Varicose veins are more than unattractive, they can also be uncomfortable. Bulging, twisting veins can lead to physical symptoms like pain, swelling and night cramps. Lifestyle changes can often keep those veins in check and help you manage symptoms. While they may not eliminate veins that have already formed, they are instrumental in improving discomfort and your quality of life.
Daily physical activity that works your calf muscles will make it easier for the veins in your lower legs to move blood back up to the heart. Since the lower legs are commonly where varicose veins form, regular exercise may help prevent the formation of veins or keep current varicose veins from getting worse. Walking, swimming or biking are all good options for keeping varicose veins at bay.
Additional weight adds pressure to the veins of the lower legs, making them more likely to wear out over time. In addition, if you already have varicose veins and you are overweight, treatment for your veins may not be as effective. Lose the extra pounds to prevent future veins from occurring and to improve the effectiveness of any treatment you might choose.
Elevating the legs at the end of the day takes the pressure off those lower veins that work against the flow of gravity all day long. If you have uncomfortable symptoms like achiness or swelling, elevation may also help to relieve them. Try lying down with a couple of pillows under your legs to lift them above the level of the heart to improve circulation in the lower extremities.
Long periods of standing or sitting can increase your risk of varicose veins and make current veins worse over time. Avoid remaining in one position for long stretches whenever you can. If your job requires plenty of standing, try to find a few times a day to sit down and even elevate your legs if possible. If you are sitting for long periods, try getting up and moving around a bit every hour to work your muscles and give your veins a break.
Tight clothing restricts your circulation, which can put additional stress on the veins in your lower legs. Avoid constricting waistbands and underwear that keeps your blood from flowing freely. It is also a good idea to avoid high heels as much as possible, since flat shoes allow for a better workout of the calf muscles.
While lifestyle changes can help to minimize symptoms or keep current varicose veins from worsening, they will not eliminate the problem completely. At Advanced Vein & Vascular Center, we offer a variety of minimally-invasive procedures to eradicate painful, unsightly varicose veins once and for all. To learn more about your options in vein treatment, contact Advanced Vein & Vascular Center at 610-200-6924.