When you have swelling in the feet and ankles, the skin in this area may look stretched and shiny. It can be stiff and uncomfortable, making it more difficult to be active. Your shoes might start to feel tight as well, and this can lead to blisters or sores.
Here are some common causes of foot and ankle swelling:
• Heat – in warm temperatures, your blood vessels expand to allow heat to escape and helo you stay cool. This sounds like a good thing, but it can also cause fluid to escape and build-up in your tissue.
• Sitting or standing for long periods – professionals like nurses, grocery stores clerks and anyone else who is on their feet all day are especially susceptible to swelling in the feet and ankles. Standing for these extended periods can cause poor circulation and fluid accumulation in your feet and ankles.
• Excess weight– being overweight causes strain on your legs, feet and ankles which can cause an accumulation of fluid over time.
• Age – our circulatory systems weaken as we age, making it more common to experience swelling in our feet and ankles.
• High-sodium diets – too much sodium intake can cause the body to retain fluid as an attempt to rebalance the salt/water ratio we need to maintain.
• Medications–oedema is a common side-effect to some medications like steroids and blood pressure pills.
• Pregnancy – pregnant women retain more water than normal, which makes foot and ankle swelling a common complaint.
How to reduce swelling
There are a few things you can do to improve your circulation and encourage your blood vessels to reabsorb moisture which will decrease the swelling in your feet and ankles.
• For a few minutes every day, lie down with your feet and ankles raised above your heart level.
• Massage your feet and ankles gently, working in an upwards motion.
• Keep moving and take regular breaks to avoid being in the same position for too long.
• Try compression socks or stockings.
• Reduce your salt intake by focusing on whole, natural foods and limiting the amount of pre-made pre-packaged foods you consume.
• Try and drink two litres of water per day.
• Wear comfortable, roomy, breathable shoes to make sure your feet have space to keep cool and prevent any blisters or sores from forming.
If you are concerned about the swelling in your feet and ankles and want to speak with an expert, give Aldershot Foot Care Clinic in Burlington a call to set up a consultation today.