What's the Best Way to Deal With Swollen Feet and Ankles?

3 answers | Last updated: Nov 06, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

What's the best way to bring down swelling in someone's feet and ankles?

Expert Answers

Jane Andersen, DPM, is a board-certified podiatrist in private practice in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She provides surgical and nonsurgical foot and ankle care to all types of patients, including the geriatric population in her area. With the American Podiatric Medical Association, she has worked to educate the public on foot and ankle health.

The first and best way to bring down swelling (edema) in the feet and ankles is to find and treat the underlying cause, if there is one. That's why you should bring the problem to the attention of a doctor or other healthcare provider when you notice an increase in swelling in one or both feet that doesn't go down or is accompanied by pain or redness.

If there's not a medical cause, you can:

*Help the person decrease his salt intake.

*Elevate the foot or feet when sitting.

*Make sure the person walks a little more, if he's mobile, instead of spending the entire day sitting.

*Try massage; it's often used by lymphedema therapists to decrease edema that's caused by this disorder of the lymphatic system.

*Encourage the person to wear compression stockings. A doctor or podiatrist can help you choose the right kind for an individual situation. Stockings can come in one of many different levels of compression, measured in mmHg (millimeters of mercury). There are open- and closed-toe varieties, and knee-high, thigh-high, and pantyhose styles. They also come in different colors and are generally unisex.

You can buy compression stockings at medical supply stores and some pharmacies. When you purchase them, ask about special devices (sometimes called "stocking butlers") that make it easier to put the hose on in the morning, especially for people with limited grasp. The hosiery is most effective when donned before rising and worn during waking hours, then taken off at night.

Community Answers

A fellow caregiver answered...

I suffer from swollen legs and ankles. I am trying drinking a cup of 1 teaspoon dried parsley soaked overnight in boiled water. I have'nt really found out what is wrong. One docter says its heart failure the other says it is the side effect of my b/p tablets. I drink 2 Lasix every day. I would like it if I can get a few tips how to get rid of it.

Lswwm answered...

in LTC nursing home watching parent, feet swollen to extreme, friend said you are dehydated and sitting get up walk, but feet were like melons, she said go home put buttock up to headboard and extend legs feet up on wall and wait and inhale exhale for 10 minutes then drink plenty of spring water or ALKALINE water and place legs feet as high as possible on pillows and rest in 20 minutes feetwentdown like a slow ballon leak and went to sleep drank plenty of spring water next day and could not believe how much they went back to normal NEVER DRINK DIET SODA OR CAN BOTTLE SODA AND NEVER TAKE artificial sweetners Lemons Garlic Red Onions Tumeric Spring Water NATURAL or ALKALINE