and ankles. In general, this swelling isn’t referring to the one-off swelling that occurs after an injury like a sprain or break. Instead, it refers to swelling that can occur seemingly out of nowhere at different times.
Edema can be a warning sign of worse health problems so pay attention to your feet and ankles and check with your doctor to see what may be causing the swelling. If you are able to catch serious issues early by having the edema checked out you can start managing your health better.
Of course, there are some benign causes behind swollen feet and ankles that might not need to be addressed at all. In those cases, these natural remedies can be the most helpful since you won’t have to treat a primary health problem along with the swelling.
Some of the common causes of swollen feet and ankles are:
- Too much time spend standing or walking
- Side effects of medications (fluid retention)
- Heart disease including congestive heart failure
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Infections (localized or diffused)
- Lymph node or lymph vessel blockage
- Blood clots
Edema doesn’t necessarily mean that you have one of the above ailments so be sure to see a medical professional for a proper diagnosis.
Natural Remedies for Swollen Feet and Ankles
When you are dealing with swollen feet and ankles you’re more than likely constantly looking for relief from the swelling. Your doctor might recommend medications like diuretics to treat fluid retention but those have their own side effects and can interrupt your daily life quite a bit. If you don’t want to deal with medications, these natural remedies are worth a try.
The best way to reduce swelling is to elevate the leg so that it if stretched out in front of you. You can choose to also apply ice to the foot or ankle in question. This can help reduce your swelling but might not eliminate it completely.
- Foot Massager
A good foot massage is always nice and relaxing but when you have swollen feet and ankles it can also be a great natural treatment. A foot massager puts pressure on the areas in question and can help improve circulation to the area to reduce the swelling. It can also help stimulate drainage for the excess fluid. Use an oil like olive oil or mustard oil to increase the positive effects of a foot massage.
Heat up vinegar and water in a pot (equal amounts of both). Take a clean towel and soak it in the mixture. Squeeze out the excess and wrap the towel around your foot or ankle. Stay like that for five minutes then soak the towel again and repeat the process. Do this a few more times.
This specific food has the ability to absorb excess fluid in the body. All you have to do here is take a slice of cucumber, put it on your foot or ankle, wrap a bandage or cloth over it to hold it in place, and leave it there for a while. This will draw the fluid out of the extremity and help you recover.
- Wear Comfortable Shoes
The types of shoes you wear can have an effect on your feet and ankles. Wearing uncomfortable shoes can put too much pressure on certain parts of your feet and cause swelling. You may also change the natural way you walk in certain shoes which can also harm you. By choosing the right shoes for your feet and the way you walk you can help prevent swollen feet and ankles or at lease limit the amount of swelling that occurs.
- Soaking Your Feet
In order to reduce swelling, soak your feet in cold water for around 15 minutes. This will help reduce swelling and relieve any pain caused by it.
You can add cucumber to the water or essential oils that also help with swelling (mustard oil is a good choice for swelling and pain). Adding Epsom salt, apple cider vinegar, or magnesium sulfate powder to the water can also help.
- Lecithin Seeds
These seeds are quite effective for treating chronic swelling in people. You’ll want to take about four tablespoons of these seeds each day for a period of three months to treat chronic swelling. You’ll notice a dramatic difference in your edema.
- Stay Hydrated
Drinking water might seem counterproductive when you’re trying to get rid of excess fluid in your body but drinking plenty of water will help remove salt in your body that contributes to the swelling.
Any one of these natural remedies for swollen feet and ankles can help you combat your edema and help you feel more comfortable in your daily life.
Swollen feet and ankles might not seem like a big deal to the rest of the world but when you’re suffering from it yourself you’ll want to try anything to help reduce the swelling. Talk to your doctor to combat any existing medical problems causing the swelling and then use one or more of these natural remedies for swollen feet and ankles to get back to normal.
Revision 7.7.2020 – dead link removed