Varicose veins are those bulging blue or purple veins that pop up on the surface of your leg. They are believed to be caused by weak valves in the veins. These valves keep blood moving toward the heart; however, when they become weak, blood pools in the veins. As a result, veins stretch, sag and protrude causing a visible bulge on the leg.
Pregnancy and hormones can also play a role in the development of varicose veins. Fortunately, most varicose veins caused by pregnancy will deflate after three months. However, another pregnancy could bring them back for good.
While you can’t entirely prevent varicose veins, you can minimize your risk and help ease any discomfort from existing ones. In fact, some simple lifestyle changes can make all the difference. Here are our top tips for addressing varicose veins.
Regular exercise will keep the blood properly circulating in your legs.
Manage your weight
Maintain a healthy weight to reduce strain on your legs and veins.
Change positions when sitting
Shift your position frequently when standing or sitting for long periods of time.
Do not cross your legs
Don’t cross your legs when sitting as it hampers circulation and over time, can lead to problems.
Elevate your legs
Elevate your legs for 15 – 20 minutes each day.
Eat your fiber
Eat plenty of fiber, including fresh vegetables and fruits; constipation can contribute to varicose veins.
Massage your legs
Massage or dry brush your legs to keep the blood pumping. Use short firm strokes up your legs, toward your heart.
Wear compression gear
Wear compression socks, pants or hose, as consistent, gentle pressure can reduce the diameter of the veins and ensure proper blood flow.
Strengthen veins with witch hazel
Witch hazel can help strengthen vein walls, soak a wash cloth with it and place on the affected area.
Stretch your legs
Flex your feet and roll your ankles when sitting, especially if you’re taking a long car or train ride.
Try apple cider vinegar remedies
Soak a washcloth in equal amounts apple cider vinegar and water and apply as a compress. To help increase circulation, apple cider vinegar can also be used on salads or mixed into a glass of warm water.
Get your vitamin C
Add foods rich vitamin C into your diet to help with cell repair and strengthen capillaries.
Use food as medicine
Add anti-inflammatory foods into your diet to reduce swelling. Foods such as berries, dark leafy greens, beets, ginger, turmeric, onions, garlic and oily fish can reduce inflammation in your body.
Vitamin B deficiencies can lead to damage in the lining of the blood vessels. Lean meat, tuna, shrimp, poultry, potatoes, sweet potatoes, legumes, sunflower seeds, avocadoes and bananas are all good sources.
Use essential oils
Consider using essential oils on a cool compress or added into your bath. Rosemary, lavender, cypress, pine and juniper berry all have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
Try these remedies to help treat and prevent varicose veins. Please come and see us if you are still experiencing pain. We can create a customized therapy program, including massage, to help you get the relief you deserve.