Learning More About Podiatrist Care

Two Easy Ways To Prevent Foot And Ankle Swelling From Sitting All Day

Studies indicate that sitting for long periods of time is not good for your heath. Unfortunately, people sit an average of 9.3 hours a day due to work, hobbies, and other sedentary activities. One of the most common places affected by this bad habit is the ankles and feet, with many people experiencing swelling in the lower limbs after sitting for a couple of hours. Here are two things you can do to help minimize this problem.

Perform Leg Exercises

Edema in the feet and ankles is related to a number of health issues such as diabetes and heart failure. However, the root cause is often weak veins in the legs and/or poor circulation. The fluids in your lower limbs have to fight against gravity to get to your heart and lymphatic system. If your veins are weakened from disease, they may have a hard time pushing the fluid upward against the force of gravity. As a result, some of it may leak out of the veins and pool into the feet and ankles.

You can help push the fluid out of your lower limbs by periodically doing leg exercises while sitting. Some good ones include:

  • Ankle circles – Raise your foot and rotate it for 15 seconds clockwise and then 15 seconds counterclockwise.
  • Flex and point – Extend your legs so the back of your heels rest on the floor. Gradually flex your feet back as far as they will go and hold for 5 seconds, then slowly point your feet forward and hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 5 or 6 times.
  • Leg lifts – Start with your legs extended, then gradually raise them until they are straight (or as straight as you can get them). Hold for a second and then lower to the ground. Repeat 5-6 times.

Doing these exercises and getting up and walking around (or in place) for at least 5 minutes several times a day will help promote circulation in the legs and keep swelling to a minimum.

Wear Compression Socks

Another easy thing you can do is use compression socks, stockings, or bandages. These products minimize swelling in the lower legs by exerting pressure on the area to force fluid upward and back into circulation.

Compression products are very effective at improving circulation in the lower limbs. However, you have to put them before your feet and ankles swell up; otherwise, they won't be of any use to you. Also, you should not cross your legs while using them, as this can prevent the products from working effectively.

Foot and ankle swelling can indicate an underlying disease. If you haven't already been diagnosed with a medical problem that would cause swelling in the lower limbs, you may want to get checked out if you experience it on a regular basis. For more information about foot and ankle conditions, contact a podiatrist.

For more information, contact Affiliated Ankle & Foot Care Center or a similar location.