Many conditions can cause swollen feet, but at our Seattle Foot and Ankle Clinic, we can usually figure out what might be causing your foot to swell by performing a simple exam.  Painless swelling of the feet and ankles is a common problem, especially among older people. 

Although swelling isn’t always a cause for concern, it can sometimes indicate a more serious condition.  Some common causes of swollen feet include (but are not limited to): stress fracture, gout, sprain, infection, allergy, rheumatoid arthritis, vascular disease, pregnancy, water retention, and obesity

In pregnancy, many women are troubled by aching, swollen feet.  During pregnancy, changes in body shape and weight triggered by pregnancy can affect the lower extremities in many ways.  Foot swelling in pregnancy is caused by pressure from the uterus that leads to hampered circulation.  This swelling, or edema, usually occurs later in pregnancy and is considered normal unless you are also experiencing swelling of your face or hands.

It’s a good idea to elevate the feet as much as possible if suffering from swollen feet in pregnancy, and to try wearing seamless socks that don’t constrict circulation.  You can also combat swelling and fatigue by using light-compression support hose, such as Juzo 12mmHg – 20mmHg, knee or thigh-high.

As always, eat a well-balanced diet and avoid foods high in salt, which can cause fluid retention.  You may also want to consult a doctor about an exercise program, since walking is usually recommended.

Remember, there are many causes of swollen feet, and we can help you discover what is causing your problem by performing a simple examination. If your feet are swollen, make an appointment to see us right away.

Dr. Douglas S. Hale

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