In this week’s blog, we discuss yet another growing epidemic across the world. This, of course, is swollen ankles and feet. While mainly stemming from excessive water retention, there are several causes attributed to swollen ankles and feet. Like other common foot ailments and disorders, these issues can severely restrict mobility and lead to a range of other health issues. At Footlogics, we are committed to informing our loyal customers and readers about the dangers of swollen feet. We will also discuss the medical causes, along with interactions with medicine that can lead to minor or extensive forms of “elephantitis” in the legs.
Why our Ankles and Feet Swell?
Swollen feet and ankles stem from a myriad of causes. In medical terms, the word swollen means abnormally distended or protuberant. This simply means if an ankle or the feet are swollen – they increase in size. Along with standing for extensive periods of time, swollen feet and ankles are due to an increase of fluid in the tissues. This is also known as termed edema, and affects millions of people across the globe. Certain foot and ankle injuries, along with inflammation or atrophy can also result in mild to severe swelling. While pain can also occur, the main issues revolve around swelling serving as obstacles that hinder overall walking performance. People suffering from diabetes, blood clots, and other common and intricate disorders can also experience foot swelling at any time.
Swelling is also common with torn ligaments, tendons, and broken bones. While ice and other creams are available to help bring down the swelling, recurring issues may be the sign of other underlying factors and concerns. If you or a loved one is experiencing constant swelling of the toes and feet, immediate medical attention is needed. Speaking to primary care physicians is also paramount, along with having the feet and ankles checked by a local foot specialist or podiatrist. According to the American Podiatric Association, the following causes of foot swelling and ankles are very common among families and individuals:
• Edema or dependent swelling – This is swelling due to standing for extensive periods of time. Wearing uncomfortable shows or walking too much can also contribute to swelling.
• Pregnancy – Most women that are expecting tend to deal with normal swelling of the ankles, feet, and toes.
• Medication Side Effects – There are several medications with side effects involving fluid retention. This leads to mild to extensive swelling in the feet, ankles, and toes. Medications that cause swelling include anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID and steroids), hormonal pills or injections, along with diabetic and anti-depressant/anxiety medications. Calcium channel blockers and cardiac medications lead to swelling as well.
• Injuries – Trauma to the foot or ankle by way of sprains and fractures can also lead to swelling.
• Infections – Infections are synonymous with swelling. This includes localized infections (abscess), along with diffuse or cellulitis.
• Diseases – There are a number of diseases that cause foot and ankle swelling as well. This includes heart, liver, and kidney disease. These diseases result in excessive fluid mobilization throughout the foot and ankles.
• Lymphedema – This is swelling due to lymph vessel or node blockage of lymph fluids.
• Blood clots – Blockage of venous blood vessels also lead to minor or mass swelling. This is due to fluid leaking out of vessels that seep into the tissues.
If you or a loved one is dealing with sporadic or chronic foot and ankle swelling, time is simply of the essence. Contact your local podiatrist or primary care physicians for a thorough checkup and treatment options. Over the counter orthotics from Footlogics may be helpful as well..