Can I Walk With a Swollen Ankle?

Swollen ankles are a familiar feeling for almost everyone. Whether you rolled it on the weekend during sport, or it's an old injury which flares up from time to time. When it happens it can be frustrating, uncomfortable and painful.

Why is my ankle swollen?

Ankle swelling is one of the more common symptoms of issues in the lower legs, and can be causes by a wide range of problems, including;

  • Injury in the ankle or foot
  • Allergies
  • Medication side-effects
  • Chronic Venous Insufficiency
  • Lymphedema
  • Dietary issues
  • Cellulitis
  • Pregnancy

There are two main types of ankle swelling that usually occur

Short-term: Swelling that comes on suddenly and lasts for anywhere from 2 days to 6 weeks. This is normally due to injury or a reaction to something.

Long-term: Swelling that builds up over time and doesn’t go away after extended periods of time or is recurring. This is normally due to disease, insufficiency of some kind or other chronic issues.

Learn more: 3 simple solutions to manage ankle swelling. 

Can I walk on a swollen ankle?

If you’re ankle is swollen and you’re not sure if you should walk on it, ask yourself the following questions:

Does it hurt every time you put weight on that foot?

Is there a numbness or pins and needles feeling each time you step on that leg?

Does the swelling become noticeably worse when you walk?

Is there distinct discolouration in the ankle?

Is the ankle unstable?

If you said yes to any of these questions, then there’s a chance you may have a more serious underlying issue affecting your ankle, and you should see a doctor to have it properly assessed.

However, for most people, a swollen ankle is nothing more than a symptom of something less serious and walking the proper way with the right support can actually be beneficial.

If you are managing a swollen ankle, here is how you can support it while still being able to continue to walk and go about your day to day life. 

Wrapping and bracing

Wearing a compression bandage or ankle support is an excellent way of providing stability while also reducing ankle swelling. 

Medical grade compression will be the most effective way of reducing swelling and associated pain, such as the MalleoTrain ankle support. 

Bauerfeind ankle support to manage a swollen ankle


Stretching the ankle gently in the morning and evenings is a good way to keep to joint moving, and use the muscles to reduce any swelling.

Ankle alphabet, toe curls and calf raises all help.


The method of RICE is crucial for swelling management, especially at the end of the day.

Rest the ankle when you’re not active, ice it after activity, compress it all day and elevate it at the end of the day to get blood-flowing out of the joint.

Low-impact exercise

Active movement is a great way to recover from injury and manage swelling, but when there’s pain with each movement it can be tricky.

Try low impact activities like swimming, cycling, Yoga and Tai-chi.

Do you have private health? Most private health extras will cover Bauerfeind Products, check to see if yours is includedBauerfeind Private Health Insurance Inquiry

Bauerfeind products are developed at our innovation and manufacturing facility in Zeulenroda, Germany. Based on years of scientific research, our award-winning braces and support garments are highly recommended by medical professionals and athletes worldwide.

For assistance selecting the right product for your needs, book a video consultation with a Bauerfeind expert: Book Video Call, or call us on 1300 668 466.

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