Is It Best To Soak Swollen Feet And Ankles In Cold Or Hot Water?

10 Answers

Roger Clegg Profile
Roger Clegg answered
You should never put your feet or ankles in hot water to relieve swelling or pressure as this is the wrong solution. If footballers or other sports stars have niggles or swelling they don’t dive head first into a bath of hot water but usually fill a bath up with ice. This is to gently ease the pains and reduce the swelling or aches one may suffer.
It is best to elevate them really, but you could have a soak in the bath. If you can massage them or, even better, get someone else to do it for you that will really be of use. Massage does help swelling but a bag of frozen peas on the swelling would do the trick.
In order to reduce swelling and prevent future problems you should take a number of steps. Firstly, make sure you have comfortable shoes, change your weight from one side to the other, frequently rotate and flex your ankles, especially if you are on long flights as this will eliminate the risk of DVT.
You can also do some marching on the spot or walk about which will aid and prevent lumbar pain and aching, too. Alternatively, you may want to seek out advice and see an ostepoath. If your issues persist and worsen then the other option available to you is to see your GP. If in doubt - get it checked!
You may want to check out the NHS Direct website, which can give you an on the spot diagnosis for anything to do with swollen ankles, feet and fingers. The best thing to do first is to rest and put your feet up when you can, ideally with your feet higher than your heart for one hour every day or even more. Avoid wearing awkward and tight fitting shoes and avoid standing up for long periods.
Jacquelyn Mathis Profile
The warm water, and the epsom salt is great, but don't forget to ELEVATE your feet for a while too, and flexing the calf muscles, will also aid in pumping the blood back through the vessels. Good luck to you.
Tina Profile
Tina answered
When I ache, cold water only makes it worse, the best thing I have found to do is use lukewarm water and epsome salts,,,ahhhh
also elevate your feet if possible
suman kumar Profile
suman kumar answered
Not in cold nor in hot water, you need to soak in warm water along with it put some salt in it, it will work
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Anonymous
Anonymous commented
thank you because I was trying either hot or real cold so I was definitely making things worse. :)
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
My left foot is swollen from GOUT! I would like to know if I should soak it in Hot or Cold water?
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
My orthopedist said to put it in luke warm water for four min than into cold as long as I can take it than back to the warm
paul williams Profile
paul williams answered
Cold water will constrict your blood vessels hence make them smaller. Warm or hot water will expand them and bring more blood through the area. So based on that I would say cold. But note cold will not make them feel better. Athletes take ice water baths after performing to slow the blood to the body and to help with soreness.
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Anonymous
Anonymous commented
You should not take medical advice from random forums on the internet. Much of the information here is not correct, such as the suggestion to soak swollen feet in warm or hot water, which will only make things worse. The answer to the question about warm or cold water is cold/cool water then elevate them for awhile. It may seem counter-intuitive, but your body is responding to the environment. In cold environments your body knows it must work harder to circulate your blood.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Actually, for wounded feet to alternate very warm and cool soaks helps with healing;
try about ten minutes for each temperature.
If they are not externally damaged then the cool water and R.I.C.E =rest, ice,compression and elevation are the watch words that orthopedic surgeons recommend one to follow.
Mario Don Profile
Mario Don answered
For ankle sprains get a wash pan of hot water & a wash pan with cold water. Do 2 minutes in hot water & then 2 minutes in cold water. While in the hot water draw your alphabets with your foot(if possible). Do about 3 or 4 circuits in the hot and  water. Your last soak should be in COLD water. Do this about 3 to four times daily, until foot is no longer sore.

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