Conditions that can Trigger Swelling in the Ankle and Feet

By:Vasudha Bhat, Onlymyhealth Editorial Team,Date:Dec 17, 2014

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Swelling in the feet and ankles can occur because of several reasons. Although most times it is associated with sprains and strains, there can be an underlying condition causing the problem. Read here to know more.
  • 1

    The Hidden Causes!

    If your lifestyle and work demands a lot of walking or standing, then you must be prepared to experience swollen ankles and feet. However, at times it is the extremities of the weather and some underlying diseases that can trigger swollen ankle and feet. Often believed to be a result of sprains or strains, swelling in the ankles and feet can also be caused by excessive fluid buildup in the body and at times, due to heart disease or kidney/liver dysfunction. Besides, pregnancy, arthritis and obesity can also lead to swelling in the ankles and feet. Here is a list of top reasons that can trigger the swelling.

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  • 2

    Pregnancy Complications

    Although, gynaecologists suggest that swollen ankles and feet are a common thing to occur during pregnancy, when the swelling takes place in excess it can be a sign of a serious trouble. It could imply preeclampsia which causes severe health condition that leads to high blood pressure, which thereafter also harms the health of the child as well as the mother. You must visit your gynaecologist if you experience severely swollen feet along with abdominal pain, irregular urination, nausea and headaches.

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  • 3

    Sprains and Strains

    When you have an injury on the feet, it can lead to sprained ankle in which the ligaments holding the ankle at its right place get stretched beyond their normal range. Sprains are easy to treat when the severity of the injury is low. Apply ice packs and compression bandage, rest and keep the foot on an elevated level like a pillow to get some relief from the pain. However, if the pain stays for more than 2-3 days, a visit to the doctor must be made.

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  • 4

    Infection

    Did you know that swelling in the feet or ankle can be a symptom of infection, especially if you are diabetic or have a nerve problem? When you wear ill-fitted footwear for a long time, it can exert pressure on one point, which can result in non-healing, painless ulcer. The infection spreads due to decreased pain sensitivity in diabetes. Thus, appropriate footwear should always be opted for people who suffer from diabetes.

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  • 5

    Blood Clot

    When blood clots are formed in the veins they can stop the return flow of blood to the essential parts of the body like legs and heart causing the feet to swell. Blood clots can be either seen superficially or be deep, just like in the case of deep vein thrombosis. Some of the blood clots can be fatal if they travel to the heart or lungs. It is very important to see a doctor if you have a blood clot accompanied by pain and low-running fever.

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  • 6

    Heart or Kidney Disease

    Experts believe that if you experience swollen ankles late in the evening, it is a symptom of salt and water retention which happens when the right-side of the heart does not function properly. Also, when kidneys start to dysfunction the fluid stays in the body causing the foot and ankle to swell. The primary reason why fluids retain in the foot and ankle is gravity. However, these fluids also build up in the chest and abdomen area.

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  • 7

    Treating Swollen Ankle and Feet

    The best way to treat foot and ankle swelling is to treat the root cause. If it is because of pregnancy then it would not stay once you deliver but to soothe the symptoms you can use some home remedies. Take a warm bath to reduce the swelling. To give the water some boost, add few drops of grapefruit essential oil. Soak your feet in the bucket to relieve the pain.

    Image courtesy: Getty Images

  • 8

    Massage

    A massage can work wonders on your feet. Don’t forget to mention the problem so that the massage therapist can concentrate on working on the extremities. If the swelling is a result of pregnancy, find a therapist who specializes in prenatal massage. A prenatal message therapist can make you feel comfortable and relieve your pain.

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