What is swollen feet?

What is swollen feet?

Swelling in the ankles, feet and legs is often caused by a build-up of fluid in these areas, called oedema . Oedema is usually caused by: standing or sitting in the same position for too long, eating too much salty food. Swollen feet can have causes that aren't due to underlying disease.


  • Prolonged standing or sitting
  • Long airplane flights or car rides, as well as standing for long periods of time, often lead to some swelling in the feet and ankles.
  • Pregnancy
  • This swelling is due to fluid retention and increased pressure on the veins.
  • Swelling may occur in women who take estrogen, or during parts of the menstrual cycle.
  • Overweight
  • Being overweight or obese also can put you at higher risk of developing edema in the foot.
  • Due to aging
  • Twisted or Sprained ankle
  • Trauma to the foot or ankle can cause swelling in this area of the body.
  • A sprained ankle, which occurs when the ligaments become overstretched, could cause the foot to swell.



  • To treat swollen feet during pregnancy, women can elevate their feet where possible
  • Wear comfortable and supportive footwear
  • Avoid standing for extended periods.
  • Using an ice pack or compression bandage can help reduce swelling
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Losing weight if overweight




Dr . P. Senthil Selvam, PhD
Professor & HOD, School of Physiotherapy, VISTAS, Chennai.

Dr .D. Hepzibah Rubella, MPT (Ortho)
Research Scholar, School of Physiotherapy, VISTAS, Chennai.

Vels Institute of Science, Technology & Advanced Studies (VISTAS)

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