Don's Home Health Sports Injuries Hip and Leg Injuries Ankle and Leg Swelling
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    Ankle and/or Leg Swelling is most commonly caused by edema (water retention)

    Causes: Most common:

    • A blood clot causing increased pressure in a vein.
    • Infection causing the lymph ondes to swell
    • Varicose veins - usually occur because valves become damaged;
    • A cyst may press against a vein
    • Lymphatic system problems - Excess fluid from tissues is not removed fast enough.

    Life issues:

    Medical issues:

    • Heart problems - A weak heart will not get enough circulation to the limbs.
    • Kidney problems - Kidneys will not be able to eliminate enough fluid and sodium from the blood.
    • Liver problems - The secretion of hormones and fluid-regulating chemicals is affected.
    • Diabetes -
    • Since the ankle is a joint linking the foot to the upper leg, it has an extensive network of blood vessels running through it. When some of these vessels are constricted, blood flow is restricted in the leg and edema (water accumulation) quickly results.
    • Arthritis - Causes inflammation around joints.
    • Thyroid problems

    Training for distance running:

    • Stress fracture
    • Synovitis - Inflammation of the ankle lining
    • Tendinitis
    • Excessive pronation
    This type of injury is not uncommon for those who train for longer races, especially if your training includes frequent running on concrete or asphalt and up and down hills, which places more stress on the ankle structures, including the Achilles' tendon.

    Ask the Coaches: Ankle Swelling | Running Times

    Diagnosis: A GP is usually the first place to start.
    If it is related to sports training a sports medicine specialist or Physical Therapists can help.
    • RICE - Rest, Ice (15 min. several times a day), Compression, and Elevation
    • Exercise
    • Elevation
    • Diuretics - They work by preventing the reabsorption or water in the kidneys. This leads to increased urine production and a quick reduction in the amount of water retained in the body. There are 3 major classes of diuretics used in treating pedal edema. These are loop diuretics, thiazide diuretics and potassium-sparing diuretics.
      Some herbs e.g. dandelion, ginkgo biloba and horse chestnut have diuretic properties.
    • Compression Stockings (A doctor can prescribe heavy duty stockings)
    If it is related to distance running training:
    When the pain and swelling have subsided and you have normal motion of your ankles, you may be able to resume running. First, try rising on your toes repeatedly. If this is painful, no running yet. If you don't have pain with this test, then try hopping a few times on your right and then left leg. If this is pain-free, you may begin a run-walk program, gradually progressing to a running program.

    Water and Fluid Retention in Legs -
    What Is Edema? What Causes Edema? - Medical News Today
    Women's Health Tips | Causes of Swollen Ankles During Menopause
    Sore Ankle from Running -

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last updated 2 Apr 2014