For most people, old age comes with a lot of health problems. The body simply does not work as it used to when they were younger and there is a number of health issues that are associated with old age. Swollen ankles and feet are not limited only to elderly, but they do seem to suffer from it more often than healthy younger people.
Causes of swollen ankles in elderly
An elder person can suffer from swollen ankles for a number of reasons. Some of them are completely harmless, like standing or sitting for too long or wearing poor-fitting footwear. However, swelling of the ankles can also be caused by certain conditions and diseases. In order to successfully overcome this problem, it is necessary to know its cause.
The single most common cause of swollen ankles and feet in elderly is edema or accumulation of fluids in the intercellular spaces. It results from poor blood circulation, which is often observed in elderly, especially in the legs. Edema can also be an early sign of kidney disorder, heart or liver problems.
Gout is another common cause of swelling of the feet and ankles. Gout occurs as a result of crystallization and accumulation of uric acid in the joints, in this case in the ankle joint. This causes inflammation and inflammation causes swelling.
Swelling of the ankles can be a symptom of arthritis as well. Arthritis is common in old age because the joints degenerate with time. Other symptoms of arthritis include pain, reduced mobility of the joint and inflammation.
If the swelling occurs only in the ankle of one leg, the cause can be vascular obstruction due to blood clotting, which prevents normal blood flow.
Elderly people are more fragile and prone to injuries and swelling of the ankle can result from a trauma or an injury as well, even from a minor one.
Treatment for swollen ankles in elderly
The best way to prevent and reduce swelling of the feet and the ankles is to avoid being in one position for a long time, especially sitting or standing. It also helps to keep the feet elevated, both during the day and while sleeping. Propping the feet against pillows or cushions with the feet elevated above the heart will cause the fluids to drain normally and the swelling will subside.
Reducing the intake of sodium is also very important, and it is highly recommended to drink plenty of water.
Hot or cold compresses can be applied in case of severe swelling, and some doctors recommend wearing elastic compression bandages all the time. Physical activity and mild exercise are also highly recommended.