Get Rid Of Swollen Ankles

February 18, 2016 - Comment

How to get rid of swollen ankles is way easier to do if you know how you got them in the first place. Let’s have a look at the main reasons for the swelling. As with any ailment, the number one treatment is prevention. So let’s take a look at…… How you get them? How

How to get rid of swollen ankles is way easier to do if you know how you got them in the first place. Let’s have a look at the main reasons for the swelling.

As with any ailment, the number one treatment is prevention. So let’s take a look at……

How you get them? How you prevent them? And, of course, how you get rid of the swollen ankles as quickly as possible.

What causes swollen ankles?

The most obvious cause of ankle swelling is from injury and trauma like a sprained ankle or a stress fracture. If your turn your ankle by landing wrong it can cause the ligaments to stretch. Most causes of swelling are not so obvious.

Arthritis – Wear and tear of the joints and bone connections are the typical results of arthritis. When the joints between the shin bone (tibia) and the ankle bone (talus) wear down it causes friction, pain and swelling. This is more likely to occur in people who have previously injured their ankle, have rheumatoid arthritis or are overweight.

Edema – Caused by poor blood circulation in the legs resulting in chronic swelling of the ankles. Excess body weight is one of the main causes because of the extra pressure being exerted on the veins. The pressure causes the poor circulation which in turn causes the swelling. Spider and varicose veins can appear and bulge right under the skin making them very noticeable. Improved circulation will help to prevent or help these veins to recover.

Gout – If you have ever suffered from gout you know just how painful a swollen ankle can be. Uric acid is produced during digestion and is found in your blood and urine. Gout is an inflammation of the ankles caused by uric acid crystals accumulating in the fluids of the ankle.

Pregnancy – Swollen ankles are a usual occurrence during pregnancy due to extra weight and pressure on the veins and joints or from high blood pressure. Extra pressure on the veins around the pelvis and the legs can decrease circulation and cause the appearance of varicose and spider veins. Hormonal changes during pregnancy and menstruation can also cause the ankles to swell.

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Ankle Tendinitis – An injury caused by heavy activity to the tendon on the inside of the ankle causes the arch of the foot to raise. The result is swelling around the ankle and severe pain.

Lymphedema – When fluid is blocked in the lymphatic system. It can’t drain and builds up in the ankle joints causing them to swell.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) – Can occur from a number of causes but mostly it is due to poor circulation of the blood. Because of the limited circulation and pressure on the veins, blood clots can form and need to be treated in a timely fashion as they can lead to further more serious health problems. Swollen legs and ankles along with varicose and spider veins are symptoms that may or may not appear. Sometimes people have DVT and don’t even know it. See a doctor if you are having any of these symptoms. (Read more on DVT here.)

Medications – Some diabetes medications, antidepressants and medications containing steroids can cause ankle swelling. if this is the case your physician can decide if another medication can be used.

Some other possible causes of swollen ankles are insect bites, infection and  allergic reactions.

As you can see, some of the causes are easy to determine but there are so many variables that it is a good idea to visit your medical professional if you are unsure about the cause of swelling. Sometimes having a profession like nursing or waitressing where hours are spent standing could cause the ankles and legs to swell. Long periods of inactivity, like long plane flights, for example, could also be a cause. In these cases the swelling will normally disappear with time and rest.

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Prevention of swollen ankles.

  • Wear compression socks or stockings daily to increase circulation.
  • Reduce your sodium intake. Read the labels on packaged foods.
  • Exercise helps to keep the blood flowing and will increase the strength of your joints. Even if you have been diagnosed with arthritis exercise and staying active will help. Exercise doesn’t mean that you have to run marathons or train for the olympics. Just walk, stretch and move. Going for a brisk walk 3 or 4 times a week is a good start. Low impact exercise is best, try some yoga or pilates. You don’t need to invest in a lot of equipment to stay in shape. Just get a good pair of shoes and some loose comfortable clothing and you’re good to go.
  • Avoid standing or sitting in one place for too long. If possible get up and move around to get the circulation going.
  • Try adding a magnesium supplement to your diet. Having a deficiency of magnesium in your body can contribute to edema. Consume foods that are high in potassium as this is known to help eliminate excess fluid from the body. Things like banana, kidney beans, raisins and soybeans are good choices.
  • Eat a well balanced diet and drink a lot of water. True to help in preventing most ailments.
  • Always wear comfortable shoes and socks.

How to get rid of swollen ankles.

  • Use an ice pack directly on the swollen area for a few minutes at intervals during the day.
  • Soak your feet in a tub of warm water with Epsom salt.
  • Elevate your feet while you sleep.
  • Get a massage, it can really help to get the circulation going.
  • Wear compression socks or stockings. This is probably one of the best things that you can do for your circulation. Compression socks can be used for prevention and are also recommended for the treatment of swollen ankles. They can help by forcing the blood to move up the leg using graduated compression. The compression is greatest at the ankle or middle of the foot and gradually decreases as the blood gets pushed up towards the heart. Compression socks can be worn daily by anyone whether you have a medical condition or not. They increase circulation and can help alleviate or prevent varicose veins and swelling of the legs and ankles.
  • Going for a swim can help with the swelling in legs and ankles. It is exercise to get the blood flowing and it also takes the pressure and constant pull of gravity off your circulatory system.

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