“Light and puffy” can be a great thing. Think of puffy drifts of powder snow on the ski resorts here in Colorado. As long as it’s not too deep, it’s smooth for skiing and relatively soft for a wipe out on the slopes! One thing you don’t want to see, though, are puffed up lower limbs. Swollen ankles are usually a symptom of a problem and can be quite uncomfortable.
Edema is a buildup of fluid in your soft tissues. You get ankle swelling for many different reasons, including pregnancy, infection, spending too long on your feet without a break, and injuries. Even being overweight and taking medications may contribute to swollen ankles.
This may or may not cause pain. The edema can make your shoes, socks, or ski boots feel tight and uncomfortable. If it’s the result of an injury, it will probably be painful and tender to the touch. Either way, fluid pooling in your tissues isn’t good for them or comfortable for you. Fortunately, there are easy ways you can eliminate the puffiness around your joints. Here are a few tricks to try:
Exercise – Sitting for too long can allow fluids to pool in your ankles. Exercise a little each day. Try a walk, ride your bike, go for a run, or do anything that involves your feet. Moving muscles help pump the excess fluid back into your blood vessels.
Get off Your Feet – Standing in place for too long can be just as much of a problem as sitting for too long. Move around to keep your blood circulating, and take breaks to sit down and prop up your feet.
Stay Hydrated – It may seem counterintuitive, but the more water you drink, the less likely you’ll get swollen ankles. Dehydrated tissues are more likely to hold onto water.
Massage the Tissues – Much like exercise helps work the fluid out of your tissues, massaging your feet may reduce swelling as well.
Because swollen ankles can sometimes be a symptom of a more serious underlying problem, don’t ignore it. Seek help to determine what is causing the problem so it can be accurately treated. Our team of experts at Podiatry Associates, P.C. can help. Just call (303) 805-5156 to reach one of our two offices in Castle Pines or Parker, CO, for an appointment.
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