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No one likes varicose veins. They can be unsightly, uncomfortable, and, worst of all, potentially painful. But rather than wait for the veins to appear by themselves, there are a few simple methods you can use if you want to stave off their appearance for as long as possible.
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are swollen veins that frequently appear on the legs and feet. Direct causes vary, but it is generally agreed that varicose veins arise when the valves in veins function incorrectly, causing blood flow to be disrupted. Certain groups are more susceptible to varicose vein development, such as pregnant women and people who are overweight.
Can you prevent varicose veins?
While total prevention is difficult, there are a few simple behaviors one can implement into their lives if they wish to prevent varicose vein development.
Not only is exercise good for one’s general well-being, it can also be instrumental in the prevention of varicose veins. Adding a little extra exercise into one’s daily routine can push off the development of varicose veins by getting their blood moving.
An added benefit is weight loss; as previously mentioned, people who are overweight are significantly more likely to develop varicose veins than people who are not.
Adding exercise into one’s life is not difficult as long as they are willing to make a few minor changes. For example, biking to work or going for walks on the weekends encourages blood flow. For those who prefer low-impact exercises, going swimming and doing yoga reaps the same benefits as other forms of exercise.
Eating a balanced diet high in fiber can prevent varicose veins. Besides fiber, the key ingredient to watch out for is salt; high salt diets are unhealthy and are linked to a variety of health problems, including varicose vein development.
Drinking more water is always a good idea for those concerned about varicose vein development. Proper hydration is essential for good blood circulation, which is necessary to prevent varicose veins.
Avoid Standing or Sitting for Too Long
Working in an office environment can make embracing this tip difficult. However, small changes can be made for those worried that their day-to-day life might encourage varicose vein development.
While seated, small exercises can be performed to spur blood flow in the legs and feet. Simply moving the ankles and bending the knees is easy to do under a desk and can have countless benefits for vascular health.
Additionally, making a point to walk around the office or travel by foot during one’s lunch break can have similar advantages.
Elevating one’s legs is a proven way to prevent varicose vein formation. Doing this reduces leg swelling and relieves discomfort.
Raising the legs above the level of one’s heart three or four times per day for periods of around fifteen minutes has been shown to alleviate symptoms of leg discomfort and prevent varicose veins.
Some have also found that sleeping with their legs elevated provides similar benefits. At the very least, tucking a pillow under one’s legs while relaxing or watching television can ease leg stress and promote blood movement.
While there is little concrete data to back up the use of compression stockings in varicose vein prevention, many doctors and consumers alike still recommend wearing compression stockings to improve circulation in the legs.
Compression stockings work by applying pressure to the lower legs, which increases blood flow and prevents discomfort. In order to ensure that compression stockings will work properly, it is important to correctly size the stockings so they properly fit the wearer’s legs.
Compression stockings should be worn during the day and removed at night. The stockings’ efficacy is maintained through proper care and washing, and they should be replaced every three to six months.
Varicose Vein Treatment Options
While all of these behaviors can prevent varicose veins, their occurrence is unfortunately sometimes inevitable. Once varicose veins appear, it is nearly impossible for them to go away on their own.
To gauge the extent of your varicose veins and to see what options are available for treatment, take our free virtual vein consultation. From there, we can offer a variety of treatment options that cater to your needs. To take the test or to find out more, click here.