Swollen Ankles: Causes, Treatments, Medical Care & Prevention

I woke up one morning with a swollen ankle. I couldn’t put any weight on it, and it was so painful that I could barely walk. I went to the doctor, who diagnosed me with a sprained ankle. He gave me a brace and told me to rest it.

I was really frustrated. I had a lot of things to do that week, and I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to do them. But I knew that I had to listen to the doctor and rest my ankle.

I spent the next few days resting my ankle and icing it. It was really hard to stay off of it, but I knew that it was for the best. After a few days, the swelling went down and the pain started to subside. I was finally able to start walking again, but I still had to wear the brace for a few more weeks.

I learned my lesson. I’m much more careful now when I’m walking. I know that sprained ankles can be really painful, and I don’t want to go through that again.

Causes & Treatments Of Swollen Ankles & Feet


Edema is a term for swelling caused by fluid buildup. It is the medical term for swelling caused by fluid getting stuck in the tissues of the body. It usually affects the legs and feet, but it can also happen on the face or in the stomach.

The following are also signs of edema:

  • Shiny,
  • stretched skin over the affected area
  • Skin that stays dimpled after being pressed Pain and limited movement
  • If it affects the lungs, choking or trouble breathing

Related: Ankle Pain: Causes, Treatments, Preventions.


  • Edema may go away on its own, or it may be caused by something that needs to be treated by a doctor.
  • Some home treatments for varicose veins are wearing support tights, eating less salt, and laying down with the legs raised above the chest.
  • If the swelling doesn’t get better, a person should talk to their doctor to find out why.

Foot or ankle injury

When the foot or ankle is hurt, this part of the body can swell up. A twisted ankle, which happens when the muscles are pulled too far, could make the foot swell.


  • If someone hurts their foot or ankle, they should try to keep their foot raised and not put weight on the leg that is hurt.
  • Using an ice pack or a compression patch can help reduce swelling, and pain relievers you can buy over-the-counter can help relieve pain.
  • If the pain and stiffness don’t go away, a person may need to see a doctor to make sure there isn’t more serious damage.


When a woman is late in her pregnancy, her feet and legs often swell. This is because the body is holding on to liquids and putting more pressure on the veins.

Home medicines

  • To get rid of swollen feet during pregnancy, women can put their feet up when they can, wear shoes that are soft and supportive, and try not to stand for long amounts of time.
  • Keeping cool, avoiding salt, and drinking more water can help you keep less fluid in your body. Wearing clothes that support you, like socks or compression leggings, should also make you feel better and help the swelling go down.


Preeclampsia could be a sign of swelling during pregnancy comes on quickly and gets worse. This is a disease that can happen while a woman is pregnant or right after she gives birth. Protein in the pee, fast fluid buildup, and high blood pressure are all signs.

This is a very serious condition that usually happens in the last part of pregnancy. It can lead to eclampsia, which is even worse and a medical emergency.

Some of the signs of preeclampsia are:

  • heavy, swollen heads
  • dizziness, sickness, and vomiting, changes in eyesight, and going to the bathroom less often.
  • Treatment
  • If any of these things happen to a pregnant woman, she should talk to her doctor or nurse right away.

Your way of life

  • being lazy and not doing much
  • being overweight and wearing shoes that don’t fit
  • Home medicines
  • Having swollen feet is less likely if you work out daily and stay at a healthy weight.

There are other ways to relieve swollen feet, such as:

  • Getting a lot of water to drink
  • wearing compression socks or stockings,
  • soaking the feet in cool water,
  • raising the feet above the heart,
  • staying active,
  • losing weight if you are overweight,
  • eating a healthy diet and watching how much salt you eat,
  • massaging the feet,
  • eating more potassium-rich foods, as these can help reduce water retention.

A medicine’s side effect

Steroids can make your feet swell up. Some medicines can make your feet swell, especially if they make you hold on to water.

Some medicines that can make the feet swell are:

  • Hormones like estrogen and testosterone Calcium-channel blockers help control blood pressure
  • Steroids, both androgenic and anabolic, and corticosteroids Antidepressants Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that help manage diabetes
  • If you think your medicine is making your feet swell, you should talk to your doctor. He or she may be able to change the dose or give you a different medicine.

Home Care

Here are some ways to help reduce swelling:

  • While you’re lying down, put your legs on pillows to raise them above your heart.
  • Exercise your legs. This helps move fluid back to your heart from your legs.
  • If you eat less salt, you may have less fluid buildup and less swelling.
  • Wear support socks, which can be bought at most pharmacies and medical supply shops.
  • When you’re on the road, get up and move around often.
  • Don’t wear clothes or garters that are too tight around your thighs.
  • If you need to, lose weight.
  • Don’t stop taking any medicine you think might be making your swollen ankle until you’ve talked to your doctor.

When to Seek Medical Help

Call 911 or the area number for emergencies if:

  • You can’t get enough air.
  • You have pain in your chest, especially if it feels like pressure or squeezing.

Immediately call your provider if:

  • You have heart or kidney problems, and the swelling gets worse.
  • You have had liver disease in the past, and now your legs or stomach are swollen.
  • Your swollen foot or leg feels red or hot when you touch it.
  • You’ve got a fever.
  • You are pregnant and have swelling that isn’t just mild or that gets worse all of a sudden.
    Call your doctor or nurse if self-care doesn’t help or if the swelling gets worse.

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