Common Causes Of Swollen Feet
Our feet are considered by many as the hardest workers of our body. With 26 bones, 33 joints, and 107 ligaments working in cohesion, they support our body weight and aid us in moving around and running our errands – be it running, walking, jumping, and standing. A lack of care and extended periods of wear and tear can cause your feet to swell, and these do usually not cause for concern as they are temporary and will wane off after sufficient rest. However, they can be fatal in some cases and may indicate a large health condition that you may be living with.
Standing and Sitting for Long Periods
While this is a common-sense explanation for swollen feet, many people in the customer service, food and beverage, and the medical industries work long hours standing on their feet without realizing that their feet have swelled up until the end of the day. This is because when standing for a long time, your legs, ankles, feet do not get an opportunity to contract, reducing blood circulation and causing fluid to pool in the foot area, naturally resulting in swollen feet.
The same logic applies to corporate, white-collared workers sitting down for an extended time. When sitting in a cross-legged position, the blood vessels are pinched and constricted, reducing the blood flow to the feet area, thereby exacerbating the swelling, making shoes feel especially tight. Taking a break to sit down or walk around every hour for five minutes can easily combat this issue. If your
Foot and Ankle Injury
For active runners and athletes, foot and ankle injuries are common. Overexertion caused by physical activity in conjunction with the bodyweight can cause fracture or sprain in your ankle, leg, and toe, causing your feet to be inflamed and swell as blood flows down to circulate fluids and cells to heal the injured area. While it may be impossible to believe, many people have fractured their foot without noticing it; therefore, it is crucial to be attentive to your symptoms. If you are experiencing swelling, lingering pain, and difficulty moving your foot's joint after a few days, you should consult your physician.
You can control the swelling by icing the area, elevating the feet, and avoiding putting any pressure or weight on the foot. Alternatively, you may opt for an anti-inflammatory lotion to help soothe and reduce the swelling.
Excessive Sodium Intake
The sodium in salt tends to retain water, and an excessive amount of it can cause your feet to swell. This is usually hidden in many processed and preserved foods as it is used as a preservative for snacks, frozen meals, canned beans, bread, salad dressing, and cold cut meats. However, the amount of sodium in your diet might be the silent killer as it is also known to increase the risk of having high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease. Therefore, reducing sodium intake in your diet can help greatly – avoid processed foods and go for nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables instead.
Swollen feet are often a symptom of lymphedema, where white blood cells in the protein-rich fluids accumulate in the body instead of being drained by the lymphatic system. The lymph nodes in your body control the circulation of the fluid. When they are removed or damaged due to cancer, obesity, infection, or an inherited condition, this can cause it to build up in certain parts of the body such as the arms and legs, and in turn, causes swelling.
The pelvic lymph nodes are responsible for the leg swell, and as lymphatic vessels are pliable and thin, they can be easily injured and disrupt the flow of the lymphatic fluid. If you suspect that you may be suffering from any of the conditions, consult with your physician. In the meantime, wearing compression stockings and exercising like slow jogging and brisk walking as much as possible can help alleviate these symptoms. For some, a lymphatic massage by a certified therapist can help with draining the waste fluids in the affected area to reduce lymphedema.
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