Varicose veins may be hereditary and are a chronic problem that will likely accompany you for your lifetime. There’s little you can do about your age, gender, or genetics. That said, you can avoid the common risk factors to help delay the development of varicose veins, or at least keep them from progressing.
You can achieve this by:
- Staying active: Keep your leg muscles engaged to maintain proper blood flow. Great exercises include swimming, walking, and flexing leg muscles.
- Avoiding high heels: Reducing the use of high heels, or completely avoiding them. High heels tend to limit the ability of the calf to pump blood, which in turn increases the risk of developing varicose veins.
- Avoiding heat: The sun, sauna, and extended hot baths heat the skin and cause the veins to dilate in order to dissipate heat. This will encourage blood to flow via the superficial veins, rather than deep veins, increasing the risk of varicose veins.
- Maintaining a healthy body weight: Excess weight overloads the circulation, disrupts your blood pressure, and contributes to varicose veins.
- Wearing medicinal stockings as instructed by your doctor: Elastic stockings are the most common preventive measure. They work by deviating blood from the superficial veins, where varicose veins are likely to form, to the deeper veins.
If you spend a lot of your time on your feet because of your profession – teaching, hairdressing, healthcare, cooking – follow this procedure to relieve the symptoms temporarily:
Step 1: Lie down
Step 2: Raise your legs about 6 inches above your heart level
Step 3: Maintain this position for 10 minutes, and repeat several times a day
Lastly, if you start experiencing the symptoms of varicose veins, including pain, aches, and fatigue, you should visit a qualified doctor to diagnose the origin of venous reflux in your legs, the cause, and discuss available treatment options.