You can help reduce swelling in your feet with home remedies, including hydration, massage, and making dietary changes. You may need additional treatment for the underlying cause.
Painless swelling of the feet or ankles is common and can happen for a variety of reasons. Causes of swollen feet can include:
- staying on your feet too long
- ill-fitting shoes
- dietary factors
- certain medical conditions
When fluid accumulates in tissues, it’s called edema. While edema usually resolves on its own, there are some home remedies that may reduce the swelling more quickly and increase your own comfort. Here are 10 to try.
Some people have swollen feet due to venous insufficiency, when the blood collects in the legs because it does not pump back to the heart effectively.
However, you shouldn’t use compression if you have peripheral arterial disease, as it may affect blood supply.
Compression socks come in a variety of weights and compressions. It might be best to start off with lighter-weight socks and then find the kind that provides the most relief.
Many people use Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) for muscle pain, but the Epsom Salt Council say it may also reduce swelling and inflammation. The theory is that Epsom salt draws out toxins and increases relaxation.
However, there is not enough scientific evidence to confirm this.
Try to avoid standing for long periods.
If you sit or stand in one area for a long period of time — for instance, at work — you may get swollen feet. Try to move a little each hour.
For example, walk to the break room, stroll around the block at lunch, or flex your knees and ankles.
Magnesium-rich foods to add to your diet include:
- brown rice
Most adult males need
Always seek medical advice before taking magnesium supplements, especially if you have a kidney or heart condition.
Reducing your sodium intake can help decrease swelling in your body, including in your feet.
Opt for low-sodium versions of your favorite foods, and try to avoid adding salt to meals. Check the labels of ready-made foods and choose fresh produce over prepackaged or processed foods. These often contain added salt.
There is growing evidence of a link between obesity and edema.
A high body weight can affect blood circulation, leading to swelling of the lower extremities.
It can also put extra strain on the feet, causing pain when walking. Difficulty with walking can lead to a more sedentary lifestyle, and a lack of movement may then also increase the risk of swelling.
Losing weight can help ease the strain on your feet and possibly reduce foot swelling as well. Seek medical advice if you have concerns about your weight.
Massage your feet toward your heart with firm strokes and some pressure. This can help move lymph fluid out of the area and reduce swelling.
A potassium deficiency can contribute to high blood pressure and water retention. If you have no dietary restrictions, consider eating foods containing potassium.
Potassium helps because sodium contributes to water retention, but potassium
- dried apricots
- acorn squash
- kidney beans
- orange juice
Try drinking orange juice or low-fat milk instead of soda, too. If you have any medical conditions, especially kidney issues, talk with your doctor before adding lots of potassium to your diet.
At-home remedies may help manage swollen feet, but they might not all be effective for everyone. If one doesn’t work, consider trying another.
If home remedies don’t help, if you have swelling in only one foot, or if you notice other symptoms, speak with a doctor.
These symptoms could indicate a health condition that needs treatment.
Your doctor may prescribe diuretics if they think that medical steps are necessary to reduce the fluid retention.
How can you get rid of swollen feet fast?
Home remedies may not have an immediate effect on swelling, but raising the feet may bring relief. A doctor may prescribe a diuretic, such as furosemide (Lasix).
What is a natural remedy for swollen feet?
Raising or massaging the feet, walking around, bathing in Epsom salts, and eating less salt are some natural ways of reducing or managing swelling in the feet.
What is best to drink for swollen feet?
Water is the best choice, but the occasional unsweetened orange juice will add potassium to your diet.
What over the counter remedies for swollen feet?
It’s best to see a doctor if you have swollen feet to check for any underlying conditions. However, you can buy 15-mmHg compression stockings over the counter, and these are considered safe for most people to use.
Swollen feet can happen for many reasons.
Home remedies — such as drinking enough water, raising the feet, and wearing compression socks — may help. In some cases, however, a doctor may recommend diuretics or other treatment to address an underlying health condition.
Check with a healthcare professional before taking any supplements, as even natural supplements can have adverse effects or interfere with other treatment.