Varicose veins are blue-ish/purple-ish enlarged veins that often appear on the back of your legs. They are caused by damaged valves in the veins that allow the blood to pool in the veins rather than flow in the direction it is supposed to. When the blood pools it collects in the veins and can cause bulges as the veins enlarge.
Although hereditary factors, pregnancy, and age can be contributing factors to developing varicose veins there are some things you can do to help prevent and reduce them. Here are 5 healthy habits to help prevent and treat varicose veins.
Photo by Jan Romero
When you exercise your body moves, your muscles flex and your blood pumps through your veins delivering oxygen to your heart. Exercise is a great way to get your blood moving and keep it from pooling in your veins. Exercise also helps alleviate some of the unpleasant symptoms of varicose veins such as swollen, achy, itchy, or heavy legs.
Walking is one of the best kinds of exercise to help reduce and prevent varicose veins as it keeps your legs moving and doesn’t put a lot of strain on your joints. Other helpful exercises for varicose veins include:
- Leg lifts
- Lunges or stretching
Sometimes exercise, moving, and staying healthy are not enough to treat varicose veins, and medical help is needed. Spas with skin therapy Guelph professional offers cosmetic treatments to help get rid of varicose veins.
2. Elevate Your Legs
Photo by Katarzyna Grabowska
If you are in a seated position all day, the blood has a harder time circulating back to your heart. At the end of the day, find a comfortable position, and rest with your legs elevated. This helps encourage the blood flow back in the right direction, towards your heart. Elevating your legs also helps relieve swollen or itchy legs caused by varicose veins.
It also helps to lie on the floor with your legs and feet in the air. You can even try pedaling your legs like a bike to increase your movements and circulation. Try to hold this position for a few minutes to encourage your blood flow to your heart and then lower your legs.
3. Lose Weight
Photo by Elena Kloppenburg
Excess weight can put extra pressure on your heart and make it more difficult for your blood to circulate, causing high blood pressure and an increased chance of varicose veins. Losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight is recommended to help prevent varicose veins and reduce the symptoms.
4. Use Compression Stockings
Ontario Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Centre recommend compression stockings to help increase circulation in your legs. Compression stockings are also useful in physiotherapy treatment for arthritis. They work by squeezing your legs at the bottom around the ankles and are loose at the top of your legs to encourage blood flow in the right direction, up towards your heart.
5. Change your position
It is said that standing or sitting for too long in one position can cause varicose veins. One helpful tip to remember is to change your position every hour. If you sit at a desk, take a break every hour, and walk around. If you are in a standing position, find ways to move around or change your position cause this might be one possible reason your back hurts. The important thing is to keep your blood moving.