From time to time, it’s normal to experience slightly (and temporary) swollen feet and ankles – especially if you have been walking or standing for a long time, exercising, or the weather has been hot. However, chronically swollen feet could be a sign of a serious condition, such as a circulation issue or edema (swelling, usually in the arms or legs).
If the swelling continues, this is when it is advisable that you see a foot and ankle specialist. Let’s talk about normal and abnormal foot swelling, and where you can go in Rhode Island and Massachusetts to see a world-class podiatrist.
What Is Normal Foot Swelling?
Foot swelling is common among people who are obese or less active. In those who lead a sedentary lifestyle, the swelling might occur after walking, standing for extended periods of time, or starting an exercise regimen.
Normal swelling of feet and ankles can be alleviated by staying hydrated, stretching, and engaging in no-impact or low-impact exercises – such as swimming and walking, respectively.
Are Swollen Feet Normal During Pregnancy?
Having swollen feet is also normal during pregnancy, notably in the third trimester when you have the weight of the baby putting pressure on your legs as you stand or walk. The swelling develops gradually.
However, if the swelling occurs suddenly or is extremely painful, it could be a sign of preeclampsia – a condition characterized by high blood pressure and/or fluid retention and proteinuria (increased urinary protein excretion). Call your doctor immediately, because this can endanger both you and your baby.
Signs of Abnormally Swollen Feet
Unless you have sustained a foot injury, swollen feet may be a sign that your body is having difficulty pumping blood upward toward your heart. Foot swelling is abnormal when it persists, becomes worse, or is painful, and this warrants professional medical attention by a foot and ankle specialist.
How Can I Reduce the Swelling in My Feet?
Swollen feet can oftentimes be treated with home remedies, such as improving your diet and becoming more physically active. Your overall health – and foot health – can improve by making sure you are hydrated, adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet, and avoiding soft drinks and candy.
If your feet are swollen, there are some steps you can take for immediate relief, such as:
- Elevate your feet to get your blood flowing more easily.
- Drink eight to 10 eight-ounce glasses of water per day to flush out any excess salt in your body, which leads to water retention and swelling.
- Take a magnesium supplement as recommended by your doctor to avoid a deficiency that can contribute to edema.
- Massage your feet, ideally with several drops of olive oil.
If none of these tips help to reduce the swelling in your feet and ankles, consult with a foot and ankle specialist for a definitive diagnosis and treatment.
Foot and Ankle Specialists in Rhode Island and Massachusetts
Here at the Foot & Ankle Institute of New England, our board-certified podiatrists and surgeons have expertise in medical and surgical podiatric care. Our comprehensive podiatry services and solutions are designed to help patients of all ages who are suffering from a wide range of foot and ankle conditions, including:
- Flat feet
- High arches
- Arthritis in the feet and ankles
- Skin disorders, such as diabetic foot sores
- Ingrown toenails
- Non-healing wounds
- Swollen feet
For the best possible care for your foot and ankle issues, schedule a visit with one of our podiatry experts by calling the Foot & Ankle Institute of New England – we are located in Warwick and Middletown, Rhode Island, and in Fall River, Massachusetts. Or, if you prefer, simply request an appointment via our online form now. We look forward to being your healthcare partner!