Edema, or swelling, of the foot and ankle is caused by excess fluid trapped in the body’s tissue. It can occur as a result of various medical conditions and is fairly common, particularly in the elderly who may suffer from weakened circulatory systems or diseases.
Edema of the lower extremities can result from the following conditions:
- Foot or ankle injury- Most commonly a sprained foot or ankle
- Venous insufficiency- a condition in which blood inadequately moves up the veins from the legs and feet up to the heart
- Blood clots and Burns
- Nutrition imbalances and lack of proper nourishment
- Kidney, liver, or heart disease
- Hormone imbalances (estrogen, birth control pills, testosterone)
- Menstruation and pregnancy
- Surgery in the foot, ankle, or leg
- Excessive bodily fluid
Swelling in your ankles and feet is uncomfortable, and sometimes can keep you from moving freely. Luckily, there are several ways to relieve swelling from everyday causes. Elevating the leg above the level of the heart is the first step in treating edema. Edema can be prevented by walking to improve circulation to the legs and feet; be sure to stand up and walk around during prolonged periods of sitting, even during traveling. Compression socks can be worn to prevent swelling during the course of the day. Exercise is a good way to keep blood and bodily fluids flowing properly, and diets high in sodium should be avoided.
Since edema can indicate a more serious underlying medical condition, it is best to consult your Cornerstone Foot & Ankle podiatrist for prolonged or recurring cases of swelling in the lower extremities, as well as edema accompanied by other symptoms. Cornerstone Foot & Ankle is here to get your feet feeling and looking their best! Call now or request your appointment online today!