What is Edema, and How Do You Battle Swollen Feet and Achy Ankles?

By May 22, 2024cold pack, Hot Pack

Many of us deal with swollen feet and puffy ankles from time to time. This is especially common for athletes and those who spend much time on their feet. Whether from standing all day, certain medical conditions, or other factors, this swelling often means fluid buildup or inflamed cells. The discomfort can vary from mild irritation to intense pain.

Also known as Edema in medical circles, swelling in the feet might seem harmless but could hint at serious health issues. When left untreated, it can worsen, leading to increased pain, difficulty walking, stiffness in the joints, excessive skin stretching, and negative body image. If swelling is an ongoing problem or causing substantial discomfort, it’s advisable to seek medical help to determine the underlying cause and formulate an appropriate management plan. Understanding the causes behind swollen legs and achy feet is crucial for finding the right treatment path.

Fortunately, there are effective ways to alleviate Edema-related discomfort and make you feel comfortable again. In this article, we will share the most common causes and offer effective remedies to help ease the discomfort that comes with swollen, achy feet.

Reasons For Swollen Ankles and Feet

While the reasons for swollen ankles can vary, edema occurs when excess fluid accumulates in the spaces between tissues and organs. Fluid build-up can leak into tissues, resulting in a puffy swelling in the lower part of the body due to the effect of gravity pulling on fluid downward. 

Everyday occurrences can trigger mild cases of Edema. Sitting or staying in one position for an extended period, indulging in salty foods, experiencing premenstrual symptoms, or being pregnant can all contribute to the swelling. Certain medications, such as high blood pressure medicines, steroid medicines, and estrogens, can also noticeably impact fluid retention in the body, particularly in the ankles, feet, and legs.

An injury resulting from inflammation and increased fluid accumulation could also contribute to ankle swelling. Sudden swelling is the body’s natural response and could stem from various causes, including sprains, strains, fractured bones, or surgical procedures.

Serious Conditions Associated with Swelling Feet

While swelling in your lower extremities can often be attributed to benign causes such as prolonged standing, it can also be a warning sign for more serious health conditions. In some cases, edema may be a symptom of heart failure or poor blood circulation, as the heart struggles to pump blood effectively, leading to fluid buildup in the legs, ankles, and feet. Similarly, liver disease can cause Edema due to impaired liver function, leading to fluid retention in the abdomen and lower extremities.

Identifying and addressing these systemic issues is crucial for effectively alleviating swelling and preventing additional health complications. Other underlying conditions that could contribute to puffy ankles and feet include:

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Lymphedema
  • Preeclampsia 

Can Cold Therapy Reduce Feet and Ankle Swelling

Often, swollen ankles and feet seem to flare out of the blue. For individuals with mild to moderate swelling, lacking severe pain or asymmetry between limbs, several at-home strategies can provide relief and help prevent future episodes.

One quick answer to relieving swollen and aching feet fast is the “PRICE” method: Protect your feet, Rest, and use Ice, Compression, and Elevation to accelerate your recovery. Regular movement and exercise are equally vital, particularly for individuals with sedentary lifestyles characterized by prolonged periods of sitting or standing.

Cold therapy is a simple and time-tested solution that has been proven to reduce swelling and inflammation effectively. Applying cold for around 20 minutes several times a day will decrease blood flow to the affected area, helping maintain swelling at a normal level while reducing pain sensitivity. 

Cold therapy can come from several products and delivers targeted relief to the affected area for on-spot treatment. These products are also designed to be gentle on the skin and conform to the body’s contours. Innovative formulations enable them to retain colder temperatures, unlike regular ice, which is filled with ice water and cannot last over a specific period.

Partner with Rapid Aid as Your Ice Pack Company

Rapid Aid proudly serves millions worldwide with our traditional approach to healthcare, particularly in relieving swollen feet. We are dedicated to developing innovative hot and cold therapy products, including instant/reusable packs and wellness and comfort products, to offer users the convenience they deserve in addressing this prevalent concern.

As a trusted leader in hot and cold therapy we partner closely with some of the world’s largest medical companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, retailers, and transportation firms.

Contact us for more information about how we can stock products that can help your patients and customers with their foot pain.

Remember, for any specific medical concerns or advice related to medical conditions, such as using ice packs for feet, it is essential to consult a qualified healthcare professional.