Leg and Foot Swelling: Causes and Cures for Swollen Legs and Feet

Leg and Foot Swelling

When a person feels that his legs, feet, or even ankles are swollen, it is usually due to fluid build-up in the lower part of the body. While the swelling can sometimes be painless, other people suffer from this swelling. There are a number of reasons why people can have swollen legs and feet and here are some of those reasons:

  • A person can suffer from a swollen ankle, leg, or foot due to a prolonged period of standing. This can also be true for long flights and long car rides.
  • Some women experience swollen ankles, legs, and feet when they are having their monthly periods. Pregnancy can also bring about this swelling problem.
  • Older people are prone to leg and foot swelling.
  • When a person is overweight, their feet, ankles and legs can also swell.
  • Other reasons for a swollen foot, leg, or ankle is injury, insect bites, leg infections, and even leg blood clots also.

Preventing Swollen Legs, Feet, and Ankles

While some cases of swollen legs are hard to prevent, there are others that can be prevented. Here are some preventive measures for those who want to avoid swollen legs and feet:

  • Try to avoid standing for prolonged periods. If your job requires you to stand for a certain amount of time, wear comfortable shoes and support socks or stockings.
  • Try to limit your intake of salt. Since salt can promote fluid retention and swollen legs are caused by fluids, reducing your consumption of salt can help you avoid swollen legs and feet.
  • Try to buy and wear comfortable and well-fitting footwear.

Natural Cures And Home Remedies For Swollen Legs And Feet

There are some tried and tested remedies for swollen feet and ankles that you can try at home. Here are some of them:

  • Elevate your feet above your heart’s level. Lie down and place a couple of pillows under your feet. This will help reduce the swelling.
  • Exercise is also a good way to help reduce swollen feet and ankles due to fluid retention.
  • If the swelling is due to sprains, tendonitis, and strains, treat this with cold and hot vinegar wraps. Heat some vinegar and water and place in a bowl. Put some vinegar with ice in another bowl. Prepare two face towels and soak them in these two vinegar solutions then squeeze out the excess. Alternate these two soaked towels on the swollen leg or foot.
  • A cold pack is sometimes useful for swelling that is cause by injury.
  • Cucumber can cool down a swollen ankle or foot and reduce the swelling. Just slice a cucumber and place the raw side in the swollen foot or ankle.


  1. Roger pieper said:

    I have very dry skin called Eczema. I’m 66years old (male) in the past month my feet have swelled up really bad. Why are my feet swollen? Is it because of eating lot of salt? Is there water removal pill for this? Need help. I even consulted a doctor, but the problem still persists.

    August 27, 2012
    • PUP said:

      Considering your symptoms, it appears there is edema in your legs since last month. It can be due to many reasons. You have to consult a good physician to find what the cause is. You may also have to do certain diagnostic tests as advised by the doctor. Since how many days or months there is eczema? Is it on your legs? For edema feet you should not waste any time and consult the doctor as soon as possible. Meanwhile reduce the intake of salt in your food.

      August 28, 2012
  2. SB said:

    I have been having lymphatic problem for about 3 years. It is lymphedema. I have been using pressure stockings but it has not been helpful in curing the condition. I have taken a lot of medications but there is no improvement. What is the best remedy?

    June 22, 2013
    • PUP said:

      Lymphedema is accumulation of fluid caused due to defects in the lymphatic transport system. In the beginning it is pitting edema but passage of time lymphedema can become non pitting. It can be primary and secondary. Treatment can be non operative. It includes bed rest, limb elevation, elastic stockings, meticulous skin hygiene, avoidance of local injury, and prompt treatment with antibiotics if cellulitis occurs. Surgery is reserved for those with severe disabling lymphedema.

      June 24, 2013
  3. Sharyn said:

    I am 48 years old, very active, going through menopause. The last couple of days I have noticed swelling in my ankles and lower leg. The skin feels tight and has the sensation of pins and needles. My diet does not consist of a high intake of salt. Is this something that I should consult a doctor about?

    November 13, 2013
    • PUP said:

      There are several reasons for swelling in ankles and lower leg. You may have to exclude all for which it is imperative to consult your health care practitioner. However in certain cases swelling can persist for few days after traveling for long distance sitting in one place. In such cases, the swelling reduces if you keep your legs above the level of heart while lying down. Hormonal changes which are common during menopause can also cause edema (swelling) of feet. Eat low salt diet. Drink enough amount of water. Your physician may recommend certain blood tests such as Thyroid function test, Kidney and liver blood tests to rule out organic disease.

      November 14, 2013
  4. WC said:

    I had undergone arthroscopic surgery two weeks ago. I usually have swelling in my feet and legs but now it is awful. I have been taking medications like hctz for high blood pressure and lasix for the swelling. The swelling did not subside. I consulted a surgeon last week. I have done a venus ultrasound which shows negative for blood clots. Is there any other remedy besides elevation and ice that might be helpful?

    March 25, 2014
    • PUP said:

      At present it is necessary to know the underlying cause for edema in your legs. Once the cause is known it becomes easier to treat the condition. Many times medicines used to control high blood pressure tend to cause edema in legs. You may have to consult your physician regarding this. He may change the anti hypertensive medicine if that is the reason. Reduce intake of salt in your food. Avoid processed foods as many of them contain high amount of salt. A warm foot bath may also help in alleviating swelling in your legs.

      March 26, 2014
  5. Kimie said:

    All of a sudden my whole right leg down to my feet swelled up and my upper right leg and my hip is rock hard and will not go down. I have no blood clots and my doctor has no idea what to do for me. I am only 50 years old. Any idea what can be the problem?

    February 8, 2017

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