You may have heard someone complain about having “sores”. The word “cankle” is not a medical term, but a common slang term that combines the words “calf” and “ankle”. It refers to an area of the lower leg where the ankle and calf come together. This term describes a swollen ankle that is difficult to distinguish from the calf muscle.
Swollen ankles can be caused by medical conditions such as cellulitis, congestive heart failure, and in pregnant women, preeclampsia. But they can also be caused by mild problems like blood clots in the ankles from sitting for too long, premenstrual syndrome and, according to investigations published in Annals of Family Medicineeven seasonal changes in summer weather.
Why do I have swollen ankles?
So how do you know if you have swollen ankles? In a typical leg, the ankle area is thinner than the calf. But the feet of people with ankle swelling are different. People with swollen ankles have similar sized calf and ankle areas. There are almost no lines in the calves and the shins look fuller than usual.
So is ankle swelling normal? Sometimes they are. You may have swollen ankles because your parents used to have them. But there are different causes of swollen ankles, and some can indicate an unusual medical problem.
Painless swelling, or edema, in the ankle area can occur if you are experiencing normal hormonal fluctuations. You may also notice swollen ankles after sitting for a long time in a car or plane. Certain medications can cause swelling in the ankle area, and it can also happen after certain types of surgery.
Another word for swelling is edema. Edema is swelling caused by too much fluid accumulation in the body’s tissues.
But swelling in the lower leg can also indicate a problem. Swollen feet, legs, and ankles can be caused by a blood clot, a leg infection, or when the veins can’t pump blood back to the heart properly. Swollen feet can also be a sign of heart failure, kidney failure, or liver failure.
If you are concerned about swelling in your legs or if you notice an increase in swelling, talk to a healthcare professional. If your bump is accompanied by chest pain or difficulty breathing, call 911.
Lifestyle changes to improve swollen ankles
If you’ve ruled out a serious medical problem, you may be wondering if a swollen ankle can be cured. There are a number of ways that can help reduce puffiness in your shins.
Reduce foods with saturated fat
High-fat foods are also high-calorie foods. Fat provides nine calories per gram. Carbohydrates and protein provide only four calories per gram. It is essential to maintain adequate amounts of healthy fats such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
In addition, many foods high in saturated fat are also high in sodium. Fried foods are a prime example. When you reduce the amount of salt and saturated fat in your diet, you may notice an improvement in your swelling in just a few weeks.
Sometimes swollen ankles are caused by diet-related swelling. For example, if you eat a diet high in sodium, you can retain water throughout your body. You may notice it more in the ankle area. There are some natural herbs (like parsley) that help reduce water weight, but you can also eat fewer processed foods and ditch the salt shaker to reduce sodium in your diet.
Another smart dietary change is to check your starchy carb intake. Carbohydrates are an important part of a healthy diet. But if you eat a diet high in starchy, sugary foods, you may retain more water. If you balance your macronutrients (get enough protein, healthy fats, and nutrient-rich carbohydrates), you may notice a reduction in water weight, which reduces edema.
Get an activity tracker or pedometer and increase your steps. Walking is a great exercise for everyone, but it’s especially good for people with swollen ankles. Walking improves circulation in the legs and helps build leg muscles. When the calves are more prominent and stretched, the ankles look smaller.
Eat more vegetables
At mealtimes, cut your servings of meat in half and double the amount of vegetables on your plate. Why? First, you’ll cut calories in your meals by eating low-calorie roughage. And you’ll probably also reduce your salt intake by cutting back on your meat intake. Finally, the fiber in vegetables helps increase feelings of satisfaction after a meal.
Exercises to reduce swelling
Even if you don’t change your diet, there are simple exercises you can do throughout the day to help increase circulation in your legs, shape muscles, and reduce the appearance of swelling. ankle.
The great news is that you don’t have to break a sweat or go to the gym to do many of those moves. Do a few of these exercises while cooking dinner, talking on the phone, or folding laundry to shape your legs.
In a standing position, lift your heels off the ground so you’re standing on the ball of your feet. Balance on a chair or table top if needed. Do 7-10 repetitions. As your fitness level increases, try to do this exercise without holding on to support.
You can do complete barbell exercises at home to shape your legs more attractively, or you can practice several movements during the day.
To do the plie, start in a standing position. Place your heels together and rotate your toes out to each side. When you look down at your feet, they should look like a V. Bend your knees slightly, then return to the starting position. Repeat the exercise 10 times. (Hint: work your muscles and do this exercise without clinging to a chair or counter for support. You’ll also work your abs.)
Stair toe lift
Stand on the stairs and let your heels touch the edge. Hold onto the railing for support. Now raise and lower your heels. Repeat the exercise 7-10 times.
Got a little more time? If you’re healthy enough to be active, do more intense cardio exercises to help shape your legs. Activities that involve the calf muscles will provide the greatest benefit. Jumping rope, climbing stairs, and jogging work well. The plyometric movements involved in jumping will also help you reduce swelling. Squats, lunges, and box jumps are good examples.
A word from Verywell
Understanding why your ankle is swollen is important to make sure you’re not at risk for serious medical problems. When you talk to your healthcare provider to rule out serious problems, you have a variety of ways to deal with swelling.
The good news is that interventions to reduce swelling are all things that contribute to your overall health. You don’t have to aim for perfection, but every positive change you make will help reduce swelling and contribute to your health.
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