Seven Steps To Avoid Varicose Veins

Approximately half of the people in the United States are affected by varicose veins.  Most people would be amazed to realize how many simple things they can do to prevent the appearance of these dilated blood vessels.  Varicose veins occur most frequently in the legs, and are typically seen as unattractive and embarrassing.  Varicose veins may also be called spider veins, and are typically caused by pressure in the veins that weakens the walls of the vessel over time.  Although these veins are typically just considered unattractive, they can also cause pain while walking and standing in extreme cases.  There may not be a completely foolproof way to prevent the appearance of varicose veins, but there are things that every person can do regularly to lessen the chances of getting them.

1. Regular Exercise

It seems that this is the first answer to most questions about how to improve any part of the body.  Avoiding varicose veins is no exception.  Walking and jogging help to improve the circulation in legs, which in turn helps to ward off spider veins.  When you exercise, your blood pressure is kept under control and your entire circulatory system is strengthened.  This helps to improve the overall health of all of your body systems.  You can’t go wrong with regular exercise.

2. Sit Down

If you work in a job where you are required to stand for long periods of time, you may be more likely to develop varicose veins.  Make sure that you are taking regular breaks to sit down and give your legs a rest.  Standing for long periods of time increases the pressure on the legs and feet and can weaken the walls of the blood vessels.  If you are unable to sit down for a few minutes, try walking around every hour rather than simply standing in the same place.

3. Watch Your Weight

The more you weigh, the more pressure you are putting on your legs and feet.  Watching your weight helps to improve your overall health, and increases the productivity of all your internal systems.  You lessen the pressure on your legs when you maintain a healthy weight, and you are also more likely to eat healthy.  This makes for a healthier body overall.

4. Elevate Your Feet

Make sure you pay close attention to your legs and feet, especially if you are in a situation where you have to stand for long periods of time.  At the end of the day, put your feet up for several minutes.  If you can, try to do this during your work shift or throughout your day.  You may even wish to try elevating your feet above your head at night while you sleep.  This allows gravity to do its job and again, lessens the pressure and tension level of the feet and legs.

5. Change Your Wardrobe

While high heels and tight fitting clothing may be fashionable, it can also be hard on your feet and your legs.  High heels put the pressure right on the lower part of your legs and on your feet, which can make you more prone to varicose veins.  Change out your super high heels for shoes that are flat or have a lower heel, and make sure to wear loose clothing on your lower body every once in a while.

6. Sit Up Straight

You’ve probably heard it a thousand times from your mother or your grandmother, but you may not know why they’ve always told you to sit up straight.  When you slouch in your seat or cross your legs while you are sitting, your circulation is impaired, and this can increase your chances of getting varicose veins.  Crossing your legs can restrict the blood flow to and from the legs and be extra hard on them.  Sitting up straight helps to improve the blood flow throughout your entire body.

7. Medical Options

If you have varicose veins, and are hoping to get rid of them, there are medical options available that are fairly non-invasive.  If you are in severe pain from these veins, or none of the above methods work, you may choose to seek out medical help.  There are several treatments available for varicose veins, including sclerotherapy, laser surgery and vein stripping.  Your first step should be to talk to your doctor above which course of treatment is right for you.

While the above steps are not a surefire way to avoid the appearance of varicose veins, they can lessen your chances of developing them, and simply help to improve the overall health and circulation of your body if they are done regularly.

Lauren Hill is a contributing author for Cardiac Vascular & Thoracic Surgery Associates (CVTSA), a Virginia surgery group specializing in open heart, robotic, varicose vein and transplant surgeries.

 

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