Although lifestyle changes won’t reverse the effects of varicose veins they can help to prevent them from developing in the first instance. In this blog post, we will define varicose veins, the three key lifestyle changes you can make and what to do if you think you already have them.
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are enlarged or swollen blood vessels that appear on the surface of our skin, most commonly on our legs and feet. They can look twisted and bulging, and are usually blue/purple in colour.
They occur when the walls in our veins lose their elasticity, causing the one-way valves that push blood up to our heart to stop working properly. As a result, blood pools and pressure builds, which explains why these veins normally appear large and swollen.
So, how do we prevent this from happening?
Regular exercise and movement: Exercise in general helps to improve your cardiovascular system by pumping blood back up to the heart and away from your legs and feet. Cardiovascular exercises such as walking, running or cycling are great ways to reduce the likelihood of developing varicose veins and improve your cardiovascular health on the whole.
Unsurprisingly, it is often advised to avoid standing or sitting for prolonged periods of time as this allows the blood to pool in our legs, putting strain on the valves in our veins. However, if your job and everyday activities prevent you from doing this, try elevating your legs when possible e.g. when you sleep, to help reduce this stress on the legs.
Loose clothing: Although the effect of clothing is mild, tight-fitting clothes can restrict your blood flow putting additional strain on vein valves. It is also recommended to wear compression stockings, to help promote healthy blood flow by applying an even pressure around your legs and feet, helping your calf muscles to pump blood back up your deep veins in your legs.
Maintain a healthy weight: It is important to ensure that you are a healthy weight to prevent additional pressure on your veins, making It harder for the blood to move away from your legs and feet and up towards your heart.
What should you do if you think you have varicose veins?
If you are ever in doubt about whether or not you have varicose veins, always speak to an expert vascular consultant like the ones we have in the Premier Veins team. We will perform a vein ultrasound scan to assess blood flow and detect poorly functioning valves. They can then diagnose whether you have varicose veins and provide you with information on the best treatment plans available to you.
How can we help?
At Premier Veins, we offer a FREE, no-obligation mini-consultation for anyone considering varicose or thread vein treatment. This will provide you with an opportunity to:
Meet the team of vein specialists who would be carrying out your treatment;
Discuss our walk-in-walk-out treatment options that come with a 12-month guarantee and all-inclusive pricing plans; and
Ask any questions you may have about our services.