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Posts for tag: ankle swelling

    For many people, swollen feet and ankles after a long day at work are nothing new, but for someone suffering from Venous Insufficiency, swelling can be painful and dangerous. Venous Insufficiency refers to a valve malfunction in the veins of the legs that inhibits upward movement of blood. If left untreated, it can lead to varicose veins and leg ulcers.

READ MORE: Venous Insufficiency

Treatment is aimed at relieving symptoms and revitalizing the circulatory system. For most people this will involve losing weight, quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. All of these actions help to strengthen your heart and keep your blood flowing properly. Avoid sitting or standing for too long so that blood does not pool in the legs. If you are sitting, elevate your calves, ankles, and feet above the level of your thighs; when lying down, keep them above the level of your heart.

There are no medications to treat venous insufficiency, but antibiotics may be needed to treat skin infections. Practicing good skin hygiene can help avoid additional complications. Compression stockings are considered the most effective treatment for relieving swelling and pain. Store bought compression socks may help many people, but those living with venous insufficiency require socks with higher compression strengths and graduated designs that start tightest at the ankle and lessen power as they go up the leg.

Do not use elastic bandages or wraps as these may block circulation rather than assisting it. Avoid stockings or socks that bunch up and cut off blood flow and be sure to wash and dry them after each use to keep skin healthy and infection free. Treating the secondary factors of this disease is key to continued health.

READ MORE: Two Sides of Circulation

If you have significant swelling in the feet and ankles, a feeling of heaviness in your legs, or see increasing numbers of varicose veins call the FAAWC today. Early diagnosis and treatment can help keep you healthy and active.

 

A long, long time ago, in a land far, far away… just kidding, it was a grade school in Ohio… I remember a friend who would suffer an ankle sprain at least once a week during recess. Many of us thought she was possibly being over-dramatic, but some people do actually suffer from chronic ankle instability, which leaves them more prone to sprain and strains than the rest of us. This affects somewhere between 10 to 20 people out of every 100 who experience ankle sprains.

Based on the most current research, this isn’t necessarily a genetic condition. Most cases occur from a previous ankle sprain injury that does not heal correctly or fully. Those who ha e a high instep/arch are more susceptible since their feet do not adapt as well to unstable terrain as those with more flexible ligaments and arches. Patients report that after an initial sprain, their ankles feel less stable and have gotten more swollen and painful. Secondary complications may occur from this, including synovitis (joint swelling), tendonitis, and tendon tears. Instability can develop from overstretched or torn ligaments that grow back together too loosely. This affects the way bones and ligaments interact, which, of course, can cause more problems.

Our bodies react through a process called proprioception, which basically means our muscles react in a predictable way based on the chemical inputs they are receiving. This is what the subconscious parts of our brain do to control all motor functions in our body. If these receptors are not firing properly for our ankles, we may feel a constant sensation of instability of coordination.

If you experience chronic ankle instability, you have several treatment options based on the severity and longevity of the problem. Many patients are able to recover stability with simple exercises and the strategic use of an ankle brace. If only an ankle brace is used, coordination and strengthening exercises may be recommended as an important part of rehabilitation. In some cases, surgery may be the best option. Even after surgery, exercises and strict adhering to a doctor’s recommendations is the best option for a full and successful recovery.

Time is of the essence here. Early recognition and early treatment will mean a shorter recovery time and better future foot health for you. If you experience chronic pain from ankle sprains or any sort of injury, please visit your podiatrist to have an evaluation. Early recognition could mean the difference between several weeks of wearing a brace and strengthening exercises and a few months of surgical recovery. I say it in almost every blog post, but pain is NOT NORMAL. If you are still experiencing complications after an ankle sprain, please go see your podiatrist and get it check out before it become a chronic problem.