Recommendations for Good Vein Health
1. Regular exercise
Walking, running, or swimming for 30 minutes 5-7 days per week will help legs feel better. Biking is not as helpful as the above-mentioned activities. If you need to rest, elevate your legs for at least 10 minutes above the level of your heart. Avoid prolonged standing in place or sitting with the legs down.
2. Elevate your legs
Elevate your legs above the level of your heart for at least 10 minutes several times a day. This will help daily may diminish aching and swelling. Avoid prolonged standing in place or sitting with the legs down. If you must stay in one place without moving for prolonged periods of time, move your feet frequently.
3. Move your legs frequently
Flexing your ankles ten times at least 10 times every 5 minutes if you can. This pumps the blood out of your legs – similar way as walking. Repeat this every ten minutes while standing or sitting and try to get up and move around for at least a few minutes every half hour.
4. Maintain a proper weight
Even moderate weight loss may reduce aching in legs with varicose veins and diminish the rate at which spider veins develop.
5. Wear support hose
Wear support stockings during the day. Studies have shown that patients wearing support hose have much less progression of their vein disease. This is especially true of occupations or activities that require a lot of standing or sitting, long trips, or for aching legs. These are available at pharmacies and medical supply stores offering many different brands. The lighter support stocking are available at department stores, pharmacies, etc. The best stockings are “graduated” and offer more compression.
Light Support: 4-14mm Hg compression
Moderate Support: 15-20mm Hg compression
Good Support: 20-30mm Hg compression
Prescription strength: 20-40mm Hg compression
Do not spend any time squatting. If you need to work close to the ground, sit down and stretch your legs out.
7. Avoid high heeled shoes
Wearing high heeled shoes interferes with the normal pumping action of the calf muscles which predisposes to vein stress and high venous pressures. This will accelerate vein disease and lead to aching legs and fatigue.
Remember that the natural history of varicose veins and other related venous disease problems are chronic and will lead to progression of disease over time. Consequently follow-up to diagnose and treat early disease before more serious problems arise is recommended.