Varicose veins, in addition to being unsightly, can be quite painful. Because of this, today we recommend that you check out these home remedies for varicose veins that will help you delay the development or alleviate whatever discomfort you may have.
Check out your family tree
Varicose veins are a hereditary vascular problem. Although we don’t know their cause, some experts believe that it is a disability in the gene that regulates vein development. This can give rise to defects in the structure of valves and veins or, in certain people, cause a decrease in the number of valves in the veins, causing the few that do exist to have to work harder. If you have family members who suffer from varicose veins, you may be at higher risk. Here’s some advice on how to prevent them:
Although exercise alone can’t prevent varicose veins, doctors agree that physical activity can diminish symptoms and improve circulation, which prevents blood from accumulating. To get blood flowing in your legs, almost every exercise that involves your legs works. Whether you’re riding a bike, taking an aerobics class, walking or running, using a stair-stepper at the gym, or just climbing the stairs at work during your lunch hour, all of them are great exercises for your legs.
Lose the pounds
Excess weight means that most people aren’t active enough, which means their leg muscles aren’t working enough. As a result, people with more weight generally aren’t able to pump blood from their heart to their extremities as efficiently. Additionally, the blood vessels of overweight people tend to hold more blood than those of a thinner person, because they have more tension in their veins.
Eat a balanced diet
In addition to helping maintain an appropriate weight, a balanced diet can give you the nutrients necessary to help fight varicose veins. For example, protein and vitamin C have components of collagen, part of the tissue in veins and valves. If there is an abundance of collagen, the tissues will be stronger and more resistant. A balanced diet that contains a variety of foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and sources of lean protein is the best way to obtain enough valuable nutrients. However, it can’t cure varicose veins.
Take a load off if you’re on your feet frequently
When you’re standing in one place, the blood in the veins in your legs doesn’t just have to make a long journey upwards against the force of gravity, it has to do so without the aid of the muscles in your legs expanding and contracting. As a result, blood tends to accumulate in your legs, which can cause the development of varicose veins. If you can, take some time to walk or, preferably, sit down with your legs up. If you have to stay standing, shift your weight from one foot to the other while standing on the balls of your feet. This will help involve your leg muscles to push the blood back to your heart.
Lift your legs
Putting your feet up is good, but lifting your legs above your heart is even better. It’s a way to use gravity to help bring the blood away from your feet and back to your heart. Doctors recommend elevating your legs to alleviate leg pain and swelling. So, lie down on a sofa and put your legs up on the arm or put three or four pillows underneath them. If you can’t do that, lie on the floor and put your feet on a chair. Whenever you can, try to lift your legs for ten minutes once an hour.
Don’t sit for too long
Some experts theorize that staying seated for prolonged periods can contribute to the growth of varicose veins. The bent knees and hips while sitting complicate and slow the return of blood to the heart. Thus, it’s very important when on a long flight or car ride, or in a day at the office (or at home), to stand up and stretch your legs once in a while. When you need to sit down, stay on the balls of your feet and lift your heels up and down ten times.
The same thing that happens when you’re sitting in a chair with a seat that is too low for your legs: the front edge of the seat can press into the backs of your knees and compress blood vessels and restrict circulation.
Don’t cross your legs either, since the contraction of muscles in your feet can help the blood flow up and down through your legs. While you’re sitting, do some exercises to strengthen the flow.
Wear comfortable clothes
Make sure that your pants, and other clothes you wear around your waist and groin, are loose, since tight clothes can act like tourniquets which restrict the blood flow in these important points for circulation.
Likewise, wear comfortable shoes, because shoes with low heels put less straight on your calf muscles than shoes with high heels.
Sleep wearing spandex pants
These kinds of pants made from elastic material put pressure on your legs and can help a bit. Make sure, nevertheless, that you don’t choose ones that put too much pressure on your groin or waist, because those can cut off the circulation there.