QUEEN'S ROAD: Most people who spend long hours standing or sitting may experience painful swelling of feet and ankles. This can hinder day-to-day life and make one really uncomfortable.
This condition is medically termed as edema where the fluid collects in the fatty tissues under the skin and makes the feet swollen. The swelling usually takes place around the upper part of the feet and ankles. The tissues bloat due to excessive fluid accumulation, making the skin on the feet tight and stretched. If one pokes the swollen portion of the foot with a finger, one will notice a hollow impression on the foot which remains for a while. When something goes wrong with your system and the body cannot eliminate excess fluid, edema occurs.
Dr Tajeswi Nataraj, consultant internal medicine, GBS Global Hospital, says, “People who travel long distances especially in a bus, cars or aeroplanes are at risk of developing such a condition. But if the swelling occurs without any reason, patients need to check with doctors as it may be due to other conditions like heart or kidney ailments, varicose veins, arthritis etc. This condition is seen more often in older people.”
In such a case, patients will be asked questions about their medical history, current state of health, how long the signs and symptoms have existed or whether the patient has had edema before.
The physician will also carry out a physical examination. If there are indications that there may be an underlying medical condition causing the edema, experts may suggest a chest X-ray, blood test, urine test, liver function test and heart function tests.
If the swelling is due to heart, liver or kidney problem, the patients need intensive medical care.
Dr G Gangahdaran, director INDEC center, MS Ramaiah Hospital, suggests:
- Soak feet in hot and cold water alternately.
- Consume barley water.
- Apply a paste of lemon juice,milk,olive oil,water and cinnamon powder.
- Massage feet with a combination of peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil and lemon oil.
- Massaging stimulates lymphatic circulation and lessens swelling.
- Rub sandalwood oil on feet.
- Soak your feet in warm water with epsom salt.