Q: What causes feet to swell? – P. H.
A: There are many reasons the feet may swell. It is very important that you figure out the root cause behind your swollen feet. There are some serious health implications as to why the foot may be swollen and these include:
Foot or ankle injury. An injury to the foot or ankle can lead to swelling. The most common cause is a sprained ankle. This happens when an injury causes the ligaments that hold the ankle in place to be stretched beyond their normal range. To reduce the swelling from a foot or ankle injury, rest to avoid walking on the injured ankle or foot, use ice packs, wrap the foot or ankle with a bandage and elevate the foot on a stool or pillow. If swelling and pain is severe or doesn’t improve with home treatment, see your doctor.
Lymphedema. This is a collection of lymphatic fluid in the tissues that can develop because of the absence of or problems with the lymph vessels or after the removal of lymph nodes. Lymph is a protein-rich fluid that normally travels along an extensive network of vessels and capillaries. It is filtered through the lymph nodes, which trap and destroy unwanted substances, such as bacteria. Untreated, lymph buildup can impair wound healing and lead to infection and deformity. Lymphedema is common following radiation therapy or removal of the lymph nodes in patients with cancer. If you have undergone cancer treatment and experience swelling, see your doctor right away.