Swollen ankles are not always painful but they can be very discomforting. This is a common condition that occurs for various reasons such as unfitting shoes, lifestyle factors, pregnancy, standing for long, etc. What happens during ankle swelling is that your body fluids accumulated in the tissues, a condition known as edema. Edema usually heals by itself but there are several tips on how to get rid of swollen ankles fast. These tips can be easily done and may not require too much from you apart from consistency.
However, you should know that the effectiveness of the tips depends on the exact cause of the swelling. If you notice that any of it is not working then, by all means, try another tip. After you have tried all or most and the ankle is still swollen then you need to see a doctor. It could be that there is an underlying condition. There are prescribed medications that can be used in treating this. Before we delve into the treatment let’s explain more of the causes first.
Causes Of Swollen Ankles
- Pregnancy complications – the ankles often swell up during pregnancy. This could be an indication of preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is severe that results in an increased protein and blood pressure in urine twenty weeks after conception. If you notice serious swelling accompanied by symptoms like vision changes, headaches, abdominal pain, infrequent urination, and vomiting.
- Foot injury – an injured ankle or foot can cause swelling, for example, a sprained ankle. Most tips that will be mentioned shortly can help eradicate this swelling fast but if it persists then see a doctor.
- Lymphedema -this is when the lymphatic fluid accumulates in tissues due to absent or problematic lymph vessels or lymph nodes. This condition should be treated as soon as possible as it can result in deformities and infection.
How To Get Rid Of Swollen Ankles Fast
These tips will help you to return your ankles to their normal size.
1. Drink plenty of water
It might appear counterintuitive but enough fluid helps in reducing swelling. If your body does not have enough water it clings to the fluid available and this is a contributing factor for swelling.
2. Use compression socks
You can get compression socks at a grocery or drug store, it is also sold online. You can begin with 13-16 mm or 16 to 21 mm of mercury compression socks. These socks usually have different compression and weights so it is advisable, to begin with, the lightweights and finds what works best for you.
3. Soak feet in Epsom salt
Epsom salt is also known as magnesium sulfate which is popular for the relief it brings to muscle pain. There is another function of this salt and that is, it reduces inflammation and swelling. The theory behind this is that the salt extracts toxins and enhances relaxation. If you are going to use this then be sure that purchase USP designated Epsom salt. This signifies that it is recommended and safe for use.
4. Lift your feet
Use a pillow, cushion, or anything to elevate your feet when you are asleep. This is especially helpful for pregnant women, try doing this at intervals during the day for about twenty minutes per time. An armchair or ottoman can even be used. Also, avoid a long-standing period and let your feet rest as much as it can.
5. Get moving
Sitting or standing in a particular area for an extended duration can cause your ankles to swell. Try moving a little each hour, you can just take a short walk to the restroom or the cafeteria. Flex your ankles and knees or do an office lap.
6. Use magnesium supplements
This supplement has been found helpful. Retaining water might lead to magnesium deficiency and this can be corrected by eating food with a higher magnesium content. Such foods include almonds, cashews, tofu, spinach, broccoli, avocados, and dark chocolate. Taking 10 to 350 mg of magnesium each day may help reduce swelling. However, before taking any supplement consult a doctor. Not everyone is supposed to use magnesium supplements particularly those with heart or kidney conditions.
7. Change your diet
You need to cut down on your sodium intake to reduce ankle swelling. Go for the low sodium alternatives and avoid using salt to prepare your meals.
8. Weight loss
Excess weight may cause decreases in the circulation of blood which would lead to swelling in the lower parts of the body. Additional strain on the feet can also occur causing painful walking. This could make a person more sedentary another cause for the buildup of fluid in the ankle. By losing weight, the feet strain is eased and possibly the ankle swelling reduced. There are healthy weight loss plans and your doctor can guide you through this.
9. Feet massage
The swollen leg ankle needs massage which helps to promote relaxation. The affected feet should be massaged firmly towards the heart, with applied pressure. This helps in directing fluid away from that area thus reducing swelling.
10. Eat more potassium-rich meals
Insufficient potassium is a contributing factor to increased water retention and blood pressure. Begin t eat more food that contains potassium like sweet potatoes, bananas, white beans, salmon, chicken, and pistachios. Also, try to drink milk with low fat or orange juice in place of soda. If there are existing medical conditions particularly kidney problems, talk to your doctor first before eating more potassium-rich foods.
The swollen ankle is a mild condition that usually disappears after a few days so it is usually no cause for alarm. But after applying the tips on how to get rid of swollen ankles fast and you notice that these signs persist then you have to see a doctor.