3 Actionable Ways to Reduce Swelling

Swelling happens when the body retains excess water. As the human body is made up of around 60% water, it is an extremely important part of our physical functioning. With all the water flowing through our system, it’s not surprising that swelling will be experienced by most people at some point in their lives.

Swelling is not always serious, but it can cause extreme discomfort. Some common causes of swelling include standing and sitting for extended periods and sports injuries.

The visibility of swelling depends on the individual and the severity of the cause of swelling, as even mild swelling has the potential to be caused by serious infections and diseases. It’s always worth a visit to the doctor if you’re unsure as to the underlying cause of your swelling.

Serious causes of swelling include:

  • Liver Disease
  • Heart Disease
  • Thyroid Disease
  • Lymphoedema
  • Lupus

For mild cases there are 3 actionable ways to visibly reduce swelling to speed up the healing process.


   1) Cold Compress

The cold restricts your blood circulation when applied to the afflicted area. This restriction of blood flow numbs the pain whilst decreasing the visibility of the swelling. A cold compress is always worth having in your first aid kit as it can also be used for headaches, toothaches, and bruises.

   2) Elevation

Elevating the swollen body part to above heart level anytime you’re sitting or lying down will help to reduce the swelling. Raising the swelling will reduce the accumulation of fluid which should help to prevent the swelling from getting worse. Elevating the swollen body part for around 2-3 hours a day should be more than enough time to reduce the fluid from building up even further.

    3)  Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage

Manual lymphatic drainage massage is a specialist massage treatment that drains away excess fluid in the body. Not only is MLD massage one of the best ways to visibly reduce swelling but the gentle circular massage movements have soothing effects that relax and de-stress aching muscles. A regular lymphatic drainage massage from a professional massage therapist will keep the lymphatic system healthy and prevent lymph from building up. MLD massage can help to ease pain whilst promoting blood flow to the swollen area.

Manual lymphatic drainage massage has many useful benefits and is known to improve digestive issues, prevent migraines and reduce cellulite.

As uncomfortable as ankle sprains are, these three ways to reduce swelling should help you to speed up your healing process so you can return to your regular activities.


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