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How do I Choose the Best Swollen Feet Treatment?

By Madeleine A.
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Choosing the best swollen feet treatment depends on the cause of the condition. Swollen feet can be caused by fluid retention, injury, or prolonged standing. A physical examination needs to be pursued when feet become swollen so that an effective treatment plan can be determined. This is especially important when both feet are simultaneous swollen, as opposed to just one foot. When both feet or ankles are swollen, the possibility of kidney or cardiac problems needs to be investigated.

Sometimes when people stand on their feet for long periods of time, their feet and ankles will swell. In these cases, the best treatment is generally resting and elevating the feet. In addition to resting, ice packs can be applied to the feet in order to bring down swelling and to reduce any pain that may be present. Although ice is an effective remedy to reduce pain and swelling, it should never be applied directly to the skin because frostbite can occur.

Occasionally, abnormal kidney function can cause swollen feet. When kidney trouble is the reason for this condition, diuretics, or water pills, can sometimes help the body get rid of excess fluid. Water pills are also a common swollen feet treatment when an individual has congestive heart failure. This condition, like kidney disease can cause water retention, not only in the feet, but also around the heart and lungs. Congestive heart failure can also cause shortness of breath, chest pain, and coughing.

Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs are often recommended as a treatment. Not only do they reduce pain, they also reduce swelling. If, however, the individual has a history of kidney or heart disease, these medications should not be taken, unless a physician directs a patient to use them. Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen can sometimes cause fluid retention, and in these instances, a different treatment should be sought.

Edema, or swelling, sometimes happens when a person consumes a diet high in sodium. Not only is a high-sodium diet unhealthy for blood pressure, it can also cause the body to hold on to its water stores, causing swelling. Once salt is eradicated from the diet, the body will release excess fluid and swelling will decrease. Reducing sodium intake is not only an effective swollen feet treatment, it also is helpful for reducing swelling of the fingers and face. When foot swelling does not respond to treatment, the individual needs to talk to his doctor who can investigate further and perhaps offer an alternative swollen feet treatment.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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