Varicose veins are large, bulging veins in the legs that can cause significant discomfort. Patients with varicose vein disease may experience leg cramps, restless legs, fatigue, swelling, itching and bruising. More serious, untreated cases can lead to leg ulcers, skin scarring and blood clots.
What can you do to reduce vein discomfort and get back to the summer activities you love?
Varicose vein disease is caused by abnormal, backward blood flow in the superficial vein system in the leg. Elevating your legs is one way to reduce the achy feeling of varicose veins. After a long day of sitting or standing, elevate the legs above your heart to encourage blood circulation. Sit in a chair and kick your feet up on the table or lay on the couch with your legs on pillows, so blood can efficiently flow back to the heart. Yoga enthusiasts can also do the “Viparita Karani”, or legs-up-the-wall pose.
The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of physical activity, five days a week. Whether you choose to walk, jog or bike, even low-impact exercises can get the blood flowing through your legs and provide soothing pain relief from stretching and moving.
Whether you subscribe to the idea of eight glasses of water or half your body weight in ounces of water per day, it’s essential to stay hydrated. Drink as much water as you can to help with circulation in the legs.
4. Cool Off
During the heatwaves of summer, a cool shower or bath can be just what the doctor ordered. Cold water also helps to shrink our blood vessels, which can alleviate painful leg swelling. Even when outdoor temperatures are cooler, warm showers and baths can cause more harm than good to your varicose veins.
We give our varicose vein patients compression stockings, which can help reduce swelling in the legs. Minimized swelling can alleviate leg cramps, pain, itching and restlessness.
At the first sign of varicose veins, we recommend a consultation with one of our vein doctors. Our team will perform an ultrasound on your veins and develop a plan to treat the underlying disease and make you feel great.
To learn more about your treatment options for varicose veins, contact the Vein Centers of Connecticut today!