Ankle swelling is a common problem, especially in the summer months. Heat and standing or sitting for long periods of time are just two of the more common causes of feet and ankle swelling. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help alleviate this problem.
- Check with your doctor. While ankle swelling is a common problem, it can also be a sign of a more serious condition. Before embarking on techniques to reduce ankle swelling, you'll want to rule out anything that needs medical attention.
- Elevate, elevate, elevate. While it's not always practical, probably the best way to reduce ankle swelling is to elevate your feet and legs and the higher the better. Even short stints of rest can be helpful.
- Skip the salt. Excess sodium will cause you to retain fluid so let the salt shaker pass on by at meals. Also monitor the food you eat for sodium levels. A low sodium diet should help with your swollen ankles.
- Exercise. Getting up and moving will help increase blood flow and reduce fluid retention, especially in the legs, feet and ankles. Walking is one of the best choices of exercise to help with swollen ankles. This is especially helpful if you have a desk job or engage in a sedentary lifestyle. Exercise will benefit you in other ways as well!
- Choose appropriate footwear. High heels and shoes that are tight fitting will make swollen feet and ankles worse. Choose comfortable, loose-fitting footwear.
- Wear compression stockings. This is an especially helpful tip if you're going to be on your feet for a long time or confined to sitting, as on an airplane.
- Take a multi-vitamin. Some vitamins are helpful with circulation and may help with your fluid retention.
- Consider a diuretic. Diuretics, which are routinely prescribed for fluid retention, are inexpensive and usually considered safe. Again, check with your doctor about the advisability of using a diuretic for your condition.