Ankle swelling is considered as a common condition that can affect anyone at any age. In some cases, peripheral edema which is the unusual accumulation of fluid can cause the ankles to swell among those who sit or stand for extended period of time. In some women, they can also experience ankle swelling during their menstrual period and it can also indicate preeclampsia among pregnant women. Always remember that ankle swelling can be considered as a response to injury, obesity, trauma and even exposure to certain medications.
How to identify the exact cause of ankle swelling
Determining the exact cause that triggers ankle swelling is important. If the swelling is caused by an external stimulus such as the intake of blood pressure medications or antidepressants, it is best to consult a doctor to make the necessary adjustments on these medications.
In case the ankle swelling is due to trauma or injury such as a pulled muscle or sprain, the swelling must be closely monitored since it can indicate a more serious injury that would require immediate emergency care.
Treatment for ankle swelling
Once swelling is noted in the ankle, you have to instruct the individual to sit or recline with the affected ankle elevated higher than the level of the heart. In case of an injury such as a sprain, you have to apply an ice pack for 20 minutes every two hours to help minimize the swelling and pain due to the inflammation.
In cases where the issue is the retention of fluid, the individual must reduce his/her salt intake to help minimize the swelling in the ankles. Analgesics such as acetaminophen can be given to reduce the pain linked with the injury as well as anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen to reduce the swelling due to the inflammation.
Depending on the severity of the ankle swelling, you can perform these treatment options to help reduce the swelling and pain. When it comes to injuries that involve swelling, timely delivery of first aid care is a must. By enrolling in a first aid course, you can learn the appropriate measures to take.
Once the individual experiences shortness of breath or chest pain aside from the abrupt swelling of the ankles, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible since this can indicate a heart attack.
Always remember that ankle swelling that is accompanied by an abrupt decrease in the urine or fever is an issue to be worried about. The individual must be taken to a doctor as soon as possible.
As for pregnant women who experience more than a minor case of ankle swelling, a doctor must be consulted. If the home treatment options could not help minimize the swelling in the ankles or if the swelling worsens, it is best to seek immediate medical care.