Managing Symptoms of Varicose Veins
Regardless of which risk factors you can or can’t control, you can still take action. The following self-care suggestions for Managing Symptoms of Varicose Veins can help you manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Elevating Your Legs
Varicose veins form when the one-way valves inside your veins become stretched out or damaged. This causes a backup of blood in the legs due to gravity. In essence, blood is trickling back down the legs and pooling there. This is known as venous reflux. This is why your legs are more likely to be painful and swollen in the evening, after you’ve been on your feet all day.
What’s a simple solution which counteracts the effects of gravity? Elevating your legs. Performing this one single action can will give immediate, if temporary, relief.
Stretching and Exercising
Don’t worry, a strenuous exercise plan isn’t necessary to manage your symptoms. In fact, it could possibly make things worse.
Instead, focus on gentle aerobic exercises such as walking. Even walking for as little as 30 minutes, on most days of the week, can significantly improve your vein health. The key is engaging the large muscles of the legs, in particular the calves.
Whenever you flex your calves or “toe off,” blood is forced back up your legs, towards the heart. This eliminates blood which has pooled in the lower legs, providing temporary relief from many venous symptoms. Aside from this, regular, gentle exercise has many other health benefits and is a good habit to get into.
If you can’t get up and take an extended walk, be sure to get up and walk briefly every ½ hour. A trip to the bathroom and back is all that’s required. By doing this alone, you’ll receive many of the same benefits as with longer walk. Similarly, simply standing up and pressing down with the calves, as if standing on your tip-toes, also engages calves.
Hydration is Key
What’s one of the best ways to feel foggy-brained and sluggish? It’s simple—don’t drink enough water. Proper hydration is something more of us should pay better attention to. It’s essential for good overall health—every organ system in your body requires plenty of water to function well. This includes your venous system.