If your feet and ankles swell uncomfortably in the summer, you are not alone. When the summer sun comes out and the temperature soars, that heat can cause swelling in lower limbs, say the experts at Maple Springs Foot Center in Maryland. But there are natural ways you can cool down your body and the lower extremities, boost poor circulation, and return fluid to your blood vessels.
According to Healthline, other causes of painless swelling of the feet and ankles include:
• Staying on your feet too long
• Ill-fitting shoes
• Certain medical conditions
When fluid accumulates in tissues, it is called edema. While edema usually resolves itself, there are several home remedies you can try to reduce swelling faster.
- Drink more water. While this sounds counterintuitive, getting enough fluid helps reduce swelling. When your body isn’t hydrated enough, it retains fluid.
- Wear compression socks. These socks can be found at drug and grocery stores or can be purchased online. They come in a variety of compression strengths, says Healthline, so start off with lighter-weight socks and then find the kind that provides the best relief.
- Soak in a cool Epsom salt bath for 15 to 20 minutes. Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate, not only helps with muscle pain but reduces inflammation. Experts believe that Epsom salt draws out toxins and increases relaxation. You can even just soak your feet if you are short on time.
- Choose foods wisely. The podiatrists at Maple Springs Foot Center say that some foods are natural diuretics and can provide relief from fluid retention. Foods that have this effect include leafy greens such as spinach and lettuce, green beans, asparagus, pumpkin, onion, pineapple, and lemons.
- Elevate your feet. Try to avoid standing for long periods of time and prop up your feet as often as possible during the day using an ottoman or chair. Try to elevate the feet above your heart when you sleep by raising them with cushions or pillows.
- Keep active. If you must sit or stand for long periods of time at work try to move a bit every hour, even for a short walk around the office,
- Lose weight if you are overweight. Being overweight leads to poor blood circulation, which can cause swelling in the lower extremities, says Healthline. Too much weight can also cause foot pain so losing weight will not only reduce pain and swelling but also help restore circulation.
- Avoid heat whenever possible. Stay in shaded areas or air-conditioned rooms. Avoid excessively hot baths or showers, and saunas, as they can aggravate swelling, according to Maple Springs Foot Center.
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