How To Reduce Swelling: 15 Home Remedies To Try

How To Reduce Swelling: 15 Home Remedies To Try

Most of the time, after an injury, swelling is inevitable. Some women also suffer from swelling during pregnancy. We are here to help give you some tips and tricks on how to reduce swelling. Below we have listed methods and home remedies on how to reduce swelling while also trying to avoid medicine or doctor visits.

What Causes Swelling?

Swelling is the body’s response to injury or disease when the body produces extra fluid around damaged tissue to keep it from receiving further injury. Injury is the main cause of swelling, but there can be other conditions that cause swelling as well. Other causes of swelling include the following:

  • Kidney failure
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Kidney disease
  • Cirrhosis
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Heart failure
  • Hormone therapy
  • Lymphedema
  • Nephrotic syndrome
  • Pain relievers
  • Pericarditis
  • Pregnancy
  • Prescription medications
  • Long periods of sitting
  • Long periods of standing
  • Venous insufficiency
  • Tendon ruptures
  • ACL injury
  • Baker’s cysts
  • Broken bones
  • Celluitis
  • Gout
  • Infection
  • Fluid-filled sacs in joints
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sprains
  • Strains
  • Thrombophlebitis

How to Reduce Swelling


Most experts agree on how to reduce swelling. Below is a list of common ways to reduce swelling. 

Rest

Cold Therapy

Compress

Elevation

Medications

15 Home Remedies to Try

photo focused on foot bath, which helps reduce swelling of injury

Image Source : Unsplash

Bellow is a list of the best home remedies on how to reduce swelling.

1. Foot Baths

Woman's feet for a foot bath

Image by graceie from Pixabay

Foot baths, also known as hydrotherapy, is when you alternate between sticking your feet into warm and cold water baths. The warm water causes the blood vessels in the feet to dilate and the cold water causes them to contract. In turn, this allows for better blood circulation. For maximum results, place feet in hot water for three to five minutes, then place into the cold water bath for 30 to 60 seconds. Continuing alternating between the two baths for roughly 15 to 20 minutes. This should be done several times a day.

2. Epsom Salts

Adding Epsom salts to foot baths or even regular baths may also reduce swelling since Epsom salts can easily absorb into the skin. Epsom salts contain magnesium sulfate that reduces inflammation and improves blood circulation in the body. For maximum results, keep feet in warm or cold water for roughly 20 minutes three times a week.

3. Exercise

a group of women doing stretches and exercises

Image Source : Unsplash

Exercising can move the built-up blood and fluids that cause swelling and send it back to the heart. Once swelling is gone, continuous exercising can also help prevent swelling later. We recommend aerobic or cardiovascular exercise such as running, swimming, or biking – anything that gets your heart rate up and blood pumping.

4. Compression Socks

As stated above, compression reduces swelling by restricting blood flow to the swollen area. Compression socks can be worn on the feet, legs, and arms to compress swollen areas on these parts of the body.

5. Magnesium Supplements

Magnesium Tablets

Image by aixklusiv from Pixabay

Some cases of swollen body parts can be due to magnesium deficiency. In order to combat this, take 200-400 mg of magnesium supplementation per day. You can also get magnesium through certain foods rich in the mineral:

  • Dark leafy greens
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Fish
  • Soybeans
  • Bananas
  • Dark chocolate

Before taking magnesium supplements, ask your doctor if they are right and healthy for you.

6. Limit Salt Intake

a glass containing salt which you need to limit to reduce swelling of your injury

Image by Bruno Glätsch from Pixabay 

Too much salt in your system increases fluid retention, making it easier for the build-up of fluids, otherwise known as swelling. Cutting back on salt can help decrease this fluid retention. Experts suggest choosing low-sodium options while grocery shopping in order to lower fluid retention and help with reducing swelling throughout the body.

7. Massage

Therapist massaging customer's feet

Image by andreas160578 from Pixabay

Massaging swollen feet helps to relax the muscles, which in turn, helps the circulation in this area. Massaging also stimulates the lymphatic system which helps move excess fluids from the feet.

8. Apple Cider Vinegar

three glass bottles of apple cider which you can apply on swelling body part

Image by rawpixel from Pixabay

Potassium is another mineral that can help with the reduction of fluid retention in the feet, and because apple cider vinegar is high in potassium, it can help reduce swelling in the feet. There are a couple of ways to use apple cider vinegar for feet swelling. The first way is to soak a cloth into a mixture of equal parts apple cider vinegar and water and wrap it around swollen feet. The other is by consumption. You can put two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into a glass of water with honey twice a day to reduce swelling in feet.

9. Water

Drops of Water

Image by rony michaud from Pixabay

Drinking eight or more glasses of water or tea per day can help the body flush out toxins and excess fluids that cause swelling in the feet. For additional benefits, you can also try drinking ginger or dandelion tea. These ingredients are both considered a natural diuretic which helps rid the body of excess fluids.

10. Move Around

a woman walking around

Image by ashokorg0 from Pixabay

If you are on a long car ride or your work consists of long hours sitting down, get up and move around to prevent and reduce swelling in the legs. Sitting for too long can decrease the circulation in your legs and cause a build-up of fluids.

11. Elevation

As stated above, elevation above the level of the heart helps to move excess fluids away from the swollen area.

12. Lose Weight

Man in the Gym Room is lifting a barbell to lose weight

Being overweight causes a decrease in blood circulation, which increases the chances and occurrence of swelling in the legs, ankles, and feet.

13. Ice Packs

As part of the cold therapy method of reducing swelling, ice packs can be used for small areas of the body such as wrists, ankles, and hands to reduce blood flow to the affected area. Ice packs are not suggested for larger portions of the body like the legs.

14. Ice baths

Similar to foot baths, ice baths require submerging the swollen area into water. But, unlike foot baths, you only use ice water instead of hot and cold water. The ice helps to reduce blood flow so that blood doesn’t pool up, reducing the swelling.

15. Cryotherapy Chamber

Cryotherapy is a method in which a person is exposed to extremely cold temperatures of -266 degrees Fahrenheit in order to reduce blood flow to the affected area. Cryotherapy initiates norepinephrine release in the body which helps reduce inflammation and pain in the swollen part of the body. This method has even been used by trainers looking to help professional athletes reduce swelling and pain from the injuries they sustained in the field.

Specific Body Parts

an athlete experiencing pain and swelling on his left leg

Image by Ernesto Eslava from Pixabay

Below is some information on how to reduce swelling in certain areas of the body using the above home remedies.

Legs

Knees

Ankles

Feet

Conclusion

Going to the doctor’s office for something as simple as swelling can be a pain and expensive. That is why it is important for you to know how to reduce swelling from the comfort of your own home. We hope these tips and tricks on how to reduce swelling using home remedies will save you time and money.

Clara Sherwood

Clara Sherwood

Clara was born and grew up in Great Britain, and although she’s now happier with the weather in North Carolina where she resides with her partner, she does miss the ubiquitous teacakes. She graduated from a master’s in literature and worked for about 5 years at local news magazines as a reporter.

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