How can I stop my varicose veins getting worse?

How can I stop my varicose veins getting worse?

Fortunately, as far as helping to relieve symptoms, there are plenty of options to choose from. Four options to consider are:

  • Compression stockings
  • Avoid sitting or standing for long periods
  • Exercise
  • Elevate your legs

The most common first step is compression stockings which be found online and at most pharmacies. Options like not sitting and standing for long periods, exercise, and elevating your legs only take a few minutes and can be done after work or even on breaks!

These options are fantastic for those seeking to alleviate their varicose vein symptoms. Keep in mind that they aren’t a cure for varicose veins, which is a progressive and chronic disease that may require medical attention.

Treatment Option 1: Wear Compression Stockings

Compression stockings, also known as support stockings, are tight around the ankle and become less tight the higher they go. They help increase the circulation of blood in the leg by redirecting the flow to the heart from the leg.

Compression stockings come in different ratings and your condition will impact the type you need. For instance, nurses often wear stockings with a 15 mm Hg compression rating. However, they may actually need a higher rating of 20-30 mm Hg to get the most benefits. On the other hand, pregnant women usually only need compression stockings with a 15 mm Hg - 20 mm HG compression rating.

Treatment Option 2: Avoid Sitting or Standing for Long Periods

People in professions that require standing or sitting for long periods of time run a greater risk of developing varicose veins. These professions include teachers, commercial drivers, medical professionals, as well as hairstylists, and office workers. Sitting or standing for long periods of time magnifies gravity’s effect. This causes blood to flow backward in the legs of patients whose veins are genetically predisposed to weaken, with the inflammation resulting from blood pooling in the leg.

Those who stand for long periods of time should try to sit whenever possible to help alleviate the symptoms of varicose veins, and those who sit for long periods of time should make sure to get up and walk around to get the blood pumping. Both groups can benefit from doing calf raises or other exercises that engage the leg and calf muscles when stationary.

Treatment Option 3: Exercise

Being overweight puts extra pressure on our arteries, but not many people realize that it puts extra pressure on our veins as well. The extra weight increases the resistance against one-way valves within those particular veins. In some patients, this can lead to complications of discoloration, sores, or rashes if left untreated. In worst-case scenarios, even blood clots or bleeding.

People who exercise tend to have fewer complaints about varicose vein symptoms than those who do not so exercise is encouraged. This can be as easy as walking for 30 minutes a day, five days a week.

Treatment Option 4: Elevate Your Legs

One of the most helpful things a sufferer of varicose veins can do is elevate their legs whenever possible. Make sure that your feet and legs are above your heart when elevating them. It makes it easier for blood that has pooled in your legs to flow to your heart and improve circulation. You can also elevate your legs while sitting during your break.

People who work in healthcare, teaching, and other professions that require standing should do this as soon as their shift ends. Elevate your legs three times a day for 15 - 20 minutes for the best results.

All of these tips will help alleviate the symptoms of varicose veins. However, it’s important to understand that varicose veins are a chronic and progressive condition that worsens over time, though symptoms may subside for a while.

It’s better to not wait until your condition worsens to seek treatment for varicose veins. Today’s treatments are minimally invasive and can be performed in-office. Schedule your free vein screening today and you’ll be back to the life you love in no time.

We treat varicose veins differently at East Tennessee Vein Clinic because we eliminate the entire network of failed veins, not just large visibly bulging veins. In 2001, Dr. Andrew M. Douglass opened the first dedicated vein clinic in Tennessee, and since then has helped thousands of patients have healthy legs that look and feel better.

If you’d like to be free from the painful symptoms and unsightly appearance of varicose veins, request a consultation with the experts at East Tennessee Vein Clinic in Knoxville, or call us at 865.686.0507, or toll-free at 866.281.VEIN.

“Wonderful family atmosphere. I could not have asked for a higher quality of patient care. Wonderful bedside manner by every single employee.”

- J. D., Powell, TN