Do You Have Swollen Feet?

Common Causes of Swollen Feet

Swelling in the foot or ankles can be caused by multiple factors such as: 

  • diet
  • poor circulation
  • an injury
  • overuse

The most common injury to the foot or ankle would be a sprained ankle. This usually occurs when a misstep causes the ligaments (that hold the ankle in place) to be stretched beyond their length. Chronic swelling of your feet may indicate another more serious condition. This should be evaluated by a physician. Watch this video on ankle sprains to see if this may be what is causing your swelling. 

Swelling of the Feet: Caring for your Swollen Feet

How well we take care of our feet may help prevent or reduce signs and symptoms associated with swollen feet. Unintentionally, many people change or adjust the way they move their body in an attempt to avoid painful movements. This can lead to other painful symptoms throughout the lower leg and foot. 

Individuals may experience symptoms within their ankle, knee, hip, or back due to changing their walking pattern. This can happen from pain in the foot. Some symptoms individuals may feel that not only affect our feet but also other joints within our lower extremity are:

  • swollen feet
  • foot pain
  • leg cramps
  • leg pains 

If you are experiencing swollen feet you may want to consider your daily lifestyle or habits. Eating well and having a balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables will help minimize inflammation or swelling within the foot. If you are an active individual experiencing swollen feet you may want to evaluate what type of activity you are doing and how often. 

Sometimes when starting a new exercise routine, people push themselves too far and over train their body. This can lead to an injury. If you are participating in activities that are causing swelling and pain, you may have an injury that needs treatment. Awareness of these signs and symptoms will help prevent long-lasting injuries.

Swelling in the Feet with Leg Pain

Leg pain may be a sign individuals may experience due to foot pain. Leg pain may occur due to a previous foot or ankle injury, lack of flexibility, or compensation due to an injury. Stretching and strengthening exercises may help reduce the pain. They can also prevent leg cramps from occurring. Leg cramps can occur from lack of mobility for an extended period amount of time. It can also happen from lack of exercise or lack of water within the body. Stretching on a regular basis is highly recommended to help lengthen muscles. Also, stretching can prevent cramping and other injuries. 

Feet swollen or sometimes misspelled as feet swolen can cause pain and it may be a sign of other medical issues. Do You Have Swollen feet

Are Your Feet Swollen? Use the RICE Method.

One of the first things you can do to treat your swollen feet is the RICE Protocol.  

  • R - Rest
  • I - Ice
  • C - Compression
  • E - Elevation

To learn more about this protocol, please go to this article, RICE.  

The use of proper shoes, orthotics, strengthening exercises, ice, NSAIDS, and compression wraps may be used to manage and decrease swelling or pain within the foot. Using orthotics will provide foot support along the arch especially in runners. However, wearing proper shoes and strengthening the muscles within the foot will provide natural arch support. This will make the use of orthotics unnecessary. NSAIDS, ice, and compression wraps may be used to manage and reduce the swelling. Swelling in a joint reduces proprioception and the individual’s ability to maintain their balance. 

Your physician may require you to wear supportive stockings or compression stockings. This may help you to decrease the amount of swelling in your feet and lower leg. It is important to make sure you properly measure your lower leg and get the right type of compression for yourself. 

Daily assessments of your activity level are beneficial. If you are starting to exercise or train for an event, monitor your progress daily, and allow your body time to recover. It is recommended to start slowly and progress the intensity and duration of your workouts appropriately to avoid injuries. If the signs and symptoms listed above persist resulting in loss of function, pain during activity, or pain at rest, we recommend seeking further medical attention from a physician. 

Doctors for Swollen Feet

The Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute has foot and ankle doctors that specialize in sports medicine as well as foot and ankle injuries. In addition, we have Physical Therapists and Certified Athletic Trainers in the physical therapy clinics which work collectively to assist you in your return to pain-free activity. Other services offered by JOI Rehab include fitting of custom orthotics and the ability to analyze running mechanics. For JOI Rehab Appointments, please call904-858-7045.

If you want to learn more about the foot and ankle, go to the Jacksonville Orthopedic Institute Trending pages.  JOI physicians are now offering ASAP Injury and Fracture Appointments. 

By: Jon Stiffler, PTA

To schedule an appointment with an Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Specialist, please call 904-JOI-2000, schedule online, or click below. 



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