Plagued by Puffy Ankles? : Here is What You Need to Know
Puffy ankles are a problem faced by many of us. The range of puffiness varies and sometimes people ignore it completely because they see it is a slight swelling. Others are really bothered by their swollen ankles because it can be painful and also because they feel swollen ankles are unsightly. Whether you are bothered by the appearance of the swollen look or not, it is important to understand the cause of your puffy ankles because it can be a critical clue to your health and well being.
Puffiness around the ankle area following a fall or physical injury is usually attributable to a fracture, sprain or muscle strain. If you see any swelling following an injury, you should visit your doctor and get it properly diagnosed to ensure that you are not ignoring a fracture.
Sometimes there is non-injury related puffiness and this is the one that people tend to ignore often. They do not see an immediate cause for it and are dismissive of this development. Puffy ankles can reveal much about what your body is dealing with and should always be examined seriously.
Those who have reason to be on their feet a lot and are overusing their ankles can be affected by this problem. Conversely, those who lead very sedentary lifestyles and are having inadequate exercise can also be affected by puffy ankles. Sometimes, improper footwear can be causing more that a slight discomfort – it can pinch a nerve or cause overt pressure on a muscle and this can lead to swelling also.
Other than these issues which are local to the foot region that can cause swelling, puffy ankles can also be caused by vascular of circulatory problems. When valves of the veins are inefficient or weak, blood can back up in the ankle area and cause swelling. The reason that doctors stress the need for watching out for swelling is that it is sometimes an indicator of heart failure. It is advisable to monitor your blood pressure if you are dealing with chronic puffy ankles. Water retention which is what leads to the swelling in the ankles is often also symptomatic of lymphatic issues, kidney diseases, diabetes, gout and rheumatoid arthritis. All this means that you should consult a doctor to rule out major health problems when you start seeing swollen ankles.
After getting medical advice to rule out any major health issues, you can try some things at home to deal with the problem also:
Those who get inadequate exercise should make it a point to schedule walks or runs to make sure they are moving the muscles in the area.
People who overuse the muscles can try soaking their feet in cold water or even use ice compresses to reduce the swelling.
Another time-tested relief for puffy ankles is to elevate your feet. By lying down and raising your feet above your heart, you can reduce the flow of liquids to the ankle area and this will help in reducing the swelling.
If a new medication is causing the swelling, you should talk to your doctor about changing the dosage or finding alternatives for the medicine.
You can also try compression in the area by using elastic bandages or ankle braces. This will also help you avoid unnecessary or unsafe movements.
Those having swelling without any accompanying pain may benefit from minor massaging of the area. Gently rubbing the area with finger tips and moving the fluids away from the ankle can be soothing and can help reduce the swelling.
Doctors also suggest that those dealing with ankle swelling should walk in waist-deep water and the water movement against the muscle can be beneficial.
Those suffering from puffy ankles should see it as offering an insight into their state of health and take appropriate measures to deal with it.