Swollen feet can cause both inconvenience and discomfort, but ignoring them may be dangerous, as edema can be a symptom of an underlying condition. One of the most common causes of swollen feet is pregnancy, which can be the result of increased fluid retention and hormonal changes. Injuries to the leg or ankle can lead to swelling, as ligaments stretch beyond their normal range of motion. Lymphedema, another cause of swelling, results from the accumulation of lymphatic fluid, often after cancer radiation therapy or lymph node removal. Venous insufficiency, which stems from damaged vein valves in the legs and feet, can also cause the feet to swell, and can be accompanied by potential symptoms such as ulcers and skin discoloration. Infections pose a risk, especially for those with diabetic neuropathy or nerve problems, making regular foot exams with a podiatrist essential for diabetics patients. Certain medications can induce foot swelling as a side effect, necessitating consultation with a podiatrist. Arthritis can affect joints, causing swelling as a result of increased synovial fluid or inflammation. While mild foot swelling may not always warrant medical attention, chest pain, breathing difficulties, or shortness of breath require immediate evaluation as they may indicate pulmonary edema. If you notice sudden or unusual swelling in your feet, it is strongly suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist at your earliest opportunity.
Swollen feet can be a sign of an underlying condition. If you have any concerns, contact the podiatrists of Boston Common Podiatry. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Swollen feet are a common ailment among pregnant women and people who stand or sit for extended periods. Aging may increase the possibility of swollen feet and patients who are obese often notice when their feet are swelling too. There may be medical reasons why swollen feet occur:
- Phlebitis - A condition that causes the veins to become inflamed and can also cause leg pain.
- Liver disease - This may lead to low blood levels of albumin which is a protein. This can cause fluid in the blood to pass into the tissues and several areas of the body can become swollen.
- Heart failure - When the heart doesn’t pump properly the blood that is normally pumped back to the heart can pool in the veins of the legs causing swollen feet.
- Kidney disease - One of the main functions of the kidneys is releasing excess fluid in the body. This type of condition can make it difficult for the kidneys to function properly, and as a result the feet may become swollen.
- Deep-vein thrombosis (DVT)- This is a serious condition where blood clots form in the veins of the legs. They can block the return of blood from the legs to the heart which may cause the feet to swell. It is important to be treated by a podiatrist if this condition is present.
Swollen feet can also be caused by bone and tendon conditions, including fractures, arthritis, and tendinitis. Additionally, there may be skin and toenail conditions and an infection may cause the feet to swell. Patients who take medicine to treat high blood pressure may be prone to getting swollen feet.
Many patients elevate their feet to help relieve the swelling and this is generally a temporary remedy. When a podiatrist is consulted the reason behind the swelling can be uncovered and subsequently treated.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Boston, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.