Dr Dale Peterson, ankle swelling, edema

Ask the Doc: Why Do My Ankles Swell?

Ask the Doc: Why Do My Ankles Swell?

© 1999 Dr. Dale Peterson; © 2006 Wellness Clubs of America.com

My feet and ankles tend to swell, especially if I ride very long in a car or travel be plane. Is there anything I can do? T.G.

Dear T.G.

The swelling is caused by water leaking out of the blood vessels in the legs. Unlike arteries which are muscular, veins are thin and relatively weak. They contain “valves” that keep blood moving toward the heart under most circumstances. Venous flow, however, is designed to be maintained by the movement of the muscles in our legs. When you sit still, and your leg muscles are inactive, gravity causes blood to pool in your leg veins causing some leakage.

The solution is to put on some toe-tapping music. Moving your toes or feet up and down gets the blood moving again. Wearing supportive hose on trips and elevating your feet if possible will also help. -Dr. Peterson

Receive the latest Wellness Updates and News.  Subscribe now at WellnessClubsofAmerica.com