What are the causes of swollen legs & ankles?

Written by cherrine banks | 13/05/2017

Swelling occurs with an increase or change in the body. Causes also include abnormal growth, body obstructions or body fluid collection. Leg and ankle swelling symptoms occur because of venous insufficiency, varicose veins, medications, menstrual cycles or injuries.

Venous Insufficiency

Venous insufficiency occurs when the veins experience difficulty sending blood in the legs towards the heart. Causes may include blood clots or heart damage.

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins occur when blood flow collects in the veins, which causes them to swell. Causes may include pregnancy, congenital defective valves and standing for prolonged periods of time.


Medication side effects may cause swelling in the legs and ankles. Some of these medications include oestrogen found in hormone replacement therapy and steroids.

Menstrual Cycles

Women may experience leg and ankle swelling during the menstrual cycle. Treatments may include reducing sodium, getting proper nutrition and limiting caffeine intake.

Leg and Ankle Injuries

Injuries may cause swelling in the legs and ankles. Common injuries may include stress fractures, shinbone fractures, and sprained ankles.

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