Many find varicose veins to be unpleasant. These dark, bumpy veins are highly visible under the skin and can be painful, itchy, and very irritating. Fortunately, there’s no need to feel as though you have to stick with varicose veins—many noninvasive treatment options are available to help you get rid of the veins. These options are done in-house by a specialist and are covered by most insurance plans. You can reach out to a vascular physician in Orlando at Central Florida Vein & Vascular Center to talk about what treatment options would be best for getting rid of your varicose veins. Before you make time to set up that appointment, however, there are small lifestyle changes you can make to prevent irritating your varicose veins further.
What are Varicose Veins?
To understand why these lifestyle changes are beneficial, it helps to first understand what causes varicose veins. Vein valves help to circulate blood throughout your body. Valves in the leg work the hardest due to gravity making it difficult to pump blood upwards. These vein valves can become damaged or weakened over time which causes blood to pool in the vein. As a result, varicose veins are formed.
These veins are often characterized by raised, bumpy, discolored veins that are visible under the surface of the skin. Many with varicose veins experience several painful physical symptoms. The legs may feel fatigued or heavy. The veins can be painful or itchy. If left alone, this form of venous insufficiency risks becoming a worse health concern—sometimes the veins leak and create an ulcer. In the worst-case scenario, a blood clot can form. This clot can travel to the lung and cause a pulmonary embolism. This is why treatment and lifestyle changes for varicose veins are important. A small bit of effort today can prevent more serious issues later.
Avoid Extended Sitting or Standing
If you work in an office environment, it’s likely that you spend a considerable amount of time during your day either sitting or standing. Try to break up these periods by taking a quick stroll around the office. The extra movement will help circulate blood through your veins.
While sitting, try keeping your legs in a position that’s ideal for optimal circulation, if possible. Avoid crossing your legs as it can cut off necessary circulation. Once you’re relaxing at home, try to keep your legs raised when you’re sitting or sleeping. It’s ideal to keep your legs above the level of your heart when possible. This will remove a lot of the stress your veins are currently experiencing when trying to circulate blood.
Avoid Tight Clothes
Tight clothes can cut off circulation, which is far from ideal when your veins are already struggling. Try to stay away from clothes that are especially constricting around your waist, upper thighs, and legs. Instead, pick out some loose-fitting shorts or pants. These wardrobe choices won’t put excess stress on your vein valves. if you’re self-conscious, looser pants can keep you cool while still hiding your veins.
Physical activity is one of the best ways to strengthen your veins and improve your circulation. You don’t need to take hours out of your day to help your varicose veins. You can plan short, fifteen minute walks around your neighborhood or your office. If you have a bike, consider taking a short ride on a local nature trail. Swimming can also be a great, relaxing activity now that the weather is getting warmer. Of course, make sure to keep water with you during these activities—it’s especially important to stay cool and hydrated with varicose veins.
Lose Weight, If Needed
If you’re overweight or obese, your veins are working even harder to circulate blood properly. Losing weight takes a lot of that added pressure off your veins. Consider creating and maintaining an exercise routine that works with your schedule, as well as making healthy choices during meals. It may be best to contact your primary care physician for help in figuring out what healthy lifestyle choices will be ideal for getting you to a healthy weight for your body type.
Avoid High Heels
Many enjoy the look of their legs in high heels because they make calf muscles more pronounced. However, these often uncomfortable shoes also prohibit proper circulation and can irritate varicose veins. If you must wear them, avoid wearing them for long periods. Try to alternate days you wear heels with days you wear flats or another low-heeled comfortable shoe. Lower heeled shoes are better for strengthening your calf muscles, which helps your veins circulate blood properly.
As you can see, lifestyle changes for varicose veins are simple. In some cases, such as staying active, they can be great for improving your overall health. It’s important to note that, while these changes can help relieve some of the symptoms of varicose veins and improve your overall venous health, they are not a cure. It is still necessary to see a specialist to check the current state of your varicose veins and seek treatment to avoid more serious health concerns later in life.
When you feel it’s time to seek out a specialist for an evaluation or treatment, contact a vascular physician in Orlando at Central Florida Vein & Vascular Center. We understand that each patient is a unique individual with their own health needs—treatment is not one-size-fits-all. We are dedicated to providing treatment plans that will be best for you. You can schedule a consultation with one of our specialists by calling 407-545-3385 or 352-658-5547. We can evaluate your level of venous insufficiency and put together a treatment plan that will help you feel great about your legs again. If you’re curious about what treatment options available, you can also browse our blogs for more information. While you’re waiting for your appointment, remember to keep cool and continue taking those short walks! Your veins will appreciate the time you put into taking care of them.