Ankle swelling can be caused by a variety of factors. Doctors on WebMD have mentioned ankle swelling as a normal occurrence during pregnancy. However, any sudden or severe swelling in the ankle can be a cause for concern as it indicates the onset of preeclampsia.
Alternatively, a swollen ankle caused by a sprain is medically termed as an ankle ligamentous sprain and is noted as the most common sports-related injury. Another cause of a swollen ankle is the lymphedema which occurs as a result of the collection of lymph fluid in the tissues due to lymph problems. Blood not flowing properly toward the ankle also causes ankle swelling, so does infection from insect bites or sometimes in allergic reactions.
The National Athletic Trainers Association suggests that various balance exercises reduce the rate of re-injury and swelling. The reason to treat ankle swelling naturally is that the inadequate treating of repeatedly swollen ankles may lead to ankle instability and even osteoarthritis.
Here are 10 remedies that might be useful when you suddenly experience a swollen ankle.
Any swelling can be remedied with ice. Ice works to reduce any redness, swelling, inflammation and pain. Ice is also responsible for preventing any torn ligaments from bleeding. For the ice to work properly, it is suggested that it be applied immediately when the ankle swelling occurs. Ice packs also work on reducing inflammation when it is applied to the inflamed area one or two days after the swelling occurs. To reap the benefits of never apply the cold ice directly onto the injury.
Exposing the bare skin to ice may cause further skin damage and is not at all beneficial to the swollen region. Instead, wrap the ice in a cloth or towel and apply the iced towel or cloth on the inflamed area. An alternative to ice cubes in the frozen bags of peas or carrots that you take straight out of the freezer. This must only be applied two to three times in total and within reasonable intervals of time.
The reason why this procedure works is that the pressure applied to the inflamed area controls pain and prevents further pain and swelling. Like the ice technique, this recovery mechanism works best when applied immediately after swelling has been noticed. To compress an area, use an elastic bandage, support pantyhose, tape or even compression socks or cabbage leaves. Compression socks work best for swollen ankles as the greatest compression occurs in the ankle region and the least amount of compression happens in the calf region.
In this manner, compression fights gravity and helps the body by getting deoxygenated blood to flow back to the heart. Compressing an affected area assist in alleviating further swelling and increases blood circulation which aids the healing process. According to the European Society of Sports, Traumatology compression works best when it is done in conjunction with elevation. The compressed swollen ankle must be raised all throughout the day and night to ensure ultimate healing.
Turmeric is an ingredient used to make golden milk in the Middle East and is known for its vast array of healing properties. Turmeric has been researched and has been noted for its anti-inflammatory properties. Strikingly enough turmeric also has anti-spasmodic properties and as such relaxes muscles, lymph tissues and reduces pain. Turmeric will speed up healing when consumed internally or when applied externally as a paste.
For unbearable pain, turmeric should ideally be mixed with milk. This golden milk mixture must be drunk twice a day. Turmeric paste is obtained by mixing at least two tablespoons of turmeric with a tablespoon of lime juice and a tiny bit of water. This paste can then be placed directly on the swollen area and closed off with a bandage. Leaving the thick paste on the infected area overnight works to heal the pain inflicted area better and faster. A heated thicker turmeric paste, when left on overnight, may lead to a speedier healing process.
4. Pampering and Feet Care
Many times the swelling in the ankle is the result of overexertion. This means that you may need to relax your tired feet and burdened ankles. Soak your aching feet in a bath filled with lukewarm water and some Epsom salts. Epsom salts are known to eliminate stress and heal aching muscles and bones. The soaking effect is both relaxing and soothing to your feet. Use massaging oils to heal the ankles whilst stimulating blood flow at the same time.
There are some massage oils specifically known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil, tea tree oil, and lemon oil are all useful anti-inflammatory oils that assist in reducing feet and ankle swelling. Chamomile oil aids in promoting relaxation. Castor oil is one such oil that helps alleviate any ankle swelling and inflammation. A mustard oil or grapefruit essential oil massage will ensure proper blood circulation which will also reduce the redness and swelling in the ankle area.
5. Saline Solution
The consumption of too much salt is known to cause a lot of medical problems. The reason is that salt often causes the body to retain water. On the flip side, making a saltwater solution to alleviate swollen ankles could just be the home treatment. No need to worry about how much salt you use, because in this case the more salt the better.
Think of the real taste of the sea and try to recreate this when creating your healing saline solution. In this context, the salt works to draw the fluids in order to ensure that the body can start eliminating them. It also assists in inflammation, which in turn means that the ankles are less painful. If the frequency of swollen ankles is high, so should the remedy used. Sometimes it is best to enjoy a warm water soak, even if your ankles aren’t excessively swollen. This acts as a preventative measure.
6. Healthy Habits and Diet
Sometimes all that is needed to heal swelling, whether it be swelling in the ankle area or anywhere else, is a change in diet. Smoking is known to have the side effect of increasing the likelihood of swelling. Quitting smoking may reduce swollen ankles and will prove rather beneficial to your health in general. Another cause of swelling is dehydration thus it is important to increase your liquid intake and stay hydrated to eliminate the swelling and heal quicker.
Eating more fruits and vegetables will also prove beneficial to your overall health and may help you battle any pain and inflammation. Food that is rich in magnesium is essential for your diet as magnesium is known to reduce swelling and speed up the healing process. A lack of magnesium may also cause the accumulation of fluid in tissues (edema). Edema could be a reason for ankle swelling and pain. A magnesium supplement may need to be taken twice daily to increase the magnesium in the body.
7. Drink Diuretic Teas
If too much water content in your body is causing the swelling then a good cup of parsley leaf tea is ideal. Dry parsley leaves boiled in water with some lemon is an excellent combination that tastes good and works towards reducing swollen ankles. Parsley is a vital component in swollen ankle reduction is because it is a natural diuretic. Parsley works by increasing the number of times you urinate and prevents the build-up of liquid.
Flaxseed tea is another type of tea to drink for about fourteen days until the swelling disappears. Another tea that is good for eliminating water content in the body is a dandelion tea. Dandelion is rich in flavonoids and potassium which equally work to reduce extreme swelling. Just like the parsley tea, the dandelion tea works on increasing urination and getting rid of excess fluids. Rosehip tea is another type of tea that is a natural diuretic.
8. Exercise and Get Moving
Exercise works, particularly well when the ankles are swollen due to poor blood circulation. Keeping fit and exercising at least twice or thrice a week helps keep your heart healthy and hence boosts circulation. Any form of exercise is essential to engage in, so opt for yoga, swimming, dancing and even running. For swollen ankles, swimming or gently floating in water can provide relief and reduce swelling.
The force of your body against the water improves circulation whilst simultaneously giving your body some relief from the constant flow of gravity. Exercise not only promotes blood circulation but also gets rid of any excess fluid in your legs. Yoga in itself can promote healing and reduce swelling as there are certain yoga positions that are meant to reduce ankle and feet swelling. If you opt for yoga as a healing treatment be sure to start off under the firm guidance of a trained yoga instructor.
9. Elevation For Alleviation
This method as a natural treatment for swollen ankles is best used when you have a compress. The dual action of pain reduction and blood flow stimulation makes it easier to get quick relief. The problem with swollen ankles is that they not only make it hard to walk but they come with the added side effect of pain. In some cases, the throbbing pain far outweighs the swelling. Lifting your feet up about heart level makes the difference. It ensures that the stagnant fluids are forced to move by gravity.
It is best to make yourself comfortable as the longer you are able to retain this position the better the outcome. Using a cabbage leaf compress is great for swollen ankles. This compress can be made by slightly beating the inner cabbage leaves with a rolling pin to release juices and must be warmed in the oven. After the leaves are warmed they must be placed on the inflicted area and secured firmly in place with gauze.
10. Olive Oil Massage
When it comes to good nutrition, olive oil comes in as one of the highly recommended. With a reputation for containing a high number of fatty acids along with Vitamin E and K, it seems that this oil could do no wrong. When seeking some remedial effect from the aching of swollen ankles, using this oil for a massage is ideal. This type of oil has a phenol compound that can eliminate swelling.
It best to warm the oil to about room temperature in order to apply it to the skin. If the swollen ankles fee worse when touched, best to ask someone to assist. The should gently massage you, for a maximum of 20 minutes. Alternatively, you can call in a professional to create an olive oil infusion and give your feet that proper care in order to assist with the swollen ankles. The nutrients in the oil also get absorbed into the skin to help further soothe the affected area.