Treating Swollen Ankles
According to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), the foot of the average jogger hits the ground with two to three times the force of normal body weight. Have you ever taken the time to think about how essential our feet really are? It seems as if there is a consensus that feet are something people are not particularly fond of, however, it is time to start acknowledging the importance of our feet, and the value they have on our overall quality of life.
Causes of Swollen Ankles
Have you ever looked down at your feet and ankles and realized they were swollen? Whether from long days to travelling, if you are on your feet for long periods of time during the day this is inevitable. Swollen feet and legs, referred to medically as edema, happen when your body retains fluid in the lower legs, ankles, feet or anywhere on the body.
Swelling of the feet and ankles can occur as a result of conditions involving the local extremities as well as systemic conditions (diseases and conditions that affect the entire body). Localized processes such as injuries and infections may lead to a swollen foot and ankle only on the involved side. Swelling of the ankle on one side is often a result of sprains or strains.
Treating Swollen Ankles
There are many ways to help avoid symptoms of swollen ankles. You can often treat the symptoms of swelling that occurs on both sides of your body yourself, but if problems become worse it is suggested that you see a podiatrist. Here are some ideas that can help:
1. Compression socks. Available at your local drugstore grocery store, or sporting goods store, compression socks provide pain relief and prevent fluid collection in your legs, ankles and feet. They come in light, medium and heavy weights, so be sure you select a pair that isn’t too tight for your body.
2. Elevation. Prop your legs up on an ottoman to help decrease swelling. Various yoga poses, such as lying on the floor with your legs raised and pressed against the wall, can also help.
3. Exercise. Sitting or standing in one place for too long can increase swelling. Move your knees, and flex and extend your ankles for relief. Consider swimming, as well, because it’s a non-weight-bearing exercise that can also soothe the skin.
4. Weight loss. Losing weight can reduce swelling, as well as improve your health overall. Considering your ankles bear the full weight of your body, less weight equals less pressure.
5. Epsom salt. Soak your feet and ankles for 15 to 20 minutes in a cool bath filled with Epsom salt to relieve swelling-associated pain. If you have diabetic neuropathy in your feet, check the water with your hands first to avoid exposing your feet to extreme temperatures.
Find a Podiatrist in Central Maryland Today!
If you are struggling with the pain and symptoms of swollen ankles, call Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland at (410) 644-1880 to request an appointment with our podiatrist.