Varicose Veins is becoming a common problem among many people. Varicose Veins is a medical condition in which the veins in the leg bulge out and can be seen as a bluish or purple discoloration on the skin of the calf and feet.(3) Varicose veins also cause swelling around the area of discoloration and at times ulcers.(4, 5) People above the age of 40 are more vulnerable to get Varicose Veins.
There are many causes for Varicose Veins. Among the most common reason for varicose veins are long periods of inactivity. This is mostly seen in the elderly population and people who have a sitting job and they do so for prolonged periods of time without a break.
Family history of varicose veins along with being overweight, female gender, pregnancy, and overuse of contraception are all risk factors of varicose veins.(5) Below mentioned are some tips to prevent varicose Veins and if an individual already has it then steps to prevent them from worsening.
5 Steps to Take to Prevent Varicose Veins
Some of the steps that can be taken to prevent Varicose Veins are:
Take Breaks from Sitting/Standing: Prolonged periods of standing or sitting are one of the primary causes of Varicose Veins. This is because when an individual sits for long periods of time, then the blood circulation especially to the lower extremities get affected. This happens due to blood traveling against gravity back up through the veins. This puts immense pressure on the veins resulting in the blood to accumulate around the veins causing Varicose Veins. Taking frequent breaks of about 5-10 minutes after every hour of sitting is a must to keep the blood circulation normalized. If you are having a busy day at work and getting up is difficult, keeping the feet moving like pedaling a bicycle is a good exercise to do to keep the blood circulation going. Gentle stretching of the ankles can also be done for this purpose. So getting up and moving about helps in preventing varicose veins. Elevating the legs is also something that can be done to prevent varicose Veins.
Treat Varicose Veins with Compression Hosiery(6, 8): Wearing tight socks or stockings can also result in pressure being applied on the veins. Instead wear compression socks and stockings, which will make it easy for the blood to flow through the veins and cut out the chances of pooling of blood. This in turn prevents Varicose Veins . Compression hosiery may result in cramping in some people and thus it is advisable to speak to a physician before choosing a sock or stocking, especially for people who already have this condition and are weary of worsening it.
Lifestyle Modifications for Preventing Varicose Veins(7, 8): Certain cases of varicose veins develop due to factors which are beyond the control of an individual like a family history of this condition. This makes it essential to resort to healthy lifestyle habits to prevent them from worsening. Obesity is one of the common risk factor for Varicose Veins . Thus eating a healthy balanced diet and shedding off extra weight through healthy means is a must. Avoidance of saturated fats is a must. Fast foods like pizzas, burgers, and other fatty foods should also not be a part of the diet. It is also essential to drink plenty of water as hydration is a must to prevent Varicose Veins.[1, 2]
Diligent Exercise helps Prevent Varicose Veins(8): To prevent Varicose Veins, the best exercise to do is walking. Brisk walking at least 30 minutes every day not only burns extra fat in the body, but also improves blood circulation.
Practicing yoga is yet another option to improve blood circulation and prevent Varicose Veins. There are various yoga poses that stretch the muscles of the feet and calves, which the veins work normally. Cycling or swimming are also some forms of exercises to keep the veins working normally and prevent varicose veins.
Prevent Varicose Veins with Correct Sleeping Positions: This is only reserved for pregnant females who are most vulnerable to have varicose veins. It is advisable for pregnant females to sleep on the left side to prevent development of Varicose Veins and if the female already has prevent varicose veins, then to prevent them from worsening. Sleeping in this position reduces the pressure that is exerted on the veins around the pelvic region by the growing fetus.
In conclusion, varicose veins are a common problem, which is faced by many people above the age of 35. This condition causes skin discoloration, swelling, and pain mainly in the lower extremities in the region of the calf and feet. There are certain risk factors which are not under the control of an individual like a family history of this condition or pregnancy.[1, 2]
However, many causes for varicose veins are controllable and for such individuals it can be prevented. Mentioned above are some easy steps, which when practiced diligently can prevent development of varicose veins and if an individual already has it will prevent worsening of varicose veins.[1, 2]