Wound Care

The Surprising Lifestyle Factors That Can Result in a Swollen Toe

The Surprising Lifestyle Factors That Can Result in a Swollen Toe

Posted On: November 21, 2022

The average American walks over 700 miles each year just by doing their daily activities. With so much time spent walking around, it may seem inevitable to find yourself with a swollen toe at some point.

Many different factors can contribute to a swollen toe. Some of these are fairly obvious, such as an injury to the toe or an infection. However, some lifestyle factors can result in a swollen toe.

If you have a swollen toe and want to figure out why you’ve come to the right place. We cover some of the most common swollen toe factors to help you get to the bottom of your swollen feet.

Swollen Toe Symptoms

The most obvious sign of a swollen toe is that it has increased in size. You may experience the following symptoms with a swollen toe:

  • stiff toe
  • redness
  • warmth in the toe
  • swelling elsewhere in your feet

Lifestyle Factors That Cause a Swollen Toe

We’ve all experienced it — the toe that swells up after you’ve been on your feet for too long. If it’s a temporary blip, there’s no need to panic. If it keeps happening, you should know what could be causing the swelling and what you can do about it.

Several lifestyle factors can result in a swollen toe, and some of them may not be obvious.

Sedentary Lifestyle

If you have a sedentary lifestyle, you’re more likely to develop a swollen toe. This is because sitting still for long periods prevents blood from flowing properly through your body. A lack of blood flow can cause swelling in parts of your body.

Sitting for too long can cause a condition called edema. Edema is a name for the accumulation of fluid in the spaces between cells in the body.

This fluid causes increased pressure in the vessels that carry blood and lymph fluid in your body. When these vessels get blocked, they can’t drain and cause fluid to build up in the body tissues. This accumulation of fluid leads to swelling.

Although you can have edema anywhere, it’s most common in the feet and toes.

Poor Diet

Eating a diet that is low in nutrients and high in fat and sugar can lead to inflammation in the body. Eating a diet that is high in salty food causes the body to hold in water. The feet and toes are often the first places to swell after eating a very salty meal.

Eating a balanced and healthy diet can keep swelling down. Make sure to avoid sodium-filled condiments and canned food to keep swelling away.

Wearing Ill-Fitting Shoes

Wearing ill-fitting shoes is one of the most common causes of a swollen toe. If your shoes are too tight, they can put pressure on your toe, which can cause it to swell.

Wearing high heels can also contribute to a swollen toe, as they can put pressure on the toe and restrict blood flow. If you regularly wear ill-fitting shoes or high heels, you may be at risk for a swollen toe.

Excessive Alcohol Consumption

Drinking too much alcohol over a long period can lead to liver damage and poor circulation. These conditions can cause swelling in your feet and hands.

If you notice that you have toe swelling every time you drink alcohol, it’s time to seek professional help. This ongoing swelling can mean issues with the kidney, liver, or heart.

Long Periods of Standing

When you stand for a long time without moving, the blood flow to your feet gets restricted. This lack of blood flow can cause swelling in your feet and toes.

Hot Climate

Living in a hot climate can be an unexpected reason you have a swollen toe. When the weather gets hot, the veins in the body expand to help cool the body down. Fluid from this process can escape into the feet and toes causing them to swell up.

Preventing Swollen Toes

If you are experiencing a swollen toe, there are several things you can try at home to reduce the swelling. Not all swollen toe remedies are complicated. Some involve a simple adjustment to your daily routine.

Take Breaks When Standing

If you spend most of your day on your feet, it’s important to take regular breaks. It may sound obvious, but people often ignore their bodies’ signals that they need rest.

The position of the feet is at more risk for swelling because they sit below the heart. Taking regular breaks from standing lets blood flow back into the feet again.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Another swollen toe remedy is to eat a balanced diet. A lack of vitamins can lead to poor circulation in the feet, which can lead to swelling.

Drink Water

Drinking plenty of water is an easy way to prevent dehydration and improve circulation throughout the body. Be vigilant about drinking water if you live or work in a hot area.

When to Seek Help

Our toes are a sensitive area of the body and there could be a bigger problem behind a swollen toe. If you have pain or an infection with your swollen toe, it is important to see a doctor.

A visit to the doctor can help determine if the swelling is caused by an underlying condition or injury.

Get Your Swollen Toe Treated Today

In today’s world, using your feet is a part of everyone’s daily routine. In most cases, swollen toes are harmless and go away on their own within a few days. If they don’t or become painful, see your doctor right away.

If you’re in the Texas area and are suffering from a swollen toe, Graff: Foot, Ankle, and Wound Care can help!

Our 24 years of experience, expert care, and advanced technology will get you back on your feet in no time. Contact us to schedule an appointment today.