7 Causes of Leg Swelling You Shouldn’t Neglect

Swelling in the ankles and feet is a common symptom and can have different causes. One way that doctors pinpoint the cause of swelling is to note whether it occurs in one leg or both. In most cases, the cause of the swelling requires medical attention. If the swelling appears suddenly, it is better to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Leg Swelling
Leg Swelling

What causes leg swelling – In this article, we gathered seven causes for leg swelling you shouldn’t neglect.

1. Injury

Such injuries as ankle sprains, torn tendons, and fractures are considered the most common causes of swelling. Moreover, conditions like tendonitis, bursitis, and ligament or muscle strains that can develop as a result of chronic stress or overuse may also lead to swelling. These are conditions that are more likely to occur during exercising or any recent increased activity, such as walking or running in a new area.

2. Arthritis

Arthritis (joint inflammation) can result in local swelling of the foot or ankle. Osteoarthritis is a common form of arthritis that can cause occasional swelling that usually appears in the same joint. Gout is another form of arthritis that usually causes a very painful, red, swollen joint of the big toe. However, gout can affect the ankle as well. Certain autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, lupus, and reactive arthritis can cause swelling that equally affects both legs.

3. Varicose or spider veins

If you have some problems with veins, you can also have leg swelling. It is important to know that veins deliver deoxygenated blood to the heart and when we get older, these veins may become weakened. This means that your legs and ankles can swell more often. This condition is called venous insufficiency. The most common symptoms include occasional swelling in one or both legs, varicose or spider veins, and change in the skin color that can develop over time

4. Deep vein thrombosis

Painful sensations and swelling in the lower legs can also be signs of a condition that is known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). It is important to understand that DVT can lead to life-threatening complications. That’s why if you have noticed some signs of this condition, it is better to make an appointment with your foot doctor as soon as possible. Air travel, a leg cast, illness requiring bed rest, or other conditions that create leg immobility can increase your risk to get DVT.

Moreover, such factors like obesity, smoking, pregnancy, the use of hormonal contraceptives, and hereditary blot clotting disorders also increase your chance to develop DVT. If you are a woman that takes birth control pills, your risk of DVT is even greater if you also smoke or inherit blood clotting disorder known as Factor V Leiden.

5. Infection

Skin infection is a common cause of swelling. In this case, swelling is usually accompanied by pain and redness. Infected ingrown toenails (onychocryptosis), infections between the toes, and severe forms of the athlete’s foot are the most common causes of swelling. However, your feet may get infected because of other injuries like puncture wounds or nail injuries, and through diabetic wounds. Despite the fact that these cases are quite uncommon, an infection can occur in the joints even without direct injury

6. Certain medical conditions

Heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, chronic sleep apnea, and complications of diabetes are medical conditions that are known to cause swelling. The fact that they affect both legs makes it easier to determine them. Moreover, such condition as premenstrual syndrome (PMS) can also cause swelling in legs.

7. Medications

Some prescription drugs can have such side efect as swelling that affects both legs. These medications include birth control pills or estrogen replacement drugs, testosterone drugs, corticosteroids, and other anti-inflammatory drugs, such as NSAIDs, some blood pressure medications, and Avandia and Actos diabetes drugs. You should know that alcohol can cause swelling on the ankles or legs as well.

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Article Author Details

Amelia Grant

I am Amelia Grant, journalist, and blogger. I think that information is a great force that is able to change people’s lives for the better. That is why I feel a strong intention to share useful and important things about health self-care, wellness and other advice that may be helpful for people.