If you have varicose veins or are at risk for developing them, there are many things you can do to keep your legs healthy and prevent new vascular problems.
Varicose veins form because of weak vein walls and valves that stop blood from flowing backward. This can happen for various reasons, including age, being a woman, pregnancy, and hormonal changes.
Elevate Your Legs Throughout the Day
Elevating your legs throughout the day can help ease varicose vein symptoms and reduce swelling. To do this, sit or stand with your feet elevated above your heart level and repeat the process several times a day for about 15 minutes each time.
Blood flow is better when your legs are above the heart because gravity makes it easier for blood to move along and back toward your heart. Your veins return oxygen-depleted blood to your heart using tiny valves and the contraction of muscles in the surrounding veins.
However, if you stand or sit for long periods, the pressure in your veins can cause them to overwork. This can lead to swelling and pain in your legs.
Elevating your legs can also help relieve lactic acid and other metabolic waste in the muscles of your legs. This is the same stuff produced during exercise – it’s only necessary to elevate them long enough to drain this out and allow fresh, oxygenated blood to take its place.
Exercise regularly can help you cut the risk of developing varicose veins and ease your symptoms if you already have them. It also enables you to maintain a healthy weight, which reduces the risk of blood clots and improves blood flow throughout the body.
It also can help reduce inflammation and swelling in the legs, which can be a contributing factor to varicose veins. You might seek expert advice from Surgical Associates about varicose problems; however, it would help if you avoid exercises that put excessive pressure on your veins, such as running or heavy-weight training. This may temporarily impede blood flow, which isn’t safe for patients with varicose veins.
Other low-impact exercises also benefit vein health, including walking and swimming. Both can keep your calf muscles strong and increase blood flow, vital for healthy veins.
Wear Comfortable Shoes
The shoes you wear play a significant role in how well your veins circulate blood throughout your body. Without proper circulation, varicose veins can develop and cause severe pain, swelling, and skin changes.
High heels can affect your vein health by limiting blood flow to your legs. They can also make your feet feel heavy and uncomfortable.
Flat shoes are ideal because they encourage active calf muscle action and help push blood back into your upper legs.
Look for comfortable shoes with supportive features like arch support, a higher heel, or a built-in orthotic. Choosing shoes that are easy to put on and take off is essential, too.
Avoid Standing or Sitting for Long Periods
Varicose veins occur when the tiny valves that pump blood back to your heart weaken or become damaged. This causes blood to pool in your legs; as it collects, your veins stretch and enlarge.
You should avoid sitting or standing for long periods to prevent these painful varicose veins from forming. Both activities increase your risk for deep vein thrombosis when blood clots form and break off in the legs.
When you do stand or sit, make sure to move around frequently. Try walking about every half hour or even more often!
You can also improve your leg health by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. This will strengthen the muscles in your legs and reduce stress on your veins. It will also help your body maintain an average weight.