Monday, June 21, 2010 tellnhelen, Community Member, asks

Q: Why are my ankles swelling? Is this a new MS symptom or something else? Anyone else?

What is causing my ankles to swell and how do you think I can treat them?  It could be food but I been tracking that so I don't think so  Is rest the answer?.  Could it be physical activity...Maybe.  Could it be the summer heat possibly.


It'ss quite uncomfortable and noticably unsightly

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Answers (3)
Vicki, Health Guide
6/22/10 1:15am

Hi tellnhelen,

Swollen ankles — after years of MS symptoms I developed a new one, yes, swollen ankles. They were swollen really big, usually toward the end of the day, on a particularly warm day, or a day when I was on my feet quite a bit. It doesn't sound unlike anyone's swollen feet. Are yours like that?

When I asked about treatment, I was told to put my feet up. That sounds good unless my job was not the kind with a couch. Instead I bought an adjustable bed I was able to put my feet up at night.

One day I noticed my feet looked normal all day long. Surprise. For years they looked normal no matter how hot it was or how long I stayed on my feet. It was true that the treatment is putting your feet up. Even at night.

Just put them up when it is convenient, wear shoes that are not tight, stay off your feet whenever you can. One day you may notice they are not swollen. By the way, be sure to talk with your doctor. By now there may be another treatment.

Good luck.  Let us know how it goes.

tellnhelen, Community Member
6/22/10 5:09pm

Thanks Vickie.  Like you, it's not always convenient to put your feet up but I WILL do that as much as possible.  It's good to know that this may resolve itself...the sooner..the better.  Like many things in MS, you find a way to keep going.

smh12669, Community Member
8/ 5/10 3:26pm

Mine swell to the point it's hard to walk because my feet wont' bend at the ankle. They also burn just where the swelling is around my ankle so I have what feels like a burning band around there. I prop them up real high on couch pillows but it does no good. It's not hot in the house because I learned real quick what the summer heat can do to me. At a loss as to what to do.

larry, Community Member
3/23/12 4:24pm

I to have ms and walking is very difficult so i set most of the time during the day, my feet especially my right really sweels up very big and also my ankles. Somedays they feel like the skin feels like it is going to break open. Doctor says it comes from not using my muscles in my legs and feet but i cannot walk so what do i do???

elemom, Community Member
6/22/10 7:26pm

Swollen feet? This is new to me also, but since last summer I have handled it better through laser treatments on my feet. It really helped circulation. Yesterday I went back (have been all winter and feet haven't been as bad as last summer) and I learned the massaging the lymph ducts helps drain the fluid back into the upper body. Putting feet up sometimes isn't enough. I'd talk to a professional about massaging the "avenues" to drain upwards with legs outstretched of course. Also, my socks, ordinary socks, stop the flow. So I am going sockless with sneakers. Mary Janes were also cutting off circulation (but mary janes don'w fall off my feet like loafers do, ah, the footware before MS.) My next shopping trip will include low, very low 11-17 pressure socks. Not like for diabetes, a lot lower. I need to use walker more and scooter less. On my feet and moving legs will help. Walking in the pool will help. That's my experience. It's not so scary if you know it's easily tackled. Good Luck!

g taylor, Community Member
2/13/11 1:33pm

YES my feet swell to the point that it is even harder to walk doctor says fluid retention and now taking water tablets ok at first bt not now  back to docs!!!!

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By tellnhelen, Community Member— Last Modified: 03/23/12, First Published: 06/21/10