We all love the warm weather, this means more time outdoors, glowy tans and generally much more human friendly conditions. However, this also means swollen ankles/feet for some of us! Fortunately, there are some remedies that can give your feet some relief.
The first obvious treatment for swollen legs is raising your legs above heart level. Sitting back and elevating your feet for about one hour should be enough to reduce benign episodes of heat swelling. You could also try wearing support or compression socks moving around and massaging your ankles to increase circulation.
Common Causes Swollen Ankles:
- Too Much Salt – When your body has too much sodium and not enough water, your body will retains any water you drink – which will cause swelling in the ankles.
- Gravity – Too much standing or sitting can cause the fluids in your body to pool in the lower extremities.
- Heat – Excess body heat can cause the blood vessels to expand, allowing fluids to flow into the surrounding tissues.
- Medications – Certain medications, such as antidepressants (MAO inhibitors & tricyclics), calcium channel blocker blood pressure pills, estrogen-containing hormone birth control pills, testosterone and steroids can all contribute to swollen ankles
- Organ Failure – Problems with the heart, kidneys or liver can cause circulation issues, resulting in ankle swelling.
- Obesity – If you are overweight, you are more likely to get swollen ankles.
- Pregnancy – During pregnancy, the extra fluid in the body and the pressure from the growing uterus can cause swelling in the ankles and feet.
Tips To Avoid Swollen Ankles During Hot Weather
- Drink more water! You should be drinking at least eight glasses a day.
- Avoid really long walks in the heat. Choose to exercise during the cooler parts of the day.
- Limit dietary sodium like table salt, salted peanuts, pretzels, chips, breakfast cereals, and other salty foods.
- Try a cooling ankle brace, ankle cold-pack or ankle wrap.
- Massage the feet and ankles to promote lymphatic drainage. Use a cooling cream for added relief.
- Flex and bend your ankles in circular motions to get your blood moving.
- If you stand all day at work, take “walking breaks” during the day to ease the pressure and discomfort.
- Cool your ankles down by placing a wet towel over them.