You are not alone if you experience swollen feet. Many people experience this as a side effect due to medical therapy and symptoms of various diseases. Therefore, you need to consult a doctor to find out the cause. In addition, swollen feet can be overcome by applying the following instructions.
Part 1 of 4: Exercising and Resting Swollen Feet
Step 1. Get used to walking or walking in place, instead of standing without moving your feet
When standing, body fluids will accumulate in the legs. When walking, the heart pumps blood more forcefully so that blood circulation in the legs is smoother. This step is useful for reducing swelling in the legs.
Step 2. Take a break
If you sit more at work, set aside time to rest. Every time you work for about 1 hour, leave your seat to walk around the work area for a few minutes to improve blood circulation. If you can't leave your desk, work your calf muscles while sitting, for example, by stretching your legs forward and then lowering them back to the floor. Perform this movement by straightening both legs alternately 10 times each.
Step 3. Exercise every day
This step helps reduce the swelling little by little. Start exercising by walking every day after work or cycling for a few minutes each day.
Step 4. Raise your legs while resting
If you sit more at work, elevate your legs while resting. When the soles of the feet are higher than the heart, the circulatory system does not have to work as hard to reduce the fluid in the soles of the feet.
- Don't raise your legs too often. Do it several times a day, including before going to bed at night.
- If you work at a desk, ask your boss for permission to use leg braces while working.
- When raising your legs, do not cross your knees or ankles because the veins will be compressed so that blood flow is blocked.
Part 2 of 4: Changing Your Lifestyle
Step 1. Reduce salt consumption
One of the causes of swollen feet is consuming too much salt. Excess salt will accumulate in the body causing fluid retention that triggers swelling.
- In addition to the feet and ankles, your face and palms will also swell if you consume too much salt.
- Processed foods (such as canned foods, frozen dishes, and salad dressings) usually contain a lot of salt (sodium). So, buy fresh vegetables and meat at the market and cook them at home.
- Packaged products are very high in sodium, such as canned tomato sauce and pasta, soups, noodles, biscuits, pickled vegetables, cooked meats, and various types of cheese. Read the packaging to find out the sodium content and choose a product that says "low sodium." Be careful when buying groceries because there is fresh meat that is injected with salt and water.
- Compare salt content before buying packaged foods. Some food brands contain less salt.
- Depending on gender and age, limit salt intake to 1,500-2,300 mg/day.
Step 2. Lose weight
One way to deal with swollen feet is to lose weight because being overweight can trigger swelling. Adopt a new diet by increasing consumption of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains. Avoid sugary foods with high calories. Swelling goes away faster if you adopt a healthy diet and exercise every day.
Step 3. Don't wear pants that are tight in the thigh area
Blood circulation to and from the legs will be hampered if you wear pants that are tight in the thigh area. Therefore, do not wear jeans or leggings that block blood flow.
Step 4. Put on compression stockings
When the leg is wrapped in compression stockings, the fluid that flows into the leg is reduced. Therefore, compression stockings are useful for treating swollen feet.
You can buy compression stockings online, at a medical supply store, or at a pharmacy
Step 5. Buy new shoes
If you have trouble dealing with swollen feet, wearing new shoes can be a therapeutic option. Choose shoes that hold the heel, the base fits the arch of the foot, and isn't too tight in the front so you can move your toes. The best time to choose shoes is during the day when the swelling in the feet is greatest. Thus, the shoes can be worn at any time including when the swelling is very severe.
Shoes that are too tight can block blood flow and trigger other foot problems, such as minor sprains
Step 6. Do a foot massage
Perform therapy by massaging the feet starting from the soles of the feet and then going up to the ankles to the calves. Do not massage so vigorously that it hurts, but should be vigorous enough to reduce fluid in the ankles, backs of feet, and soles of the feet.
Part 3 of 4: Undergoing Medical Therapy
Step 1. Consult a doctor
If self therapy or using herbs does not work to reduce swelling in the legs, see a doctor immediately. He or she will examine your feet and soles to determine the cause.
Step 2. Tell your doctor what medications you are taking
Steroids and certain medications can trigger leg swelling, such as antidepressants, hypertension medications, hormonal pills (such as birth control pills).
Step 3. Find out the cause of swollen feet
In general, edema (swelling of tissue due to increased fluid) is caused by a minor problem, but can indicate a more serious health problem. Consult this complaint with a doctor.
- For example, mild swollen feet often occur due to pregnancy or premenstrual syndrome. In addition, lack of movement or excessive salt consumption can cause swollen feet.
- Other, more serious causes, such as cirrhosis, kidney disease, kidney damage, heart congestion problems, chronic venous insufficiency (buildup of blood in the veins), or damage to the lymphatic system.
Step 4. Seek medical attention if you have shortness of breath, chest pain, swollen legs and abdomen, and/or swollen feet that are red or warm to the touch
Step 5. Know which tests to undergo
The doctor will discuss the problem you are experiencing and ask about other symptoms or complaints. Occasionally, he performs diagnostic tests to find out and confirm the cause.
Your doctor may ask you to have blood or urine tests, X-rays, examine your feet using a Doppler ultrasound, or do an electrocardiogram
Step 6. Ask your doctor how to treat swollen feet
In general, medical therapy is useful in dealing with the triggers of the problem, not just eliminating swelling in the legs. However, taking diuretics can reduce fluid that builds up in the legs.
Step 7. Get acupuncture therapy
This therapy is an ancient medical technique originating from China. During therapy, the acupuncturist will insert fine needles into the patient's skin and muscles at specific energy points to reduce pain and swelling and stimulate recovery. In general, medical experts do not recommend acupuncture to treat swollen feet, but if other methods don't work, this therapy is worth trying because it is relatively safe and proven to be able to overcome various diseases and other complaints.
Currently, more and more health experts are supporting acupuncture therapy. Before undergoing therapy, choose a certified acupuncturist from the Indonesian Association of Acupuncturers (PAKSI), namely an acupuncture therapist who has passed the Acupuncture Standardization Examination and Health Upgrading
Part 4 of 4: Overcoming Swollen Legs due to Pregnancy
Step 1. Take time to walk in the water
Although this tip has not been proven through research, many pregnant women benefit from walking in water. There is a possibility that swelling in the legs will decrease because the pressure of the pool water reduces fluid in the legs.
Step 2. Lie on your left side while sleeping
Large blood vessels called inferior veins extend from the legs to the heart. By sleeping on your left side, the pressure on the veins is not too great so that fluid flows smoothly.
Step 3. Compress the foot with a cold object
Sometimes, swelling of the feet or ankles during pregnancy can be treated by applying cold compresses, such as a bag filled with ice cubes wrapped in a towel or a small towel dipped in cold water. Compress your feet for a maximum of 20 minutes.
Step 4. Apply the usual techniques used to treat swollen feet
During pregnancy, wear compression stockings to reduce swelling and don't stand for too long. Sitting with your legs elevated so that they are higher than your chest is a helpful tip for pregnant women.
During pregnancy, don't forget to do light exercise regularly, for example, take a leisurely walk every day to improve blood circulation
- If you stand a lot at work, periodically shift your weight from one foot to the other. Every 1 hour, tiptoe using your toes for 10-20 seconds.
- Apply the doctor's advice so that the problem can be resolved. For example, if you have cirrhosis, reduce or eliminate alcohol to treat cirrhosis and edema.