How to Control Water Retention in the Feet


Water retention or edema is swelling due to an accumulation of excess fluid in the spaces between body cells. Edema commonly affects the lower legs, ankles and feet, but can also affect any part of the body. There are innumerable causes of water retention. Some of the most common causes include lack of exercise, certain medications, excessive salt and a high level of toxins in your body. By employing the remedies below, you can effectively control water retention in your feet.

Purchase support socks. Wearing these can reduce the swelling in your legs and improve blood circulation. The socks can also lessen the discomfort and pain associated with water retention. You can purchase high-quality support socks at your local medical supply store.

Exercise at least one hour every day. Exercising can enhance your blood circulation, keeping the fluids regulated in the tissues. Do leg kicks, pumping your feet up and down. Doing this kind of exercise will drastically lessen edema-related swelling in your legs, ankles and feet.

Change position frequently. Sitting or standing for extend periods of time can increase the fluid level in your legs and feet. Walk around, flex, rotate or move your legs up and down (when seated) for 15 minutes every day. This will help your blood circulate and prevent fluid retention in your legs and feet.

Elevate your legs and feet regularly. Elevating your legs and feet above the level of your heart will improve your blood circulation and help drain the fluid out of your legs. Lie flat on your back and place two to three pillows under your legs and feet, making sure they are above chest level. Add more pillows if needed. Do this for fifteen minutes twice daily.

Wear comfortable, roomy and cushioned shoes. Wearing comfortable shoes will contain the build-up of the water retention and prevent the water build-up to spread. Look for shoes that have a removable inner sole, rigid shank, firm heel counter and a wide toe box. Avoid wearing sandals or slippers since open types of foot wear can cause the water retention to spread.

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  • Medical Diagnosis and Treatment; Stephen J. McPhee, MD; McGraw-Hill; 2006
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