3 Exercises to Help Relieve Varicose Vein Symptoms
Varicose vein symptoms can have a very negative impact on your quality of life. Whether you’re dealing with aching legs that feel heavy or itchy, or are experiencing regular swelling, there are a few things you can do to help temporarily relieve the symptoms.
Varicose veins are chronic and progressive, which means they don’t get better on their own and they get worse over time. The only long term solution is treatment with a specialist. At East Tennessee Vein Clinic, we know that varicose veins that are visible are just the tip of the iceberg. We use ultrasound imaging that allows us to see beneath the skin to the entire network of vein disease. Finding the root source of vein disease allows us to make an accurate diagnosis in order to treat effectively.
Regular physical activity is good for your health no matter what. If you don’t currently have varicose veins but they run in your family, exercising regularly can help reduce symptoms of leg pain in many patients with varicose veins. It gets the blood pumping in your legs and improves circulation while helping you maintain a healthy weight. Obesity ups your risk factors when it comes to varicose veins, so exercise helps you out in multiple ways.
1. Take a walk to ease varicose vein symptoms
Just one 30 minute walk a day can help you reduce your varicose vein symptoms. Walking is generally safe for people of all ages, no matter what shape you’re in. Walking:
- Burns calories
- Strengthens your heart
- Can alleviate joint pain
- Boosts your immunity
- Boosts your energy
- Can put you in a better mood
- Builds up your muscles
- Relieves varicose vein symptoms and prevents them from getting worse!
Walking is low intensity. You can go at your own pace, and whether you’re on a treadmill or in the great outdoors, the benefits are enormous. Pick your favorite place and go for it.
2. Ride a bike
Riding a bike has the same positive benefits as walking, it just gets you there a little faster! Biking is low-impact, and increases circulation while helping you get some relief from your varicose vein symptoms.
Biking strengthens the muscles in both your upper and lower legs. This shouldn’t be your only form of exercise, however, because of the prolonged sitting. If you’re ever experiencing pain or find that this form of exercise makes your symptoms worse, stop doing it.
You may have heard that some cyclists developed varicose veins from riding for prolonged periods of time. While that has happened to marathon bike riders who have competed for years, cycling for shorter periods daily won’t cause that to happen. You won’t be putting the same stresses on your legs as a competitive biker would, even if you participate in weekend races.
3. Leg lifts and lunges
Both leg lifts and lunges help strengthen your upper and lower leg muscles, providing the same benefits that walking and biking do, but it also stretches them. To perform a leg lift:
- Lie flat on your back
- Lift one leg at a time and hold it in the air for a few seconds
- Alternate legs
To perform a lunge:
- Stand with your feet slightly apart
- Take one step forward, and then bend the knee of the leg that just took the step
- Keep your knee over your ankle
- Switch legs
Consider carrying a set of light weights with you when you do this to work your arms out at the same time.
If this exercise hurts your knees, don’t do it. If you struggle with certain exercises, check with a doctor or a fitness instructor to make sure it’s safe for you to do them.
Any exercise you do that strengthens and stretches your leg muscles will be beneficial. Most of modern living involves sitting and more sitting. On the other hand, many vocations require long periods of standing. Both contribute to varicose veins, so be sure to take time to get up, walk around and move your body — and especially your legs.
As we mentioned earlier, exercise can’t heal varicose veins. The only thing that can do that is medical treatment.
Varicose veins are a chronic, progressive condition that only worsens over time. The best way to prevent complications like venous skin ulcers is to ensure they never happen.
Contact us at East Tennessee Vein Clinic to get help for your varicose veins. We treat varicose veins differently by eliminating the entire network of failed veins, not just large visibly bulging veins. You can contact us online, or call us at 865.686.0507 or toll-free at 866.281.VEIN.