For whatever reason, you may not be ready to undergo a non-invasive treatment to remove your varicose veins. We respect that, so today, we’ll focus on things you can do at home to relieve the symptoms of varicose veins and slow down their spread.
What Is a Varicose Vein?
Varicose veins occur when the valves in the veins malfunction. When valves do their job correctly, they push blood back towards the heart. If they are weakened or damaged, the blood starts flowing backward and pools up, causing dark, bulging, twisted, and swollen veins.
If you have varicose veins, you may experience some of these symptoms:
- Burning or throbbing sensation in the leg
- Heavy or achy feeling in the legs
- Muscle cramps that usually become more noticeable at night
- Swollen feet or ankles
- Dry or itchy skin on or around the varicose vein
Varicose veins won’t go away unless they are removed. If you’re not ready to undergo a non-invasive surgery to remove the veins, some at-home remedies can relieve symptoms and reduce varicose veins from spreading.
Top 10 Ways to Relieve and Reduce Varicose Veins
1.) Exercise, Exercise, Exercise
Exercising regularly encourages better blood circulation in the legs. Better blood circulation and the pumping of the calf muscle (which has a heart-like action in the legs) help to push the blood collected in the veins back up towards the heart. Exercise can also lower your blood pressure, which is often a contributing factor to varicose veins.
You don’t have to take on a high impact exercise routine to get results. Low-impact exercises like swimming, walking, cycling, and yoga are all effective ways to get the calf muscles pumping and the blood flowing.
2.) Compression Stockings to the Rescue
Compression stockings apply more pressure to your legs than a regular pair of socks or hose. The pressure keeps the blood from pooling and helps the muscles and veins to move it back to the heart. You can find compression stockings at most pharmacies or even online.
A 2018 study found that people who used knee-high compression stockings with a pressure of 18 to 21 mmHg for one week experienced a reduction in the heaviness, pain, and aching associated with varicose veins.
3.) Say So Long to Sodium-Rich Foods
Sodium-rich foods cause your body to retain water. To minimize water retention, cut down on salty, sodium-rich food.
4.) Power up on Potassium
Potassium minimizes water retention by causing cells to release water, which then leaves the body in the form of urine. To increase foods that are high in potassium, eat more:
- Lentils and white beans
- Almonds and pistachios
- Leafy vegetables
- Certain fish like salmon and tuna
5.) Stop Straining
Straining when going to the bathroom, can aggravate or worsen damaged valves. Eat foods with fiber to keep your bowels flowing smoothly. Foods that are high in fiber include:
- Seeds, nuts, and legumes
- Wheat, oats, and flaxseed
- Whole-grain foods
6.) Eat Your Flavonoids!
Flavonoids improve blood circulation, which will make it less likely to pool in the veins. Flavonoids may also help shrink varicose veins by reducing blood pressure in the arteries and relaxing blood vessels.
Foods that contain flavonoids include:
- Onions, bell peppers, broccoli, and spinach
- Citrus fruits, cherries, grapes, apples, and blueberries
7.) Toss Out the Tight Clothes and Stilettos
We know this may be a challenge for some of you, but tight-fitting clothing can restrict blood flow and make it harder for damaged valves to pump blood back to the heart. Wearing loose-fitting clothing may improve circulation. Wearing flats instead of heels may also help with varicose veins in the legs because it’s easier for your body to circulate blood when your feet are flat on the ground.
8.) Keep Those Beautiful Legs Elevated!
Elevating the legs at the same height as or above the heart will help improve circulation. It reduces the pressure in your legs and gives gravity a chance to help move blood smoothly back to your heart.
If you are going to be sitting down for long periods, keep your legs elevated as much as possible.
Massage is the perfect way to get the blood moving- it also helps you relax! If you choose to do a gentle at-home massage, make sure to avoid pressing directly onto the fragile tissues on or around your varicose veins. Instead, use gentle smooth movements near those areas to guide the blood back towards your heart.
Massage oils or moisturizers can be used for optimal effect. There are also essential oils that have been blended specifically to treat varicose veins or blended into massage oils to get the circulation moving.
10.) Keep That Body Moving
Sitting and standing in the same place for long periods aggravate varicose veins. If you have to sit for long periods for work, take a few minutes every hour to get up and move your body or, if that’s not possible, change position frequently to keep the blood flowing smoothly. If you have to stand for long periods, move your body as much as possible, take quick walks, or do some squats.
You’ve Tried Everything, But Nothing Worked
If varicose veins are causing you severe discomfort, or maybe you are just tired of looking at them, non-invasive medical treatments are available. In our office alone, you have access to a variety of treatments, including:
- Endovenous laser therapy
- Injection sclerotherapy
- Ambulatory phlebectomy
These treatments are performed at an in-office visit, have very few side effects, and require little recovery time. You may be surprised at just how easy it is to have your varicose veins removed. And the best part is that not only will the symptoms go away after removal, but you won’t have to look at those ugly twisted veins anymore!
Every individual is different. Discussing your particular situation with a doctor can help you make the best decision about the right treatment to reduce your varicose veins. Whenever you are ready for a consultation, we’re here to help!
- Image Attribute
- Medical News Today
- Science Direct