4 Home Remedies for Swollen Feet
Epsom Salt Soaks
Epsom salt is a low-cost remedy made up of magnesium sulfate that absorbs through the skin. In addition to relieving swelling and accompanying pain, Epsom salts may also provide relief for arthritic, injured or infected feet. Dissolve a few cups into a full tub of bathwater for a full-body soak, or prepare an Epsom salt foot bath in a shallow bucket of water. Soak for a minimum of 15 to 20 minutes to reduce foot swelling while soothing dry skin, leaving feet relaxed and smelling pleasant.
Excess salt in the body increases water retention that leads to swollen feet. In addition to reducing salt intake to one teaspoon or less per day, increase fluid intake to dilute the salt, caffeine and other inflammatory substances that are currently in your system. Drink eight to 10 glasses of water each day to help reduce swelling. Consider adding cucumber and lemon slices to the water, as these foods have anti-inflammatory properties.
Yoga and other mild exercises increase circulation and prevent blood from pooling in the feet. Practice postures that stretch the muscles in the lower legs and feet as well as postures that elevate the feet above the heart. You can also lie on your back while resting your legs straight against a wall to get the same effect. Pregnant women and other patients suffering from edema, a condition that causes fluid retention in the feet, should consult a doctor before practicing yoga to learn which postures to avoid.
If swollen feet are a regular occurrence, consider taking magnesium supplements. A magnesium deficiency can cause constant swelling in the feet and lower legs as well as edema, but additional magnesium may be beneficial even for patients with no deficiency. Speak with your doctor before taking magnesium or any other supplements, as they can interact with certain medications.
High blood pressure, pregnancy, menstruation, obesity and a variety of other conditions can cause uncomfortable swelling in the feet and ankles. This swelling often results from fluid retention in the tissue, known as peripheral edema. Fortunately, you don't need to visit the doctor's office to find soothing relief for swollen feet. The following time-tested home remedies effectively relieve pain and swelling in most cases.
Other home treatment options include taking warm baths with essential grapefruit oil, elevating the feet and massaging the swollen areas. Swimming may also relieve swelling by stimulating circulation. If conservative treatments don't help, make an appointment with your doctor, as the swelling may be the result of a more serious condition such as kidney or heart failure.