It’s Not Unusual to Have Swollen Feet


Swollen, puffy feet are a common symptom that brings patients to their podiatrist’s office. They can be uncomfortable and make it hard to wear shoes. But before a course of treatment for swollen feet can be determined, your foot doctor will need to diagnose the cause of the bloating. 

  • Edema occurs when your body retains water. Reasons can range from simple and harmless to more complex and potentially dangerous. Sometimes edema happens after a meal containing too much sodium, after a long airplane flight, or after standing for many hours. Some women experience edema around their monthly cycles or during pregnancy. However, it can also be a sign of a serious health problem like low protein levels, heart failure, or kidney or liver disease. Edema usually resolves on its own. If it doesn’t, you should see your podiatrist right away.

  • Some foot swelling is to be expected after foot and ankle injuries. If you trip andfall and your foot isstill swollen 24 hours later, you should see your foot doctor, particularly if the swelling is accompanied by pain and/or discoloration.

  • When the valves in the veins of your legs become damaged, blood doesn’t return to your heart as it should and can pool in your lower legs and feet. This is chronic venous insufficiency. Your podiatrist can diagnose CVI and determine the best course of treatment.

  • Many women experience foot swelling during pregnancy. Be sure to bring this to the attention of your podiatrist. It’s often simply because of the extra weight and fluid you’re carrying, but it can also be related to a serious complication such as preeclampsia.

If your feet are puffy, give yourself 24 hours of treatment with RICE (rest, ice, compression elevation) and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen. If that doesn’t help, a visit with your foot doctor is the most appropriate course of action. With years of specialized training and experience, a podiatrist like James M. McKee, DPM, FACFAS is the best-qualified medical professional to help you. Call Podiatry Group of Annapolis at 410-224-4448 or click here today to schedule a convenient appointment in our Annapolis, MD office on Solomons Island Road.