At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, we know that swollen feet and ankles can range from mildly uncomfortable to downright painful. Similarly, the causes behind the swelling—known in the medical world as edema—can be harmless or may be pointing to a potentially harmful medical condition. If swelling is an ongoing problem or causing you substantial discomfort, make an appointment at our Edison (732-204-6630), Monroe (732-204-6802), or Monmouth Junction (732-204-6945) office to get your feet evaluated. Below are some common causes of foot and ankle swelling.
- Too much time on or off your feet. Not changing positions for long periods can result in swelling. Moving around helps pump fluid and blood to and from your limbs. If you have a job that keeps you standing or sitting all day, be sure to get up (or sit down), take a walk or stretch to keep fluid from pooling in your feet.
- A recent injury. Did you walk into the kitchen table or hit your foot when opening the closet door? Even if it wasn’t painful at the moment, swelling could occur after the fact.
- Weight gain. Carrying excess weight puts extra pressure on joints, particularly those in the lower extremities, causing them to retain fluid. This is one reason why pregnant women often suffer from swollen feet and ankles during the last trimester of pregnancy.
- Certain medications—both prescription and over the counter—can cause fluid retention. These include some blood pressure drugs, antidepressants, and hormones. Even non-steroidal anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen may have this effect.
- Damage or blockage to the lymphatic system can cause fluid to pool in your legs, feet, and ankles. Lymphedema can be a result of cancer treatments or infection.
- Diseases and disorders that cause joint inflammation is another possible explanation of swelling.
- Liver, kidney, or heart or circulation problem. More serious medical problems such as hypertension, blood clots, liver, or kidney disease may also reveal themselves in swelling of the lower extremities. For this reason, it’s important to have one of our podiatrists, Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, examine your swollen feet or ankles and diagnose the source of the edema. If swelling is accompanied by other alarming symptoms such as shortness of breath or dizziness, seek medical help immediately.
If you have additional questions about edema, contact us.