Can Varicose Veins be Prevented?

compression stockings

If you are one of the more than 23 percent of Americans who suffer from varicose veins, you understand the frustration that comes with them.  These dark, swollen, twisted veins can be both unsightly and uncomfortable.  Many patients who have been diagnosed with varicose veins also report aching and heaviness in the legs, swollen ankles, and restless leg syndrome.  In addition, many find that the mere appearance of these veins leaves them feeling self-conscious, even if they are otherwise asymptomatic. 

The frustration that comes with the condition leaves many sufferers to wonder if there is anything they could have done to prevent the development of these problematic veins.  Unfortunately, the answer is no.  While there is no way to prevent varicose veins from forming in the first place, there are definite steps that can be taken to keep them under control and minimize their impact on your life.  If you have varicose veins, here are four facts you should know about managing them:

Sedentary Lifestyle Worsens Varicose Veins

Increasingly, the average American’s life has become more and more sedentary.  From jobs that require computer or desk work to long commutes to lounging with our phones, there are more incentives than ever to sit for lengthy periods of time.  However, for those who are prone to development of varicose veins, this lack of movement is almost certain to exacerbate the condition. 

Sitting for extended periods of time increases venous pressure and makes it more difficult for blood to circulate throughout the legs.  You can combat this by taking regular breaks to get up and move and by elevating the legs for 15 minute intervals at least three times per day.  Exercise programs such as walking and yoga are also useful to incorporate.

Compression Stockings can Help Improve Varicose Veins

Damaged veins have difficulty maintaining their proper position.  This can lead to the pooling of blood, pain and swelling often associated with varicose veins.  Compression stockings can help combat this by aiding in vein placement.  Because they help keep veins where they belong, these stockings can help reduce some of the more troublesome side effects of varicose veins, including cramping.

Healthy Lifestyle Matters for Varicose Veins

While varicose veins can result from many uncontrollable factors such as gender, age, and genetics, there are some causes which patients can influence.  Key among these is weight.  Being overweight or obese increases venous pressure and contributes to varicose veins.  Eating a healthy diet of proteins, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and fiber can help control weight.  Likewise, patients should limit sodium and focus on drinking healthy amounts of water each day.

Treating Varicose Veins

If varicose veins have become problematic for you, use these tips to help keep them under control.  If they continue to cause problems, consult with a vein specialist such as those at Cardiovascular Institute of the South regarding the various treatment options available to improve look and symptoms.

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CIS Staff

Written by CIS Staff