Are you experiencing swelling around your heel and ankle bones, the space above your ankle or the top of your foot? Is that area is puffy, sensitive, and painful to touch? Does the shape of your ankle or foot keep doubling? Chances are, you’re dealing with ankle and foot swelling.
Swollen ankles and feet, also known as edema, can’t lead to a serious disease, but you may experience pain and discomfort and if you ignore the problem, you may face some serious consequences, including a permanent damage to your lower limbs. If you suffer from ankle and foot swelling on a regular basis, it’s important to know the causes and the symptoms of it and see your doctor before trying out any remedies.
What are the major causes of swollen feet and ankles?
Swelling of the feet and ankles is often ignored as people believe that’s because of the wrong shoes they wear. Although the shoes you wear play an important role in your foot health, they have nothing to do with ankle and foot swelling. The most common causes of swollen feet and ankles are:
- sprained ankles
- congestive heart failure
- high salt and carb consumption
- Achilles’ tendonitis
- overusing diuretics
- birth control pills
- hormone therapy drugs
- overusing laxatives
- deep vein thrombosis
- allergic reactions
- poor blood circulation
- sedentary lifestyle
While this is not the full list of the ankle and foot swelling causes, they’re typically the major ones. People who have heart problems, diabetes, liver or kidney disease are more likely to suffer from edema too. In order to prevent the ankle and foot swelling, it’s critical to find out the root of the problem. Talk to your doctor and see what of the following natural remedies for swollen feet and ankles could help you.
20 all-natural ways to relieve and prevent the ankle and foot swelling
Since there are no particular medications for swollen feet and ankles, most doctors recommend trying home remedies, but without going too far. Depending on the reason of your edema, consider incorporating the following rituals into your lifestyle:
Known for its fantastic health benefits, apple cider vinegar can work wonders for your swollen feet and ankles as well. Apply it to the affected area to get rid of the excess of fluid in your ankle or foot, relieve pain and discomfort, and prevent the further swelling. Aim to do it twice a day.
Cold and warm water therapy
Fill one foot tub or basin with warm water and another one with cold water. Soak your feet in warm water for 3 minutes, and then in cold water for 50 seconds. Keep alternating for around 15 minutes 2 times a day. The therapy helps to relieve swollen feet and can also work for swollen ankles.
Grapefruit essential oil
Immerse your swollen feet in a tub of warm water with 5 to 10 drops of grapefruit essential oil. It will help you reduce the swelling and relieve the pain. If you’re suffering from swollen ankles, massage them using a few drops of grapefruit essential oil. Make sure you massage upward instead of in a circular motion or downward. Do this a few times throughout the day. If you opt for a footbath, wear warm socks after the procedure.
Just because swelling is usually caused by the excess of fluid in the ankle or foot doesn’t mean you should reduce your water intake. Drinking at least 5 glasses of water throughout the day is vital for your whole body. Lemon water is an effective remedy for swollen feet and ankles, as it helps to flush out toxins and excess fluid from the body and fight inflammation. The best times to drink lemon water are in the morning and afternoon.
Compression socks aren’t just for pregnant women. They help to reduce the liquid accumulating in the ankles and feet by preventing excess room and creating enough pressure. Choose thigh-high-, knee- or full-on compression socks, depending on the swollen area.
This little workout is especially important for people who lead sedentary lifestyles. If you’re one of them, get into a habit of elevating your legs a few times throughout the day. Whether you prop your feet up on the pillows at home or elevate them under your desk in the office, both ways are helpful when it comes to swollen feet and ankles.
Epsom salt is everywhere and for a good reason. It boasts antibacterial and anti-fungal properties and contains magnesium sulfate that helps to reduce swelling and improve circulation. Fill your foot tub with warm water, add ½ cup of Epsom salt and soak for at least 10 minutes. Do it 3 times a week.
Literally. Salt seems like public enemy #2 after sugar, but people keep consuming too much of it. If you tend to eat a lot of salts, cut back on it. Salt causes water retention and that excess water can be stored in your feet and ankles, causing the swelling.
Grate a few cucumbers and apply the mixture directly onto the swollen feet or ankles. Cucumbers have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, absorb the fluid and help to relieve the pain.
Mustard oil works just as well as grapefruit essential oil. Apply a few drops to the affected area and massage for a few minutes. Leave overnight.
Magnesium deficiency can worsen your swollen feet and ankles and lead to even more frightening consequences. Include magnesium-rich foods in your eating plan, such as pumpkin seeds, spinach, chard, kefir, yogurt, black beans, almonds, avocado, banana, figs and dark chocolate, or pick a magnesium supplement.
Yoga helps to get your heart pumping and improve circulation, and aids in treating of water retention. There are certain yoga poses that are beneficial to swollen feet and ankles, including Mountain pose, Tadasana, Warrior pose, Parshavkonasana, Urdhahastottasana, ViparitKarni, Halasana, Sarvangasana, Setubandha asana, Sun Salutation, Asvasanchalan, Trikonasana, Chakrasana, and Bhujangasana, among the others.
Parsley helps to increase urine output thus prevent liquid buildup, which is particularly important when healing swollen feet or ankles. Add fresh parsley to your salads or eat this herb as it is. Parsley is packed with many essential nutrients but only if you buy organic or grow your own one.
Dandelion is a fabulous source of flavonoids, polyphenols, and potassium, which are all helpful when dealing with ankle and foot swelling. Just like parsley, dandelion has powerful diuretic property, helping the body get rid of extra fluids. Add a teaspoon of dried or fresh dandelion leaves to a cup of hot water and let it stand for 7 to 10 minutes. Strain and enjoy 2 times a day.
Coriander seeds are a well-known Ayurvedic treatment for swollen ankles and feet. They boast anti-inflammatory property, improve circulation and reduce swelling. Add 2 teaspoons of coriander seeds in a small saucepan with a cup of hot water. Boil until the amount of liquid reduces by half. Let it cool, strain and drink twice a day.
If you’ve been suffering from swollen feet or ankles for a long period of time, your doctor may recommend you to add lecithin seeds to your meal plan. They help heal chronic swelling and strengthen your immunity. Take 2 to 4 tablespoons each day for 1 to 2 months, albeit your doctor may prolong the lecithin seed treatment to 4 months.
Saunf and molasses
Just like with coriander seeds, boil a glass of water with a tablespoon of saunf and a half teaspoon of molasses until the amount of liquid reduces by half. Drink 2-3 times a day to reduce foot and ankle swelling in a natural way.
Rose hips help to prevent the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, manage diabetes, reduce cholesterol, relieve respiratory conditions, boost the immune system, fight cancer, regulate your digestive system, increase urination, improve circulation, and reduce swollen feet and ankles. Both leaves and flowers contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds that are good for your foot health.
With swollen feet or ankles, you still need to get your daily dose of exercise. Yoga is great, but it doesn’t work your leg muscles well. Running and jogging are not the best workout choices for you right now, so give swimming a try. The buoyancy of water will relieve the pain and promote the healing process.
Whether with essential oil or without it, you should gently massage the affected area each day. Massage improves circulation and combats inflammation, eliminating swelling in the feet and ankles. Don’t overdo it, though. Slightly rub the affected area without too harsh moves.
Now that you know some of the best natural remedies for swollen feet and ankles, pick a few ones and consult your doctor to be sure you’re in the right direction. And remember, a healthy lifestyle is a key to a healthy body. Limit your alcohol consumption, quit smoking and cultivate healthy eating habits along the way.
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