Your feet may be swollen from a broken bone, medical condition, side effect of medication or medical treatment, pregnancy or simply from standing for a long period of time or wearing ill-fitting shoes. Being older or overweight puts you at higher risk of having swollen feet. You can do much to reduce the swelling in your feet, including simply resting your feet and giving them a quick massage. The most effective way to reduce swelling is to cool your feet down with a cold water soak and follow up by laying down with your feet elevated above your head.
Fill a large deep pan with cold water to within a few inches of the top. Sit with your feet in the cold water for 5 to 10 minutes. If you do not have a pan large enough and deep enough to cover both your feet with cold water, fill the bathtub with cold water to a level that will cover your feet or run your feet under cold running water from the tap for a few minutes. Dry your feet well.
Stack several pillows at one end of your bed or couch. Lie down on your back on the bed or couch and put your feet up on the pillows.
Edge your butt and the back of your thighs in as close to the pillows as you can get. Your legs should be straight and your feet should be at a level higher than your heart; the higher, the better.
Instead of using pillows to prop your feet up, you can use a slightly different method. Lie on your back on the floor at the foot of your bed with your legs up against the bottom of the bed. You will be more comfortable if you are on a rug or mat. You can also lie on your bed with your feet in the direction of the headboard or wall. Scoot up close to the wall and rest your your heels on the headboard or the wall.
Stay in this position for at least 10 to 15 minutes. If your feet are very swollen, try to stay in this position for at least 30 minutes. The goal is to help fluids drain from your feet and reverse the flow of blood. Repeat several times a day, if necessary, until swelling subsides.
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Swollen feet can be a sign of serious medical condition. Call your doctor if you do not know why your feet are swollen or if swelling does not subside.