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Video transcription

Hello, I'm Dr. Robert Fenell with handandfootpain.com, and today I'm going to show you how you can reduce swelling in the feet. First of all, let's talk about some of the reasons or causes why your feet might be swelling up. One of the most common causes for swelling in the feet is a musculoskeletal injury or some type of repetitive force or trauma that you've experienced like a direct insult to the feet or maybe you've just walked a lot and as a result there's a lot of trauma and stress to the joints, muscles and ligaments and your feet tend to swell. Another reason for swelling in the feet is am imbalanced diet where you have too much sodium and not enough fluids in your diet and we'll talk to you about some results or some ways you can improve that. Pregnancy, obesity and even more serious health conditions is a possibility such as heart disease or kidney or liver disorders or hormonal imbalances in the body. Now make sure if you get consistent swelling in the feet, you need to consult your health care provider and make a visit and get diagnosed because if it's due to a serious health problem, you want to make sure you get that under control. Now let's talk about some things you can do at home to reduce swelling in your feet. The first thing is simply elevate your feet. When you're laying down sleeping at night, you can either put your feet up on the pillow or a lot of my patients find they roll over in the middle of the night and they're not elevating their feet anymore. So one of the best methods is put a 2 x 4 under the foot of the bed or a couple phone books, one under each side and that's going to elevate the foot of your bed so that way automatically your feet are higher than your heart and that's the goal is to get your feet higher than your heart. If you're watching TV, you can put your feet up on the pillow when you're laying on the couch or sit in a recliner chair and you have your feet above the heart level. Another thing you can do is an ice bath. Take a large container, put some water and some ice cubes in it and that's going to create a nice cool ice bath for your feet. When your feet are submerged, that coldness is going to constrict the blood vessels. Now the reason you have swelling in your feet is you have too much fluid. If your blood vessels are dilated, that's going to bring more blood flow and more circulation and as a result more fluid is going to be going into your feet. We want to get the fluid out of your feet so submerging them in a bin of water for about ten to fifteen minutes at a time, this will greatly reduce the swelling. The next thing you can do is self massage. Simply massage from the toes moving backward to the mid foot to the hind foot. You never want to massage from the heel to the toes. You always want to be pushing the swelling out of the foot. So move backward and it doesn't have to be a deep or a forceful massage. Even a light massage on the skin of the foot is going to get that swelling to start to move and that circulation running through your body. Increasing activity is another great thing for swelling. A lot of people who have swollen feet, they're just too inactive. They have a sedentary lifestyle. So walking briskly or cycling is an awesome way to get that circulation going and get that swelling to start to reduce in your body and lastly, let's talk about diet. As Americans we have too much salt, too much sodium in our diets. Now you might be thinking right now, well I never use the salt shaker. I'm not actually talking about the salt shaker. Of course, you want to stop salting your foods but start reading your labels. If you eat prepared foods, boxed foods or canned foods, a lot of fast foods, you have an imbalance in your sodium and not enough potassium. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and drink more water as you are reducing the sodium and that's going to start to improve your body's ability to reduce that swelling in your feet. Again, I'm Dr. Robert Fenell with handandfootpain.com, and I want to thank you for watching this video today on how to reduce swelling in the feet.