Many of my patients come to me with twisted and enlarged veins complaining of pain and discomfort. My diagnosis is swift and – unfortunately – comes as no surprise, when I confirm the presence of varicose veins. What may come as a surprise to you is that the appearance of those discolored, uncomfortable veins can be slowed, and in some cases – prevented. “How?” you ask… let me share some facts and tips; they may just save you a trip to my office.
Varicose Veins are NOT Always Inevitable
Most people believe that varicose veins cannot be prevented. That, is simply a fallacy. It’s true that pregnant women, hormonal factors, heredity, lifestyle, your age, and weight; are all contributors to the appearance of varicose veins. However, there are measures every one of you can take to prevent or delay their appearance. Let’s start with the most important and basic tip.
Exercise Is a Must
A sedentary lifestyle – constantly sitting and not moving your feet – is one of the prime contributors to the development of varicose veins. Exercise of any type is a must. Among my suggestions below, choose the simplest and easiest ones for you. Some movement is better than none at all; changing your sitting or standing position regularly, can make a difference.
- Sit or lie on your back. Now stick your feet straight out. Lift one leg at a time up, while holding it in the air. Then slowly lower it and repeat the same thing with your other leg.
- As little as 30 minutes of gentle walking per day will make a difference. Start slowly and gradually increase your time and distance.
- No access to any type of bike? Try lying on your back, while you put your legs in the air (bend them at the knee), then slowly pedal them – almost as if you were on a bicycle. You can attempt both legs simultaneously or one at a time.
- Stand with your legs apart. Step forward slowly, bending your knee. Make sure to keep your knee directly above your ankle. Hold it, then slowly straighten your leg and step back to your original position; repeat with the other leg.
- Stand with your legs straight, rise on your tiptoes and then lower back down. Repeat.
- Sit or stand, rock your feet back and forth from heel to toe. This can be done at any time and is an easy form of exercise.
You can judge for yourselves that some of the exercises are very easy to do. Choose one that’s comfortable for you.
As a doctor who regularly sees people suffering the pain and discomfort of varicose veins, I’ve often wondered, “If I could have suggested several basic exercise tips, would these patients still be in my office?” I’ll never have an answer to this question, but perhaps you can answer that one. If my recommendations can help alleviate some of your sufferings or even prevent the onset of ANY symptoms, why wouldn’t you try them?
Let me know how they work out for you. Stay active, be safe… and good luck!