Why Are Your Feet Swollen?

Why are your feet swollen? It may be more common than you think and can often be easy to cure. Here are a few of the most common reasons for swollen feet and some steps to self-treatment.

Edema:
This is when your body retains too much water. This usually goes away on its own, but can be a sign of health problems such as low protein levels, heart failure, or liver and kidney disease. Compression socks and elevating your feet will help to drain the fluid. Also, ask your doctor about taking a diuretic, as this may help to reduce fluid retention.

Injury:
A swollen foot can be a sign of a broken bone or a sprain. This will often be accompanied by bruising around or near the affected area. Swelling may even occur in response to stress fractures in the foot. Ice will be the best form of treatment for this issue until it can be further evaluated by a doctor. Do not walk on it, as weight barring can make this problem worse.

Lymphedema:
This is when one or more of your lymph nodes are damaged or removed. This often happens during cancer treatment and prevents your body from getting rid of fluid, causing it to pool. This can cause many problems in the feet, such as peripheral neuropathy. Treatments such as light exercise, massage, and compression will help.

Chronic Venous Insufficiency:
Veins have one-way valves to prevent blood from flowing back down. As we get older, these valves can become damaged. This causes blood to pool in your legs, resulting in swollen feet. Peripheral neuropathy may occur as a result of the swelling. Avoid sitting for long periods of time, as this can cause a blood clot to form, which can be fatal. Treatments such as light exercise, massage, and compression will help. Laser treatment of varicose veins may also help improve regular blood flow.

Author
Mark Forman, DPM, M.B.A, F.A.P.W.C.A.

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