Why Ankles Swell When Sitting: Causes and How to Treat It

feet and ankle swelling left while sitting at a desk that often relapses during the day. This can happen on both or only one side only. Perhaps the lower body area is also affected. know more about what do swollen ankles indicate? and Why Ankles Swell When Sitting: Causes and How to Treat It.

Although swelling in the legs, limbs, and ankles usually does not pose a significant health risk, it is important to know when to see a doctor.


Why Ankles Swell When Sitting

Abnormal fluid buildup in the body is called edema. Edema is commonly seen in the legs and ankles, due to the effects of gravity, swelling is highly visible in this location. Common causes of edema are long-standing, prolonged sitting, pregnancy, overweight, and age.


What is edema?

Edema is the accumulation of fluid between the body’s cells. Edema can occur throughout the body but is most clearly visible on the arms or limbs. Edema occurs when fluid in the blood vessels exits into the surrounding tissues. The fluid subsequently accumulates, causing the body’s cells to become bloated.

Mild edema is harmless, but can also indicate more serious conditions, such as heart failure, liver, kidney, and brain failure. Therefore, a check-up with a doctor during edema is very important to find out the cause. Treatment will be done based on the cause.


Types of edema in the body

Peripheral edema

This swelling usually occurs in the ankles, legs, hands, and arms. In addition to the swelling, peripheral edema usually makes it difficult for a person to move that part of the body. Peripheral edema usually marks a problem in the blood pressure system, lymph nodes, and kidneys.

also know, Swollen Feet And Legs Elderly: How To Treat At Home


Pulmonary edema

Pulmonary edema is a condition where the lungs are over-fluidized, making it difficult for you to breathe. This condition usually occurs due to congestive heart failure or acute pulmonary injury. People with pulmonary edema usually have a faster-than-usual heartbeat, weakness, and cough that is sometimes accompanied by blood.

These symptoms will usually get worse as you lie down. Pulmonary edema is a serious condition, even including medical emergencies. Because edema in the lungs can cause respiratory failure until death.


Cerebral edema

Cerebral edema, as the name suggests, occurs in the brain. This condition arises due to various triggers such as when the head is hit by a hard object, blocked or ruptured blood vessels, having a tumor, to an allergic reaction.

Cerebral edema is a life-threatening condition. Symptoms usually include headache, stiff neck or pain, partial or complete memory loss, daze, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness.


Macular edema

Macular degeneration may be a serious complication of diabetic retinalopathy. This condition occurs when fluid accumulates in a part of the eye called the macula, precisely in the middle of the retina. This occurs when a damaged blood vessel in the retina secretes fluid into the macula. As a result, swelling is inevitable. Macular edema usually makes a person visually impaired, including in seeing colors.


Edema pedal

When fluid builds up in the lower and upper legs, it is called pedal edema. Most commonly, the condition affects pregnant women or those who are older. People with pedal edema often have difficulty moving because their legs are often numb.



Lymphedema can be defined as swelling of the legs or arms caused by damage to the lymphnodes. This damage is most common due to cancer treatments such as surgery and radiation. Cancer itself can also inhibit the lymph nodes and cause fluid buildup.


Signs and symptoms of edema

Symptoms of edema depend on the location and amount of fluid accumulation held in the tissues. However, generally in patients with edema, symptoms such as:

  • Swelling of the tissues under the skin, which is especially easy to find on the edema areas of the hands and feet.
  • Stretched or shiny skin in the edema area.
  • Basins in the skin are called pitting edema when the skin that has edema is pressed for a few seconds.
  • Infections, itching, and scarring.
  • Enlarged stomach.
  • Pain that limits the movement space of the arm, on the edema in the arm area.
  • The foot becomes heavy and if left can cause ulcers on the skin of the foot, on the edema in the foot area.

Severe edema can present harmful symptoms such as difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, and chest pain.

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