While you’ll need to undergo a medical procedure (of which there are many to choose) in order to eliminate your varicose veins, there is a wide variety of lifestyle changes your doctor may recommend. While home treatments won’t get rid of your varicose veins, the right choices at home and at work can help relieve the symptoms and also decrease the likelihood of developing additional varicose veins. To support healthy circulation, your doctor may recommend the following tips.
Stay healthy and fit: exercise regularly and watch your diet; staying a healthy weight will reduce the pressure on your veins, especially in the legs and pelvic area. Even light exercise, such as walking, improves blood circulation. Be sure to stay hydrated and choose foods low in fat, sugar and salt for a healthy circulatory system, and your overall well being.
Take breaks from standing: If you stand 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, wear compression stockings to support blood flow back to the heart.
Counteract sitting: If you sit for extended periods of time, take short exercise breaks. While you are sitting down, keep your legs moving with simple exercises, such as pumping your feet up and down alternately. In general, the more activity the calf muscles perform, the better leg circulation will be. Refrain from crossing your legs as this can impede circulation.
Avoid tight-fitting clothes: Avoid wearing tight-fitting, restrictive clothing like tight girdles, belts, pantyhose, or skinny jeans that can slow blood flow from the legs to the body and vice-versa, leaving blood to pool and pressurize the veins in the legs.
Wear flats: Wear flat shoes rather than high-heels to exercise your calf muscles better when you walk, encouraging blood flow.
Wear compression stockings: Compression 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, and can alleviate the pain associated with varicose veins. Compression hose can also hide the appearance of varicose veins. There are many stylish brands and types of compression stockings available; talk to your doctor for more information.