Elevating Legs for a Few Minutes a Few Times a Day Can Help with Varicose Veins
Having varicose veins is nothing to be ashamed of. While excessive salt consumption and excess body weight can contribute to varicose vein formation, some people get them simply from having weak veins, regardless of their diet and exercise routines. However, no matter what caused your varicose veins, there are simple and painless ways to lessen their appearance and soothe pain from venous inflammation.
Your Circulatory System and Varicose Veins
You're probably aware that your heart pumps blood throughout your body. You may even know that arteries carry blood away, and veins carry blood back to the heart. But did you know that your veins receive very little help from the pumping action of your heart? Your veins push blood back to the heart with the help of skeletal muscle contraction (from activities like walking) and one-way valves. These valves can be weakened from excess pressure and general wear and tear acquired with age. The veins in your legs are especially prone to becoming worn out since they have to work so hard to move blood against gravity. Worn out valves in your leg veins can allow back flow and pooling of blood, causing veins to bulge.
Give Your Varicose Veins a Break
You can help your varicose veins out by lessening the effect of gravity on them. Elevating your legs while you rest can take pressure off weakened and varicose veins. Make your arteries take the heat for a while by putting your feet up on an ottoman or coffee table while watching TV. You can recline in a recliner or simple lay down on the couch with your feet up on an arm of the couch. If you read in bed, try elevating your legs during that time with a few extra pillows under your feet. Crossing your legs can put excess pressure on leg veins, so try to stay away from that position.
Elevate and Exercise
Just so you don't appear to be too comfortable, you can do leg exercises while your feet are elevated that can also help your varicose veins. Try pointing and flexing your feet by bending them at the ankle 10 to 15 times. Rotate your feet at the ankle, changing direction every 30 seconds. These easy exercises can improve circulation and take further pressure off your veins.
Treating Varicose Veins On-the-Job
Many people have desk jobs, which aren't exactly kind to varicose veins. If your desk allows, try using a small box to elevate your feet for several hours each day. Ask the office custodian or receptionist if they have any extra boxes you could snag. You can also do leg exercises at work to keep your leg veins toned. Bend your legs at the knee a few times every hour to relieve pressure that may have built up. Grab a friend and take a walk around the building every few hours to help blood in your legs to circulate. Control your varicose veins with these simple methods of elevation and low-impact leg exercises.