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Home remedies for swollen feet and ankles

A great and simple home remedy to fight swollen feet is to dip your feet alternately in a bowl with hot and then cold water because this increases local blood circulation and facilitates the return of excess fluid to the blood, and that excess is then eliminated through your urine. But to complement this home remedy, you can also lie down with your feet elevated and receive a foot massage.

This treatment may also be done during pregnancy, after a cesarean section, after having walked a lot on a very hot day, or when your foot is swollen because of a torsion or after having removed plaster, for example.

Here are the details of each technique:

1. Switch between hot and cold

To do this home remedy, you need 2 buckets or 2 bowls that will fit your foot comfortably. The following should be:

  1. Put hot water in one container and cold or freezing cold water in another;
  2. Dip your feet first in the hot water for a maximum of 3 to 5 minutes;
  3. Then soak your feet in the bowl with cold water for 1 or 2 minutes at most.

This sequence can be done up to 3 times in a row, and should always end with cold water. You can do this treatment 1, 2 or as many times as you want, according to the time you have available.

Before placing your feet in hot water you should check with your elbow the temperature of the water, which should not be too hot, so as not to burn your skin. And to make sure the water is cool, you can add some ice cubes to the water.

This home remedy should not be done if you have skin sores, when the skin is very sensitive or anesthetized or if you have a lot of varicose veins on your ankles.

2. Rest with your legs elevated

To complement this home remedy you need to lie comfortably with your legs up so your feet are above the level of your heart because this also facilitates venous return and reduces the swelling of your lower limbs more quickly. It is important to always stand on your stomach and put some cushions under your legs so as not to force your knees.

3. Foot massage

While lying belly up, you can ask another person to massage your feet. The massage is also a great complement that helps to reduce the swelling of your feet, but the massage should always be carried out in the upward direction, and so pressure should be applied from your fingers towards your legs you should press your feet towards the legs.  Putting a moisturizing cream or a sweet almond oil, for example, is also a great way to make the massage even more relaxing. Each foot should be massaged for about 1 minute.

What can cause your feet to swell

The feet and ankles may become swollen during pregnancy, after delivery, when you stand too long in the same position, if you have diabetes or in cases of fluid retention. It is also common for the foot or ankle to become swollen if you suffer some kind of torsion or after removing plaster from the foot, for example.

The main cause for your feet to swell is gravity and so whenever you stay still for a long time in the same position, whether sitting or standing, your legs can become swollen, heavy and sore. But when there is an electrolyte imbalance in the body and you have fluid retention, this symptom may also manifest.

Lack of physical activity is also another factor that influences body swelling, so anyone who tends to get their feet swollen at the end of the day should do physical activity regularly because it improves blood circulation and helps to eliminate excess fluids.

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