Are you suddenly experiencing swollen feet that feel puffy, painful, and wonder what it is? It means that you have peripheral edema. It refers to the abnormal buildup of excess fluid in the lower extremities of the body. The fluid build-up is caused by the body’s inability to transport blood and fluid backward due to gravity. This results in legs, ankles, and feet swelling.
There are various factors that contribute to peripheral edema.
The common causes include prolonged immobility, pregnancy and use of medication with swollen feet as one of the side effects. However, it may be a sign of serious health condition such as diabetics, congestive heart failure or kidney disease.
According to podiatric Georgeanne Botek, DPM in the Cleveland Clinic, swollen feet restrict free movement, there’s no curative solution. It’s about management in order to get through the day. These 15 natural remedies that successfully treat swollen feet are just what you need.
1. Magnesium Supplement
Before you start panicking, you should figure out the primary cause of your swollen feet. Sometimes it could be a deficiency of some important minerals such as magnesium. The deficiency of magnesium in the system can lead to edema. The best way to alleviate the swelling would be to take a magnesium supplement.
According to Mayo Clinic, magnesium has properties that help to reduce water retention in the body. Therefore, adding the recommended 200mg to 400mg to your diet twice a day should help you to get rid of the swelling in your feet.
It is not specified whether magnesium supplements can cause issues to kidney and heart disease patients. However, if you are pregnant, it would be ideal to consult your doctor before taking a magnesium supplement. This is because you could probably be already taking it through the prenatal vitamins and from the special ‘pregnancy’ diet program that you follow.
2. Epsom Salt
Epsom salts are the best for treating swollen feet that are accompanied by pain. Adding a few scoops into water will do wonders. Epsom salt has crystals of hydrated magnesium sulfate, which easily get absorbed by the skin and are capable of treating soreness in muscles. With these properties, the salts work magic on fatigued calves, ankles and feet soles.
Anyone can use Epsom salt to treat feet pain because they are gentle on every skin type. Doctors recommend the use of Epsom salts for injuries and infections, even arthritis patients can add them in their baths. The best time to use Epsom salts for swollen feet pain relief is before bedtime. This will allow feet to fully heal as you will be relaxed. However, they can also be used at any time of the day and the treatment session should be at least 15 – 20 minutes to have effective results.
3. Hot/Cold Baths
This is another natural way that you can use to successfully treat your swollen feet. Not only does it alleviate pain and swelling, it is also very easy to do. Also, water is within easy reach for any time you would feel like your feet need therapy. The contrasting temperatures promote efficient blood circulation in feet and throughout the body. If your feet get sufficient blood supply, the pain eases and inflammation subsides.
As mentioned above, this method is easy as it only needs hot and cold water and 2 buckets. What you would have to do, is to have half-filled buckets with hot and cold water. First immerse your feet in hot water, switch to cold water and immerse them back in hot water. You should do this for 25 minutes for effective results. You should be able to see a change in the swelling just some minutes after the treatment.
Effective treatment of swollen feet involves having sufficient blood circulating in the affected area. This makes yoga a good remedy as it encourages blood circulation. If blood is able to flow freely without being obstructed by any blocked veins or valves, fluid will not be able to accumulate in one place. Rather the lymphatic system will flush out the excess fluid that’s causing swelling in feet.
The yoga postures that assist with the swelling usually include gentle stretching and flexing of toes and feet. Blood circulation is usually improved when feet are elevated above the heart. Thus, the inversion pose of lying on the floor and lifting legs up definitely does the trick. Yoga can be practiced by anyone and anywhere, but those who have mobility problems might need assistance when doing it. In addition, pregnant women should only do gentle poses.
5. Baking Soda
It is so surprising that this troublesome and painful feet condition can be treated by some of the everyday use items found in your home. The baking soda, as simple as it is, has various health benefits that can significantly change people’s lives. It is listed under the natural remedies that successfully treat swollen feet because it has abundant anti-inflammatory properties.
The anti-inflammatory as the name suggests is responsible for dealing with swelling and tenderness of the skin due to injury or other health conditions. Most people use anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce swelling. But, this can also be found in non-medicinal items like in baking soda, and still, serve the same purpose. For more effective results, the baking soda is combined with rice water. This method improves blood circulation in the affected area. These two can successfully absorb excess fluid that has pooled up in the feet, alleviating swelling and pain.
6. Tootsies Elevation
Elevating feet will help reduce the swelling of your feet. This is another way of dealing with gravity as the major culprit of swollen feet. Putting your feet on a platform that is slightly above your heart will stimulate the trapped fluid to start moving and be flushed out of the body.
Carrying out this exercise will definitely give you the relief you need. Depending on the severity of the swelling, you would need to do this frequently and probably on a daily basis, to have more satisfying results.
Elevating your feet usually helps when you have had a long day at work or school and your feet are swollen. It could be from sitting or standing for a long time. It will stimulate blood circulation in the painful area and this will make you feel a lot better. However, it may not work for other conditions, but it’s worth trying.
7. Essential Oils
Soaking your feet in essential oils is another natural remedy for swollen feet. The term ‘essential’ means that the oils have the essence of specific plants. These oils don’t only reduce the swelling, but also have natural relaxing capabilities. They are sometimes used for reducing stress and anxiety through their natural beautiful scents.
There are various variants that people can use, depending on the aroma they love. The most common oils that people use include peppermint oil, lemon essential oil, and eucalyptus oil. There is no designated method to use these oils, you can pour them in your bathing water or just use a feet soak tub instead. Instead of using only one type, you can combine the oils to have a unique scent that will help you relax. Oils are mostly used when you are doing a self-hypnosis technique to relieve pain. Use them repeatedly until the swelling subsides.
8. Foot Massage
After spending the whole day on your feet, running around getting errands done, feet get swollen; blood gets restricted to flow to and fro the feet. In other instances, feet get swollen because you would have sat down for a long time. In these cases, a foot massage would do the trick in reducing the swelling, in addition to helping you relax. Massaging the affected area stimulates blood flow to affected parts, leading to reduced swelling and eventually pain relief.
If you have enough money to spare, you can get a professional massage, but it’s not a complicated procedure; anyone from your partner or child can help you out. Essential oils along with carrier oils can be used for massaging; they will promote quick healing due to their relaxing scents. Depending on the intensity of swelling and pain, some people prefer a gentle massage, whilst others would need you to apply more pressure for effective results.
9. Ice Packs
This is the most traditional and successful way that people use to deal with swollen feet. It has the same effect as the cold bath, in terms of the temperature contrasting technique used. Usually used in cold therapy, ice reduces the blood flow to the affected area. When blood flow is reduced, the nerve activity is reduced and the swelling goes down.
Even though they are effective in reducing the swelling, ice packs should not be used by people with sensory disorders, especially as a home remedy.
People with sensory disorders don’t feel other sensations, thus they might not feel that the ice if causing further damage to the affected area. Diabetes patients should not use ice packs to treat swollen feet; their nerves can be easily damaged. It is important to know that ice packs can only be used on the swelling; they shouldn’t be put on stiff joints or stiff muscles.
10. Cabbage Leaves
As peculiar as it may sound, cabbage leaves have helped people to reduce swelling in most parts of the body, including the feet. Cabbage is used to treat swollen feet because of its great absorption abilities. If wrapped around swollen feet, it successfully drains out excess fluid in the affected area. Not only does it have these water draining qualities, but it also contains healing and anti-inflammatory properties.
Both white and green leaves can be used for swelling relief purposes. They should be put in the freezer and let them cool, but not freeze. Put all the leaves on the swollen area, the best way would be to wrap the feet with the leaves and leave them for 30 minutes. The cabbage leaves will drain the excess fluid accumulated in feet tissues. You can repeat the process after some time to effectively remove all the excess fluid and get relief.