During certain instances, fluid escapes the capillaries (the smallest blood vessels in your body) and collects in the surrounding tissue. Such commonly happens in the ankles and feet, causing the said areas to appear swollen.
There are many different reasons why your ankles and feet can become swollen. Sometimes it’s due to standing or sitting for extended periods of time, such as when taking a long-haul flight. Other times it can be brought about by temperature changes, in particular an abrupt shift from cold to warm.
Women are more susceptible to having swollen ankles and feet, courtesy of hormonal changes. This is the reason why it is a common symptom of PMS. Pregnancy, too, can make such take place.
In some cases, the swelling of the ankles and feet can be due to a problem concerning the cardiovascular system. There are instances in which it is due to a kidney problem. No matter the reason, it’s of utmost importance for the individual with swollen ankles and feet to seek the help of a specialist.
For swollen ankles and feet due to non-serious causes, resting and elevating the affected areas of the body can help in making the swelling go away. Then there are also some very simple exercises that may be carried out. If your ankles and feet are swollen, try doing one or more of the following in order to attain immediate relief:
Performing toe squeezes is a great way to improve blood circulation to the feet and at the same time strengthen your toe muscles, not only helping to manage swelling in your feet but also minimize future occurrences.
In order to get started, sit on a chair and place cotton balls, packing peanuts or any other tiny squeezable objects in between your toes. Tighten your toe muscles to have the items in between your toes squeezed. Hold it for a couple of seconds and then release. Rest for a few seconds and repeat.
Try to complete 2 to 3 sets, with each set consisting of about 10 repetitions. It’s up to you if you want to exercise one foot at a time or both at once.
Doing side extensions is a great way to reduce swelling in the feet, most especially around the ankles. To perform this particular exercise, you have to use a resistance band. Fret not if you don’t have one because you may also rely on an oversized scrunchie or rubber band.
Sit on the floor with your legs stretched in front of you. Place your resistance band, scrunchie or rubber band around your feet, holding them together. Slowly and without causing your ankles to part ways, extend your feet to the sides — your left foot towards your left and your right foot towards your right.
Hold the position for about 5 seconds, go back to the starting position and rest for a couple of seconds. Repeat. Try to do 10 repetitions, completing 1 to 2 sets.
Point, Flex and Rotate
This particular exercise is good for relieving swelling in the feet as well as ankles. What’s so nice about it is it can be carried out while you are sitting or standing, provided that you are holding onto something for support.
Begin by taking one of your feet off the ground. Point it away from you, hold it for a couple of seconds, and then flex it towards you. After a couple of seconds, go back to the starting position. Afterwards, rotate your feet clockwise, and then going counterclockwise. You have just done a single repetition.
For best results, perform this exercise for swollen ankles and feet 10 to 12 times in a row. Afterwards, focus on pointing, flexing and rotating your other foot.