Swollen feet (and sometimes ankles and legs) are a common problem. Swollen feet can be caused by several mechanisms, including:
- Injury/infection (causes swelling to one foot only)
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Older age
- Prolonged standing
The best home remedy for swollen feet is elevation of the lower legs above the level of the heart.
Swollen Feet and Elevation
- Sit in a comfortable chair and support your legs on pillows so that your feet are higher than the level of your heart.
- Alternately, rest lying down with your legs elevated.
Why It Works
Elevating your legs and feet allows fluid to be removed by your circulation and prevents redistribution of fluid to your feet. You will notice that your feet are less swollen in the morning and swell progressively throughout the day if you are on your feet for long periods of time. Resting with your legs and feet elevated helps to reverse this process.
If your swelling is a new phenomenon, swelling is severe or swelling persists despite elevating your legs, you should consult your physician. Edema is often a sign of an underlying health condition that may warrant seeing your doctor, especially if swelling is accompanied by other symptoms such as shortness of breath.