Proper care may reduce the appearance and symptoms associated with problem leg veins. Also, it may prevent your legs from developing further varicose or spider veins.
Self-care is prescribed to individuals following their professional treatment, but it is also given to pregnant women – offering comfort during the pregnancy. While it is highly effective, it is imperative that you follow the instructions given to you by your health practitioner for the best results.
Use Compression Stockings
Compression stockings secure around your lower legs (just below the knees) and provide consistent, light pressure. By doing so, they help push blood from the ankles back up the legs – preventing it from pooling in the legs. You can purchase compression stockings in a variety of pressures – based on your need and comfort level. You can usually use 20 mm pressure stockings without complication, but verify with your vascular expert to see which pressure is best for your condition.
Where to Buy Compression Stockings
- At Your Physician’s Office
- Surgical or Medical Supply Stores
- Sporting Goods Supply Stores
How to Use Compression Stockings
While compression stockings are safe and effective, you can increase the relief by using them properly. Some things to keep in mind include:
- Wear them Properly – Compression stockings may seem straightforward, but consult with your vein expert and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure you are using them properly. Never let your stockings go above the designated height, and keep them from bunching up towards the top – this can prevent the blood from flowing properly.
- Replace When Necessary – Once your compression stockings become loose, replace them right away. Most can last for four to six months before needing replacement.
- Never Wear While Sleeping – Compression stockings should never be worn while asleep unless you are specifically instructed to do so by your physician.
- Do Not Wear for Prolonged Periods of Time – Sometimes you will only need compression stockings for a few hours per day, while other times it is just one hour per day. Consult your physician to see how long you can safely wear them and adhere to their instruction.
Sometimes lack of physical activity can lead to vein problems. If you work your calves and thighs, you may be able to encourage blood to flow upward more naturally. While you do not have to engage in high-impact workouts, the more toned and athletic your legs are, the better the circulation may be. Some ways you can help pick up your activity levels include:
- Taking walks
- Getting up frequently throughout the day – especially if your job requires you to sit for prolonged periods
- Starting slowly. Do not start walking for long distances right away; instead, work on slowly increasing the duration of your activity.
Never run, jog or jump or engage in any other high-impact activities without getting permission from your vascular expert.
Elevating the Legs
You can elevate your legs to help the blood flow more naturally to the heart. While you are relaxing in the evening, try elevating your legs until they are just above the heart. Repeat this two to three times per day for a minimum of 15 minutes. While this is the best way to promote blood flow, not everyone can devote three sessions per day; so, try to elevate as much as you can while combining it with other blood circulating activities.
Is Your Lifestyle a Factor?
Sometimes your lifestyle plays a role in vein problems. If you are suffering from severe symptoms, there may be simple changes that you can make to help alleviate those symptoms.
If you are overweight, you may need to lose some weight to help reduce pain and swelling. Speak to your physician about approved workouts and what you can do to safely drop the weight.
Those who travel a lot (whether for pleasure or work) may suffer from vein problems more frequently. If you find yourself on long flights, try to get up periodically. If you have to travel by car, stop frequently and get out to walk for a few minutes.
Diet plays a role in vein problems as well. Too much sodium can cause water retention and actually lead to swollen, painful legs. Also, diets high in fat and cholesterol could play a role in your body’s vein issues. Speak with your vascular expert about any dietary changes you should make to help.