5 Ways to Prevent Varicose Veins

May 7th 2016

Treatment for varicose veins depends largely on your tolerance for any visible disfigurement and the pain of the treatment. Treatment can vary from self-tanner or body makeup to extensive laser surgery. Try the basic prevention tips, and see your doctor if you feel you need to treat your varicose veins further.

Exercise

Exercising improves the leg muscles and helps increase circulation through the legs. Try low-impact exercise that doesn't put any pressure on the leg, such as bicycling or swimming. If you're able, try walking and running to build up muscle tone in your legs.

Wear Appropriate Clothes and Shoes

Clothes that fit tightly around the waist, thighs and legs can hamper circulation and make varicose veins worse. In addition, wearing high heels exacerbates varicose veins. Wear low heels or flats instead to tone the calf muscles and thereby increase the circulation in your legs.

Watch Your Diet

Losing weight is a good preventative measure for varicose veins. The less you weigh, the less pressure there is on your veins and the better your blood circulates. Excess weight puts pressure on the legs that has a negative effect on circulation. Reduce salt in your diet to help decrease water retention and the associated swelling. Add fiber to your diet to reduce the chances of constipation, the pressure of which can lead to varicose veins.

Wear Compression Garments

Wearing elastic support hose can help improve circulation in your legs and prevent the growth of varicose veins. Because these compression garments increase pressure on your legs, they encourage pooled blood to begin flowing again and decrease leg swelling. These hose are available in unobtrusive colors and styles and are especially useful for those who have a family history of varicose veins.

Change Your Position

Avoid sitting or standing in the same position for long periods of time. If your job requires you to sit or stand in the same pose for hours at a time, try to take a brief break every 30 minutes to move around. Look for ways to shift your position, and don't cross your legs, since doing so can crimp the circulation in the veins.

When you can, elevate your legs so your circulatory system doesn't have to work as hard to get the blood from your feet back to your heart. Raise your legs above the level of your heart whenever you can; if you do this for 15 minutes at the end of each work day, you give any pooled blood in your lower extremities a chance to circulate properly again. Try elevating your legs while you sleep as well.

Conclusion

Varicose veins most often occur when the valves in veins of the leg stretch and leak. Varicose veins have a genetic component, and someone who is genetically predisposed to develop them is unlikely to prevent their formation completely. However, you can prevent them from getting worse or lower your risk of getting them in the first place.

Sources

RealSimple.com "How to treat and prevent varicose veins" http://www.realsimple.com/health/preventative-health/how-to-treat-prevent-varicose-veins
NHLBI.HIH.gov "How can varicose veins be prevented?" http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/vv/prevention
WomensHealth.gov "Varicose veins and spider veins fact sheet" http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/varicose-spider-veins.html#K

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