Swelling of the feet may not be simply the result of overwork caused by prolonged immobile vertical position, or physical stress on the lower limbs. Often, such a symptom signals a more significant disease, being only one of its markers, after the detection of which you should immediately seek advice from an experienced specialist.
There may be several reasons why the lower legs swell, but they all lead to varying degrees of swelling. A similar condition is caused by the accumulation of fluid in soft tissues. It rarely happens that discomfort disturbs not only in one part of the body, but also captures the upper limbs, face and even neck along the way.
Some patients complain of swollen legs only periodically, faced with a sharply negative reaction of the body to some external stimulus. But most patients suffer from a pathology of a chronic course, believing that it will be possible to get rid of it only by local means: traditional medicine recipes, ointments, massages.
Doctors, on the other hand, advise that in case of such a recurring clinical picture, immediately contact the clinic to determine why the indicated anomaly takes place, whether the functioning of the internal organs is not disturbed, and how much the worsened state of health affected the overall functioning of the body.
Primary sources of swelling of the feet
If we are talking about a healthy person who only occasionally becomes a victim of swelling of the feet, then the causes should be sought in adverse external conditions, or excessive stress in an upright position. This is typical for people of certain professions, forced on duty for a long period to be in a standing position motionless.
The same can be observed in those who work at the computer in a sitting position, but are in no hurry to get up every hour to do exercises. By the end of the working day, a person experiences pain, faced with the so-called “pillow syndrome”, when one or both feet swell at once.
Another common primary source of pathology, which is not directly related to the destabilization of internal organs, is usually called injuries of various origins. A person will develop the most severe edema if he becomes a victim of an open or closed fracture, or if he receives a dislocation.
But if the victim received first aid in time, and then underwent a course of therapy under the supervision of a specialist, after a while the swelling will begin to subside, as the bones will grow together, and the ligaments will take their natural position. But even if the victim was diagnosed with a simple bruise of the leg, one of its characteristic signs will also be swelling.
Here one cannot do without additional instrumental diagnostics of the ankles or calcaneus, depending on the location of the injury. This need is caused by the fact that with a slight swelling outwardly it is not always possible to immediately determine the crack, other violations of the integrity of the bones. Only radiography will allow to outline a detailed clinical picture.
No less often, foot problems are a direct result of a violation of the normal water balance caused by improper nutrition, including the water regime, numerous bad habits, hunger strikes, or unbalanced diets. The first to be at risk were those who lean too heavily on foods high in salt, which provokes a feeling of thirst, forcing the victim to drink several times more than he needs for normal life.
An indirect provocateur is hot weather, which makes you drink much more liquid. Later, the incoming water will have to come out with sweat and urine, but when there is too much fluid, it will not be able to leave naturally in time, as the kidneys may not be able to cope with their function. Further, according to the law of attraction, excess water begins to gradually accumulate in the lowest part of the body. To avoid swollen feet for this reason, you need to contact the treating therapist with the problem, who will tell you what to do.
Treatment for pregnant women is lined up separately. The feeling of fullness of the skin from the inside occurs in most women during the period of gestation. Usually the cause of such inconvenience is a violation of the outflow of blood, which is caused by an increase in the uterus. But such edema is quite easy to neutralize, and after childbirth they go away on their own.
Gynecologists recommend expectant mothers to exclude foods rich in salt from their daily diet, which is considered a great weakness during pregnancy. According to statistics, most often women have to deal with such a period in the second half of pregnancy. Additionally, edema of varying degrees may be accompanied by:
- high blood pressure;
If this happened, and the fingers, calves, and feet that are distributed in size also hurt mercilessly, then the expectant mother is usually sent for therapy to the inpatient department of the hospital. But trying to help yourself with folk remedies without prior approval of treatment with a doctor is strictly prohibited, since there is a high risk of various complications, aggravation of the situation, an allergic reaction, and a negative effect on the fetus.
Atypical causes of leg swelling
No matter how large the area of swelling, even if it starts from the knee, you should immediately consult a doctor. This is explained by the fact that the cause of the pathology can be the intake of drugs with individual intolerance to the components of their composition.
In women, oral contraceptives, or drugs that contain steroid hormones, are the most likely source of deviation among medications.
In the elderly, the root of the problem is sought in the following medications:
- to stabilize high blood pressure;
- cardiac drugs;
- sedative spectrum of action.
If it turns out that the appearance of edema was provoked by medications, then before canceling them from the course of treatment, you should first consult with the doctor who prescribed them. Otherwise, you can only worsen the current situation.
Considering edema as not an independent pathology, but only a symptom of some significant serious disease of the body as a whole, heart failure and vascular anomalies come to mind first. They occur equally often in both men and women.
Their characteristic feature suggests a deterioration in the late afternoon, when the skin becomes bluish. Puffiness before going to bed quickly spreads along the entire length of the limb. In the morning, the situation, as a rule, stabilizes, because during rest it becomes easier for the heart muscle to distill blood, so the hands and feet take on their original appearance.
To make a final diagnosis, the doctor will definitely take into account other patient complaints such as:
- increased fatigue;
- shortness of breath ;
- problems stabilizing blood pressure;
- pain in the chest area.
This can be traced even after surgery on the heart, arteries. It is likely that getting rid of the underlying pathology, the patient will have to deal with varicose veins. She also acts as a provocateur of puffy ankles and feet.
To make a final diagnosis, the doctor will definitely take an anamnesis to clarify the accompanying signs of varicose veins. Among them, a feeling of heaviness, “weights” in the calves, protruding tortuous veins, pain, darkening of the skin are noted. Moreover, varicose veins may not affect the health of the joint at all, and may become an impetus for its deformation.
If the feet are swollen, then it will be necessary to exclude the risks of developing thrombophlebitis. So called the formation of blood clots in the lumens of the veins of the lower extremities.
Another reason for the accumulation of fluid in the intercellular space of the lower extremities can be thyroid disease, liver failure. Often, with such deviations against the background of edema, cirrhosis of the liver is diagnosed.
Destabilization of the liver is also accompanied by:
- brain disorders;
There is no need to try to look for how to treat the disease yourself. Not a single ointment is able to cure the primary source of the disease, removing only the local manifestation. Instead of spending money on dubious folk remedies, you should immediately seek qualified help from a doctor.
When the problem affects the thyroid gland, which often occurs after childbirth, the woman experiences:
But even if these very common causes of swollen feet are ruled out, there are many other options, such as a condition after a fracture or bruise, as well as:
- inflammatory processes - bursitis;
- infections, fungal microorganisms;
- impaired lymph drainage;
- premenstrual syndrome;
- insect bites;
- specific responses to alcohol consumption.
Even overwork or sleep disturbance can cause the lower leg to turn into a “pack”, and when walking, give soreness. Occasionally, this can be traced simply after the “caesarean section” operation, when the right side is additionally pricked, or during dialysis. A similar condition is not uncommon in bedridden patients, cancer patients.
How to be treated correctly?
Regardless of whether the edema affects a child or an adult, treatment should begin with a detailed diagnosis. The doctor will help you choose the right list of tests for delivery. Their results will allow you to choose the best medicines, based on the degree of damage, the individual characteristics of the body.
If the cause of the destabilization of health was an injury, then the emphasis should be on a comprehensive rehabilitation therapeutic course. When the source of the deviation turned out to be an inadequate water balance, then you will have to follow the prescribed diet on an ongoing basis. This is the only way to eliminate unpleasant symptoms.
The main requirement of the diet is the rejection of foods containing excessive amounts of salt. You will have to control the amount of alcohol you drink, not exceeding the bar of two liters per day. This is the only way to remove anxiety symptoms at home.
For those who work a lot, keeping the same position, and then complain that it even hurts to walk, experts advise wearing special compression garments. It will allow you not to feel overwhelmed in the late afternoon, when it seems as if the feet are literally on fire.
It would be useful to master the basics of self-massage, or make an appointment with an experienced massage therapist after completing a course of therapy. During a night's rest, you need to raise tired legs above the upper body. Thus, it will be possible to guarantee a trouble-free outflow of blood and lymph in a horizontal position.
For heart failure, where swelling is only one of the symptoms, cardiologists prescribe diuretics, drugs to normalize cardiac activity, as well as a special set of exercises, compression stockings.
Such products from medical knitwear can be found even for men. With their help, it will be possible to maintain the health of the feet at the proper level. You will also need to choose the most comfortable shoes.
Self-treatment for varicose veins, thrombophlebitis, and other types of vascular pathologies is life-threatening. It is more important here not to look for how to get rid of annoying swelling, but to treat the source of the problem with the help of a medical complex prescribed by a doctor.
The specialist at the reception will tell you what each of the drugs prescribed by him helps. He will also tell you what and how to exclude from the daily diet in order to accelerate the onset of the desired effect.
And certainly it is impossible to try to pick up ointments without preliminary laboratory diagnostics, if the feet, in addition to swelling, also itch, the patient is disturbed by crusted skin areas. If you find such signs, you should immediately seek help from a specialized doctor.