Summer is Coming: 10 Ways to Reduce & Relieve Varicose Veins
Love summer, but hate showing your legs due to ugly veins? Don’t let them stop you from enjoying yourself!
Here are 10 easy steps you can take to prevent or reduce varicose veins in your legs.
- Exercise Every Day: You don’t need to run a marathon (or even a mile), but 30 minutes of movement to get your blood pumping works wonders not just for your legs but for your heart too.
- Consume Flavonoids: These metabolites have been proven to strengthen vessel walls and improve circulation, which can reduce symptoms and progression of varicose veins. High-flavonoid foods include onions, garlic, broccoli, cherries, grapes, and apples. You can also purchase Bio-Flavonoid supplements such as Diosmin and VenEase online or at your local vitamin retailer.
- Watch Your Sodium Intake: Some salt is essential for your body to function correctly, however, eating too much salt can be harmful. Processed and restaurant foods contain a LOT of sodium. Minimize processed / pre-made foods and focus more on fresh produce. Salt causes increased water retention which causes edema, bloating, and weight gain. All of these can exacerbate symptoms of varicose veins, increase blood pressure, and contribute to heart disease.
- Dress Loose: Constricting clothes, especially pants, socks, and shoes, can restrict blood flow, which can impede venous return and lymphatic circulation. This can lead to leg edema and increased pressure within the leg veins. To prevent this, opt for stretchy fabrics, loose styles, and comfortable well-supported shoes.
- Compression is a Friend: The #1 best clothing item to help your varicose veins and leg swelling is compression socks. Medical grade compression socks contain a graduated measure of compression that assists circulation back up the legs and helps eliminate leg edema. Compression socks or hoses can be purchased online or in most medical equipment retailers. Most vascular offices have them in inventory too.
- Explore Plan Extracts: Aesculus hippocastanum L. is reported to help relieve leg pain, heaviness, and itching in people with chronic venous insufficiency, which is a major cause of varicose veins. Pine extract (pinus maritima) and Butcher’s broom extract may help reduce associated leg swelling. You can find these online or at your local organic market or health store. Always check with your physicians before adding new medications or supplements.
- Lift Those Legs: Varicose veins often develop when the one-way valves inside the veins stop working. These one-way valves help circulation return up the leg to the heart and lungs. Venous circulation in the legs is particularly challenging as it fights the pull of gravity. To assist venous circulation, elevate your legs above your heart each day for at least 15 minutes. If you’re extra flexible, lay down on the floor, scoot your bottom to the wall and rest your legs up the wall. This is the opposite of standing and can be quite effective at eliminating pooled fluids in the legs.
- Make Time for Massages: Who doesn’t love a good massage? Not only do they reduce stress, but they also vastly improve circulation throughout the body. Try working a 30-minute massage into your weekly routine, either from a loved one or a professional. Self-massage with a rich emollient will also improve circulation and help relieve itchy symptoms that sometimes accompany varicose veins.
- Stretch Your Limbs and Body: Daily stretching and yoga poses are beneficial because they align the body in a balanced way, opening up joints and elongating muscles, as well as improving circulation. Several yoga poses further promote circulation by compressing and releasing the veins and elevating your heart above your head.
- Move, Move, Move: While exercise was #1 on this list, you don’t need to break a sweat every time you go outside. Small actions like taking the steps, parking in the third row, and walking for 20 minutes, are all little ways to increase activity and improve circulation.
Sometimes no matter what you do, varicose veins worsen over time. If you experience discomfort such as pain, throbbing, aching, heaviness, itching, swelling, or skin changes, it’s time to see a doctor. Modern treatments are done in the office in 30 minutes or less, are minimally invasive, cause little or no discomfort, and do not require any downtime. If you would like to schedule a consultation to learn more, please call 866-695-8346. Take the first step to healthier, happier legs!