What Causes Foot and Ankle Swelling?
Foot and ankle swelling indicates the presence of edema, which is the accumulation of bodily fluid in a particular region of the body. It should be noted that edema itself is not a condition, but rather, a symptom associated with a condition. The primary causes of edema include sedentary lifestyle, excessive salt consumption, and the use of specific medications such as NSAIDS. In other cases, PMS, pregnancy, blood clots, or high blood pressure can give rise to presence of edema, as well. This symptom is usually triggered when blood and fluid face difficulty traveling up the leg. As a result of this, the ankles, feet and legs develop edema, or swelling and bloating.
While edema itself is not a life threatening condition, it can be uncomfortable. Generally, individuals are told to address the root cause of their edema in order to mitigate foot and ankle swelling. However there are a number of different home remedies that one can use in order to treat this condition.
The first recommended natural remedy is to incorporate a magnesium supplement into the course of your daily diet. Sometimes, a severe deficiency in magnesium can spark an incident of edema, causing your ankles, legs and feet to swell. The daily recommendation for magnesium intake is approximately 350 mg per day.
Another great way to counteract the symptoms of edema is by doing yoga or performing light exercise, such as walking. Yoga and light exercise are effective because they promote circulation of the blood and fluids in the body, and they reduce blood pressure, which is one of the contributing factors of swollen feet and ankles.
Sometimes, soaking in a bathtub with lukewarm water and epsom salt is the best way to go about it. This is because the salt concentration of epsom salt is greater than that of the fluid accumulating in your feet ankles. As a result of this, the high salt concentration in the water can actually draw out excess fluid from your ankle and foot.
Many pantyhose are actually designed to add bodily support and to alleviate the symptoms of edema in the foot and ankle. These are referred to as compression hose, and they can be found at specific stores.
Another simplistic method of eliminating excess swelling is to simply elevate your feet. This will encourage accumulated blood and fluid to travel up the leg.
As you can see treating, foot and ankle swelling is not too complicated and is well worth it!
Dr. Ian S. Goldbaum is a Podiatric Physician and Surgeon serving patients in Boca Raton, Delray Beach and Boynton Beach.
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