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    Suggest treatment for swollen ankles

Posted on Wed, 9 Aug 2017 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Question: I have swollen ankles. Should I use heat or cold to make the swelling go down?
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 1 hour later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

The best thing to do for swollen ankles is to elevate your legs. Swelling (the type that is in both legs, not just one side) can be from vascular insufficiency (where the valves of the deep veins are somewhat stretched and allow back flow of fluid into lower parts of the body) or from heart problems (where the heart doesn't pump blood around the body well, called congestive heart disease).

Raising your legs as much and as often as possible helps for return of fluids back into the systemic blood flow where the excess fluid will be removed by the kidneys.

So while heat or cold may feel good, depending on which you like, neither will help the return of the excess fluid in the way that you are hoping for. Heat is good for drawing blood to an area to help skin infections, and cold is good for decreasing inflammation. But this will be helped more with countering gravity.

So raise those legs up and the swelling will go down in time.

I hope this information helps.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Answered by
Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3136 Questions


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