Though there is no way to entirely prevent varicose veins, you can take measures to keep your veins healthy and strong for many years to come.
Varicose veins occur when the delicate valves in the leg veins struggle to pump blood back to the heart. The blood begins to pool in the veins, stretching the thin walls and causing the veins to swell.
Bulging, discolored varicose veins tend to run in families and emerge during pregnancy. Additional risk factors include age, weight, and activity level. Fortunately, there are simple lifestyle changes that can help reduce your risk of developing varicose veins. These six guidelines provide practical tips to boost your circulation and keep your veins healthy.
Tips to Prevent Varicose Veins
If you think you may be at risk of varicose veins, your best course of action is to take proactive measures to keep them at bay for as long as possible. Here are six ways to ensure your veins remain in top condition.
1. Exercise Regularly
A brisk walk prompts the leg muscles to move blood upward to the heart. Other beneficial exercises include cycling and swimming. You can also try yoga poses that elevate your feet above your heart, and stretches that tone the calves and hamstrings to help support the vein valves.
2. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Carrying excess weight tends to stress the veins, increasing the risk of varicose veins. By maintaining your weight within a healthy range, you can delay the appearance of varicose veins or prevent them altogether.
3. Don’t Sit or Stand for Long Periods
Sitting at a desk or standing for hours increases the odds blood will pool in the leg veins. Change positions frequently to avoid putting too much pressure on the veins for long periods. While sitting, peddle your feet and bend your knees as if you were marching. Though simple, these exercises promote good circulation and help keep your veins healthy.
4. Elevate Your Legs
Whenever possible, raise your legs above your heart. Lie in bed and prop up your legs with a pillow to encourage blood flow.
5. Eat Healthy
A diet based on complex carbohydrates, high-fiber foods, and protein promotes vein health. Whole wheat bread and pasta are good choices, as are foods high in rutin such as blackberries, apples, apricots, and grapes. Avoid salty and overly sweet foods, and make sure to drink plenty of water.
6. Wear Compression Stockings
Whether you have varicose veins or not, you may want to purchase a pair of compression stockings, especially if you sit or stand all day. These highly elastic garments counteract the downward gravity placed on the legs and help push the blood upward. Available in varying degrees of firmness, compression stockings can be purchased in drugstores and medical supply stores. For the highest level of firmness, you may need a doctor’s prescription.
Treating Your Varicose Veins
Even if you take good care of your health, you may notice the appearance of varicose veins. At Siragusa Vein & Laser, we’ve spent years treating varicose veins with minimally invasive procedures like sclerotherapy. During this treatment, an FDA-approved medication is injected into the damaged vein to close it off. The vein then disappears and the blood is absorbed by other healthy veins.
In addition to sclerotherapy, we offer several other therapies to eliminate varicose veins and spider veins. Our vein specialists can also help determine your risk factors and discuss ways to prevent varicose veins in the future. Contact our office today for a free screening.