Unfortunately, the only way to eliminate varicose veins once a patient has them is to undergo a medical procedure, from which there are many to choose. However, there are a wide variety of lifestyle recommendations and varicose vein home treatments patients can use to help alleviate the symptoms their varicose veins cause. Being conscious of these lifestyle choices can also help to decrease the likelihood of developing additional varicose veins. If you suffer from varicose veins or simply want to support healthy circulation, think about incorporating these three vein health tips into your daily life.
3 Tips for Vein Health
1. Stay fit
Exercising regularly and watching your diet are great ways to do this. Maintaining a healthy weight will reduce the pressure on your veins, especially in the legs and pelvic area. Even light exercise, such as walking, causes the muscles in your legs to contract and flex, improving the blood circulation back up towards your heart.
Staying hydrated and choosing foods low in fat, sugar, and salt will help support a healthy circulatory system, and your overall well-being. Taking certain vitamin supplements, such as vitamin C, is also believed by some to encourage vascular health.
2. Look at your work routine
Watching how you move can also help to avoid triggering varicose vein side effects. If you work in an environment where you are standing during the majority of the day, make sure to take breaks to stretch, walk, flex, and sit down for brief periods of time. This will keep a healthy level of circulation present and prevent blood from pooling and creating pressure in the legs. If you do experience pressure or swelling in the legs, wearing compression stockings can help support blood flow back to the heart.
If your work routine involves extended periods of sitting throughout the day, you should also take short exercise breaks, as well as refrain from crossing your legs as much as possible as this can cut off circulation, especially when the knees are crossed. While you are sitting down, you can still keep your legs moving with simple exercises, such as pumping your feet up and down alternately, as if using the gas pedal on a car. In general, the more activity the calf muscles perform, the better leg circulation will be.
When possible, lie horizontally on a couch or bed with your legs elevated on pillows, to a level slightly above your heart. This will encourage blood to flow out of the legs, and reduce pressure.
3. Wear the right clothing
Making good fashion choices can positively affect vein health. Wearing tight-fitting, restrictive clothing like tight girdles, belts, panty hose, or skinny jeans can slow blood flow from the legs to the body and vice-versa, leaving blood to pool and pressurize the veins in the legs. Wearing flat shoes rather than high-heels will exercise your calf muscles better when you walk, encouraging blood flow.
Wearing compression stockings regularly can also help alleviate the pain caused by varicose veins. These hose are designed to fit more snugly around the foot and ankle area, and gradually fit more loosely going up the leg. This encourages blood to flow upwards towards the heart rather than pooling in the lower legs and feet. Compression hose can also hide the appearance of varicose veins, if certain colors are selected. There are many stylish brands and types of compression stockings available; talk to a physician for more information.
Conservative Vein Treatments: Managing Your Expectations
Whether you use these varicose vein treatments at home or at work, it is important to keep in mind that they will only be successful in managing the discomfort associated with varicose veins, not in removing them. That being said, making healthy lifestyle changes that can improve your quality of life while living with varicose veins can be easy and beneficial in many ways.
Note: Any behavioral or health-related changes patients make should be approved by their physician first to ensure their safety.
Reviewed February 3, 2017