Swollen Ankle After Running

Runners and athletes have a higher chance of injuring their ankle due to intensive activities. You can also twist your ankle by running on an uneven surface, not stretching enough or even overstretching. It is important to follow correct exercise techniques so that there is minimal stress on your ankles and less chances of a swollen ankle after doing exercises. 

Causes of Swollen Ankle After Running

Swollen Ankle

1. Vasodilation

It is quite common for body parts to swell during and after physical activities. When this occurs, vasodilation is often the cause. As you exercise, your blood flow increases, which can cause your legs, feet, hands, fingers and face to appear swollen and slightly enlarge. Those swollen parts will return to normal after you cool down.

2. Ankle Sprain

A sprain is the most common cause of a swollen ankle after running. If you twist your ankle, your ankle can bend inward, outward and even inverted. In this case, its supporting ligaments that connect the bones with the joints and support the ankle can get ruptured or overstretched, causing a swollen ankle.

3. Achilles Tendonitis

The Achilles tendon is at the back of your ankle. Sometimes it will get inflamed after running, and this condition is called Achilles tendonitis. A swollen ankle is a typical symptom of Achilles tendonitis.

4. Stress Fractures

Stress fractures are little cracks in the bones caused by repetitive activities such as running or jumping. This condition commonly affects the lower leg or feet as these parts have weight bearing bones. When this happens, the area around the injury may swell up, including your ankle.

Home Remedies for Swollen Ankle After Running

If you have a swollen ankle, you can try one of these home remedies. However, you need to receive treatments form your doctor if there are underlying causes.

1. The R.I.C.E. Method

R stands for “rest”, and it means that you should rest your swollen ankle after injury. This will give it time to heal properly. Often, this will require you to walk as little as possible and keep pressure off the injured ankle. Although this can be an inconvenience, rest will help you recover a lot faster.

I stands for “ice”, as the cold will reduce the swelling in your ankle. You can use a cold pack, a bag of frozen peas or ice cubes wrapped in a bag. Ice the area as soon as possible and place the ice on your injury for 15 minutes, and then repeat the procedure once every few hours.

C means “compress”, it means wrapping your ankle in a bandage. By doing so, you will give the area stability, at the mean time reduce pain and swelling. Make sure the bandage is not too tight otherwise it may cut off circulation. Compression socks can also have the same effect.

E stands for “elevate”, it means raising your ankles slightly above the height of your heart. You should ideally do this after icing and compression. You'd better rest on the ground or a soft surface like a couch or bed, so you can raise your ankles conveniently to reduce swelling and pain.

2. Massage


If you are suffering from an injured or sprained ankle, a massage might help eliminate the swelling. By gently rubbing the spot, circulation will increase to the area and reduce inflammation. 

3. Parsley


When your ankle swells, it may indicate that you have excess fluid in your body. Parsley is a natural diuretic as it can decrease liquid build up in your body and can increase urine output. Therefore, by consuming it, you can eliminate the extra liquid in your system and treat the swollen ankle after running.

4. Grapefruit Essential Oil


Grapefruit essential oil is full of anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce swelling. You can simply mix it with a carrier oil and apply it on the injured area, or pour some in a warm bath and soak your ankle.

5. Dandelion


Dandelions contain some of nature’s most powerful diuretics. Full of flavonoids, polyphenols and potassium, dandelion tea will help remove excess water from your system, thus help eliminate swelling.

6. Rose


Roses pack more than a sweet fragrance. Its petals are a strong diuretic and the leaves work as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Drink rose tea or apply its oil to the injured ankle to reduce swelling.

7. Hydration


Even though excess fluid is the cause of your swollen ankle, you still may need to hydrate. If your salt levels are too high, this can cause water retention. By drinking extra fluids, you can flush your system of salt and toxins through urination, therefore reduce the swelling.

8. Over-The-Counter Drugs


There are several over-the-counter drugs that can help with inflammation. Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication which relieves pains and reduces swelling. Aspirin is another drug used to reduce pain and eliminate swelling caused by injury.

Note: You should seek medical attention immediately if the swelling lasts over three days or if you are experiencing excessive pain and discomfort.

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