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Healthy Foot Tips 3: Swollen Feet and Ankles

Today is part three of a new blog series called Healthy Feet Tips. In this series I’ll be writing on a number of issues that plague our poor aching feet.  On average, depending on your mobility, we take 5,000 daily steps, we stand for long periods of time, and we often wear ill fitting footwear. What I’d like to share with you today is how we can give our feet some tender loving care.  Today’s topic is about swollen feet and ankles, and what you can do about it.

Peripheral edema is the medical term used to describe foot, leg, and ankle swelling, which is caused by the accumulation of fluid in these parts of the body, either on one side or both. Gravity is the culprit. Often, this fluid retention is not painful, unless you’ve injured yourself. This type of swelling is common with older adults. While swelling in these regions of the body aren’t often serious, it’s important to report them to your physician so that you may be examined if you have any underlying health issue that need attention.

What causes foot and ankle swelling?

  • Being overweight;
  • Standing / sitting for long periods;
  • Medications such as: steroids, estrogen, testosterone,  antidepressants, aspirin, ibuprofen;
  • Hormonal changes;
  • Blood clot;
  • Injury or infection;
  • Issues with your veins;
  • Pericarditis or inflammation of heart’s sac-like membrane;
  • Lymphedema or blockages in the lymphatic system;
  • Pre-eclampsia or high blood pressure during pregnancy;
  • Cirrhosis of the liver, resulting from alcohol abuse or hepatitis B or C.

Help me!  How do I treat it?

  • Elevate your legs whenever you’re lying down;
  • Stretch and move your feet and legs if you sit for long periods;
  • Reduce your salt intake;
  • Avoid wearing restrictive clothing around your thighs;
  • Loose weight;
  • Wear compression socks;
  • Exercise regularly;

Last but not least, bath your feet in this easy-to-make foot soak remedy to help decrease swollen feet and ankles, and to enhance your overall sense of well-being:

In a foot basin:

Place a handful of smooth pebbles or stones, found at most gardening stores, in it. Coat the stones with eucalyptus and camphor oils.  Tear open green tea bags and mix contents with 2 cups of boiling water then pour into foot basin.  Add olive oil.  Let cool for 5 minutes.  Soak feet for 15 minutes.

  • 2 Drops essential oil of eucalyptus;
  • 2 Drops essential oil of camphor;
  • 2 Green tea bags;
  • 1 Cup olive oil;
  • Pumice stone
  • Witch Hazel
  • Arnica cream;
  • Aloe Vera cream

Pat feet dry. Use the pumice stone to buff dead skin from feet. Massage the bottoms of your feet using warm pebbles; if they have cooled, warm them up in the microwave for approximately 20 seconds. Dab your feet with a cotton ball swabbed in witch-hazel. Dry your feet with a towel and then rub them with Arnica cream until it’s fully absorbed. Apply another coat of Aloe Vera cream and wrap your feet in warm towels and relax for approximately 5 minutes.


You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms in conjunction with swollen feet and ankles:

  • pain, pressure, or tightness in the chest area;
  • dizziness and confusion;
  • feeling lightheaded or faint;
  • trouble breathing or shortness of breath.

Have questions? Simply reach out to me at Step Forward to Better Health.

I acknowledge that this image is borrowed from the Listerine Foot Soak Guide on November 14, 2016. Thank you!


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