How to treat ankle joint with swelling and pain

The ankle joint plays a large role in the mobility of the whole body. This segment of the musculoskeletal system connects the foot to the lower leg, making them one piece. When any part is damaged due to trauma, the ankle swells. It hurts, so how to treat it, you need to know for sure.


To identify the causes of swelling of the limb in the ankle, it should be understood that they can have a different nature of origin:

  • Background pathology;
  • Sprains;
  • Injuries, dislocations, fractures, sprains;
  • Rheumatic pathology.

The main negative factors also include:

  • Plantar fasciitis;
  • Gout;
  • Osteoarthrosis;
  • Arthritis;
  • Synovitis;
  • Vascular disease;
  • Endocrine diseases
  • Soft tissue infection by pathogenic microorganisms;
  • Lowering the tone of the veins;
  • Insect bites;
  • Taking drugs;
  • Excess weight;
  • Excessive stress on the feet.

The no less negative effect on the ankle, in which leg swelling occurs, observed both in the ankle and foot, is exerted by the following factors:

  • Use of shoes with heels or flat shoes;
  • Nature of work;
  • Weight lifting;
  • Poor nutrition;
  • Untimely treatment of diseases;
  • Cardiac pathologies or high blood pressure, worsening the outflow of accumulated flu >


When the patient’s legs swell for a long time, especially at the bottom of the foot or lower leg, you need to consult a specialist. With ankle inflammation, you can visit an orthopedic trauma surgeon, a surgeon, and if necessary, you may need to consult a nutritionist. During the initial examination of the patient, the doctor conducts a visual examination and prescribes laboratory and instrumental studies:

The essence of wellness activities

Usually a person, when his leg swells and hurts for a long time in the ankle zone, having tried all the home remedies, does not know what to do. He begins to contact a specialist. After finding out the causes of leg swelling, the doctor chooses effective methods of treating these disorders.

Therapy of arthrosis or arthritis at the earliest stages is carried out by:

  • Medications;
  • Physiotherapeutic procedures;
  • Exercise therapy;
  • Diets;
  • Manual treatment.

The main stage of therapy for ankle or foot edema, if the cause is an injury, is the immobilization of the diseased joint, as well as a reduction in the load on it. In this case, it is necessary to give time to the joint so that it can recover and rest. If a similar problem is associated with excess weight, the patient will have to reconsider his diet. Excessive loads support the development of the pathological process, therefore, when there is swelling of the ankle, the reasons for which lie precisely in obesity, treatment will be aimed at minimizing the loads until complete healing. The use of medications is necessary to block the inflammatory focus and pain spasms.

For this purpose, apply:

  • Antibacterial drugs;
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs;
  • Medications for local exposure.

With the help of external means – ointments or gels, you can remove puffiness, improve blood circulation, and also get rid of the pain syndrome. Conservative therapy of ankle pathologies is based on the following physiotherapy therapeutic measures:

  • Acupuncture;
  • Hydromassage;
  • Baths based on radon and hydrogen sulf >

A set of exercises for the patient is selected individually, taking into account the root causes of the appearance of unpleasant symptoms. With regular training, you can quickly restore the lost function of a diseased joint. Some experts believe that such a pathology as arthrosis can be cured by means of only therapeutic exercises, without the inclusion of additional exposure tools in the therapeutic base.


Therapy of edema that appeared on the joints of the foot, involves the use of such methods:

  • Improving venous tone and blood microcirculation;
  • Extract of exudate;
  • Improving the permeability of the surface of blood vessels;
  • In case of joint injuries – cleansing the wound, restoring bone fragments to their natural state.

No other medicines will help to eliminate the pathology. With a closed type of fracture, it is necessary to eliminate the foot subluxation, compare the fragments, reliably fix the local injuries with a plaster cast.

Shishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologistShishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologist, project editor-in-chief ExpertNews.

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Drug Therapy Options

When the legs in the ankles swell, the doctor can prescribe the following medications to the patient:

  • Chondroprotectors in the form of drugs Orthoflex and Teraflex or Structum and Alflutop). Recommended medications to restore cartilage in the joints. Such funds are prescribed for a long time. The course can be up to six months.
  • Diuretic drugs in the form of medications Ketazona, Benem >

An approximate treatment regimen is as follows:

  1. If the swelling appeared due to damage to the joint, it must be fixed by adjusting it first in case of dislocation or collecting in case of a fracture. Depending on the complexity of the damage, it is recommended to use rigid fixation or apply an elastic bandage.
  2. The purulent substance and blood accumulated in the joint are necessarily removed, after which antibacterial drugs are introduced into the space.
  3. In addition to this group of drugs, steroid hormones (Diprospan, Kenalog) are periodically delivered to the joint cavity.
  4. An excellent medicine for traumatic and inflammatory edema of the ankle is a medicine with the fruits of horse chestnut (L-lysine escinate). It is administered by drip into the veins.
  5. Another remedy is Aescin gel. It is used externally, applying to the skin in the projection of the joint. These measures will remove the swelling in just a day.

To improve blood microcirculation in the vessels, soft tissues and muscles through the droppers, the following drugs are administered:

With injuries and inflammation of the ankle, venous discharge of blood often suffers. Constant exposure alters the properties of the venous walls, resulting in weakened vein valves. To strengthen them use:

All described drugs are used as tablets. Long-term therapy is required to relieve unpleasant symptoms through the aforementioned drugs. Ankle edema, characterized by an inflammatory nature, is blocked by external anti-inflammatory pharmaceutical ointments:

All drugs are recommended to be used with the approval of a doctor.

Folk methods

Ankle edema can be treated with unconventional methods.

One popular remedy is garlic. In its composition there is a sufficient amount of antiseptic substances that provide a healing effect.

For therapy, you need to take a few small cloves of this vegetable, chop, mix with eucalyptus leaves, add pork fat, first melt it. Ointment needs to treat the area of ​​the inflamed joint. Perform the procedure at night.

Onions are also considered effective products in the fight against inflammatory processes. The vegetable is ground with a grater, mixed with sugar. The mixture needs to be fixed on the leg, using a bandage for this purpose. The drug is best used after its preparation.

Many healers recommend using elecampane root in such cases. An alcohol tincture is prepared from this plant. Use the composition for external exposure.

Golden mustache tincture is also recommended for the treatment of leg edema. It perfectly relieves a pain attack and blocks the inflammatory process. For the recipe, you need to grind the leaves, pour them with alcohol, insist for a week. Use medicine for compresses. A warming dressing can also be made from soda, honey and mustard powder. Take all products in equal proportions. The mass is applied to the affected joint. The duration of the treatment procedure is 30 minutes.

Copper powder will help relieve swelling. It can be obtained from a coin using a file for this purpose. Copper must be combined with egg yolk or milk (proportions 1:10). 1 tsp drink this medicine twice a week until completely cured.

For therapeutic purposes, eggshell is used in folk medicine. It is obtained as a result of cooking eggs. The shell should be crushed in a coffee grinder, this powder is recommended to be added to food. Such a remedy will make up for the lack of calcium in the patient’s body.

If the patient is diagnosed with arthrosis or arthritis – he is recommended to undergo a massage course. To enhance the effectiveness of this procedure, it is advisable to use tinctures of medicinal herbs. Traditional medicine can only be used in the form of additional recreational activities. The main treatment should be prescribed by a doctor.

As additional measures, a diet should be used. Proper nutrition provides a quick recovery. Using this item, they solve the problem of overweight patients and restore the affected tissue. If the ankles are swollen – the patient is recommended to reduce the intake of salt. It is also worth refusing to drink:

  • Too strong tea;
  • Coffee;
  • All kinds of carbonated drinks.

Minimize the consumption of muffin and confectionery “goodies.” Exclude from the diet:

  • Fatty dishes;
  • Spicy and smoked products;
  • Canned food and sausages;
  • Citrus fruit.

When there is swelling of the ankle – it is better to eat properly. It is allowed to use in the diet:

  • Greens – dill, parsley, caraway seeds;
  • Fruits and vegetables;
  • Sea kale;
  • Lean meats and fish.

Vegetables, herbs and fruits will help to quickly fill up the lack of healthy minerals and vitamins in the body. Seaweed will replace salt, and linseed oil will eliminate inflammation in the body. Dishes should be used boiled or baked. However, before proceeding with diet therapy, you need to consult a specialist.

First actions in case of injury

If the ankles swell due to trauma (bruising, sprains) or high loads on the legs, first aid should be given immediately at home. First of all, it is necessary to free the lower limb from clothes and shoes. Then you need to lie on your back, and raise your leg. It is advisable to put a solid roller or pillow under it – this will help slow down the process of limb swelling.

Apply a cold compress or ice to the foot at the injury site, leaving it for 20 minutes. You should not keep the compress further so as not to provoke hypothermia of the lower limb. Apply an elastic bandage, fix the foot in a stationary state.

Anatoly Kudravets

Anatoly Kudravets, Orthopedic Traumatologist. He works with severe cases, practices operative methods of treating connective tissues