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Swollen ankles? Why me…

Jan 11th, 2014

Nicola asked The Guru for the following Physiotherapy Advice:

I broke my foot last April and have torn ligaments in both ankles ( I haven’t been very lucky!). Since this happened I have noticed very bad swelling in both feet quite often. Do you know why this is and how to stop it? Also, do you think Pilates or Yoga would hel or make it worse?

Jan 11th, 2014

The Guru Responded:

Hi Nicola
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I suppose it does depend on where you broke your foot and have you sprained your ankle before or after your broke your foot.
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Swollen ankles are common, as they sit right at the lowest point of your body and need a larger amount of pressure to pump fluid around the system by your heart, as say compared to your arm.
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The longer something stays swollen the longer it will remain swollen as the skin “stretches” causing an area of low pressure. The body tries to equalise the pressure by allowing fluid to pool there.
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To keep ankles free of swelling you need to keep your muscles especially your calf (which acts as big pump) functioning.
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Pilates, stability and strenght training all get big ticks. I think Yoga would be neutral for this.
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The only other point to mention is that not knowing your age, some heart conditions will give swollen ankles with pitting oedema which can be helped with water tablets. Obviously if any of this sounds familiar then do see your GP…..
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Good Luck

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