Five Ways to Reduce the Occurrence of Varicose Veins
There are many factors that contribute to developing varicose veins. For example, heredity plays a role – do other members of your family have them? People who are very tall, overweight or have prior leg trauma are at greater risk to develop them, as are pregnant women. People who have jobs that require sitting or standing for long periods of time, like teaching, retail sales or driving, are also prone to develop varicose veins.
Not only do they make your legs feel tired and ache, having varicose veins can also lead to life-threatening blood clots. According to a recent study, people with varicose veins are at five times the risk for developing Deep Vein Thrombosis, or DVT, which are dangerous blood clots in your leg that can travel to the lungs.
What you can do:
While you may check one or many of those at-risk boxes, there are still things you can do to reduce the occurrence of varicose veins. Here are five things to incorporate into your daily life to help keep your legs and veins healthy:
- Wear compression stockings when sitting or standing for long periods of time, like on an airplane, train or bus.
- When sitting at your desk or watching TV, practice lifting your heels, which flexes your “calf pump,” helping to return blood to your heart. This prevents blood from pooling in veins.
- Move your legs often each hour, working your thigh and calf pumps. Walking or leg movement is how you return blood to your heart. This takes the stress off the veins in your legs.
- Wear compression stockings during the last trimester of your pregnancy, when legs tend to swell.
- The summer heat will also make your legs swell. To counter leg swelling, take a dip in a pool, standing in cooler water for 10 to 20 minutes. This is nature’s version of the compression stocking and will push blood back up to the heart.
Medical Vein Clinic is happy to fit you in the correct pair of compression socks. To schedule your free fitting, please call 210-622-8000 or email us at [email protected].