Ankle swelling or edema is caused by fluid accumulation in the body, usually in an area around the ankles, legs and feet. It happens due to consumption of foods high in sodium and carbohydrate contents, trauma or injury to the area of the ankles, retention of water and pregnancy. When there is bumping, twisting and injury to the ankle, it can result to swelling due to the inflammatory reaction of the body to any parts of the body that is injured.
Causes of ankle swelling
- The normal swelling usually experienced by women during pregnancy.
- Swelling caused by standing or walking for long periods of time
- Side effects of some medications that causes fluid retention that is manifested as swelling.
- Any injury or trauma to the ankle usually fractures or sprains can cause swelling.
- Any infections such as abscess or cellulitis
- Blockage of blood vessels usually the venous ones that cause leakage of fluid out of the vessels into the tissue.
Treatment and home remedies of ankle swelling
- Apply an ice pack on the affected area to help minimize the pain and at the same time also lessen the swelling of the ankles.
- Keep the ankles elevated at least for 30 minutes above the level of the heart in order to help with the proper circulation of blood. If lying in bed, place two pillows for the ankles to rest on that can keep the ankle elevated.
- Minimize any pressure or putting weight on the affected area.
- Place a wraparound cloth or a splint to the affected ankle in order to prevent it from swelling and from making the condition worse.
- Massage and perform ankle circular exercises to help promote proper circulation in the area. Just make sure that this is done slowly and avoid massage when there is a severe pain.
- Take over-the-counter pain medication in order to help minimize pain and swelling of the ankle.
- Wear support socks or hose.
- If pregnant, minimize consumption of sodium to less than 2,400 milligrams every day and drink at least 64 ounces of water to help minimize retention in the ankles and legs.
If ankle swelling becomes severe, it is best to consult a doctor as soon as possible.
Tips on how to prevent ankle swelling
- If possible, avoid any injuries to the ankle.
- If suffering from bone diseases or weakness of the bone, avoid straining the affected foot.
- When taking calcium supplements, it should be taken together with Vitamin D to help facilitate and aid in the absorption of the nutrients in the body.
- Drink and consume foods rich in calcium content in order to help strengthen the bones.
- When playing sports especially contact sports, wear proper shoes that will help properly support the ligaments and the foot.