If an ankle has been injured, is causing severe pain, and cannot be moved, contact Emergency Medical Services and give Arnica 30c every 5 minutes until help arrives; likely cause is a Fracture. A Sprain causes pain and swelling, but usually the ankle remains mobile. Tissues around ankle joint remain prone to swelling for several months after such injuries.
Other conditions affecting the ankles and requiring prompt treatment are Tendonitis (partial or complete rupture of Achilles tendon, causing pain and inflammation), Deep Vein Thrombosis (swelling of one ankle and tenderness in corresponding calf) Rheumatic Fever (fever, and redness and swelling which affect other joints too), and Infective Arthritis (fever, and redness and swelling of one ankle only); appropriate action in such cases is to consult your doctor if there is no improvement in 12 hours.
Swollen ankles can also be a sign of Pre-eclampsia in later stages of pregnancy or, more prosaically, of sitting or standing for long periods; if puffiness persists for longer than 48 hours, see your medical doctor.
Chronic conditions sometimes accompanied by ankle problems are Rheumatoid Arthritis or Osteoarthritis (ankles red, hot, swollen, and painful), Pyelonephritis and Kidney Failure (puffy ankles, Heart Failure (ankles swollen, breathlessness, wheezing, tiredness), and Varicose Veins (swollen veins in legs, feet and ankles swell after standing for short time). Hot weather can also cause ankles to swell and shoes to feel tight; in some women swollen ankles are a side-effect of oral contraceptives or part of Premenstrual Syndrome.
See conditions mentioned above for homeopathic remedies; if none seems suitable, choose one of the remedies below. If cause of ankle pain cannot be pinpointed, constitutional treatment should be considered.
Specific remedy following injury
- Arnica 30c every hour for up to 48 hours, then in 6c 4 times daily for up to 5 days
Other remedies to be taken 4 times daily for up to 5 days
- If Arnica does not produce improvement after 48 hours Bellis 30c
- Ankle injury, bruising kind of pain in ankle bones Ruta 30c
- Ankle injury, pain in ankle feels like rheumatism and becomes more insistent with rest but wears off with gentle movement Rhus tox. 30c
- Swollen ankles with varicose veins Hamamelis 30c
- Ankles swell up in hot weather Apis 30c
Specific remedies to be taken every 12 hours for up to 1 week
- Drawing or tearing pains in ankle, aggravated by cold, dry weather Causticum 30c
- Ankles weak and turn easily, also painful, especially in heat, person prone to constipation and headaches Natrum mur. 30c
- Tearing pains in ankles, warm glow from feet to head, body feels as if it is on fire Viscum 30c
Self-help: If you suffer from swollen ankles in hot weather, take Natrum mur. 3 times daily while weather remains hot. For weak ankles, Calcium Phos. tissue salt, taken 3 times daily for 1 month, may be beneficial.