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
  • pregnancy
  • 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.

Getting enough fluids can help reduce swelling. When your body isn’t hydrated enough, it is more inclined to retain fluids. This contributes to swelling.

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.

Compression socks may be an option in this case and for people with swelling due to lymphedema, when lymph fluid collects and causes swelling.

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.

Prop your feet up on cushions or pillows when sleeping or sitting. If you’re looking to reduce foot swelling during pregnancy, try elevating your feet several times a day as well.

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.

Fluid retention may be a sign of a magnesium deficiency. Eating foods high in magnesium can help boost your magnesium levels.

Magnesium-rich foods to add to your diet include:

  • almonds
  • cashews
  • spinach
  • potatoes
  • brown rice

Most adult males need 410–420 milligrams (mg) of magnesium per day, and females need 310–320. If you’re not getting enough from your diet, a doctor may recommend supplements.

Always seek medical advice before taking magnesium supplements, especially if you have a kidney or heart condition.

Sodium is directly linked with fluid retention in the body. At least one study has found that males aged 60 years or over with a high sodium intake are more likely to have leg swelling.

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.

What is a low-sodium diet?

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 can be effective for swollen feet due to lymphedema, and it can also promote relaxation.

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 increasing your potassium intake by eating foods containing potassium.

Potassium helps because sodium contributes to water retention, but potassium reduces the effects of sodium on the body.

Some potassium-rich foods include:

  • dried apricots
  • lentils
  • acorn squash
  • potato
  • 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.

Do bananas help swollen feet?

Bananas are high in potassium, and potassium helps keep sodium in balance in your body. Too much sodium can cause swelling, and potassium may help relieve this swelling. So, eating bananas may lead to a reduction of excess fluids in your body and may help reduce foot swelling.

Does drinking water help with swollen feet?

Yes. Drinking liquids is believed to relieve edema in general, so drinking water may help reduce swelling in your feet, depending on the cause of the swelling.

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 home remedy can you use to soak your swollen feet?

According to the Epsom Salt Council, soaking your feet in Epsom salt may reduce swelling and inflammation. People who use Epsom salt soaks report that the magnesium in Epsom salt helps relieve their swollen feet. However, more research is needed to understand if this home remedy may work to reduce swelling in your feet.

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.

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