Varicose veins are often a serious concern for people over 50 years of age, especially women. These veins are either twisted, enlarged, or swollen and have a malfunctioning valve that restricts the righteous blood flow.
Blue or dark purple in colour, they are visible right under the skin and often appear on the legs and feet. Varicose veins go un-noticed in a few cases but may cause severe pain, damage to the skin, and life-threatening blood clots in some patients.
A few times, these occur due to genetics, aging that causes wear and tear of the vein valves, menopause, or pregnancy but at most times, lifestyle disorders are a leading cause of varicose veins. A slight shift in your everyday habits can help reduce the risk and ease the symptoms. Following are some recommendations to promote vein health in people of all age groups :
- Avoid tight clothes : Wearing loose clothes not only offers comfort but also improves blood flow around your waist, legs, and groin. You must totally avoid wearing body-hugging clothes like skinny jeans, body shaper’s, snug belts, etc.
- Ditch high heels : You must always choose a comfortable and low heel or flat heel footwear. Wearing high heels for longer duration can restrict blood flow in the legs and feet which can further cause pain and blood clots.
- Diet and Exercise / Obesity : Being inactive or overweight is known to worsen the symptoms of varicose veins. You must restrict your salt or sodium intake and perform moderate exercises like walking and jogging every day. It will improve the blood circulation and offer relief. Avoid doing squats, sit-ups, crunches, and lunges, as they cause additional pressure in the leg veins.
- Elevation of Legs : You must never sit or stand for long duration’s at a stretch. Always change your sitting posture or move around once every 30 minutes. Do not ever sit with crossed legs. While sitting on the bed, lying down or sleeping, elevate your feet above the level of your heart by using a pillow.
- Compression Stockings : These are elastic stockings that prevent blood from pooling and improve blood circulation in patients suffering from varicose veins. These are suitable for daily use and have proven to cure patients with chronic pain or a medical history of poor blood circulation.
These minor changes to your daily habits are sure to bring in substantial improvements to your overall health. If you still face difficulties, you might need medical assistance to treat the varicose veins.
Dr. Rajah V Koppala is a renowned Vascular Surgeon in South India and is currently practicing at the Avis Hospital, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad. Qualified MBBS, MD – Vascular Interventional Radiology, MD – Radio Diagnosis/Radiology, Dr. Rajah has been practicing Radiology since the past 24 years. He is also a member of the Radiological Society of North America, Royal College Of Radiologists – United Kingdom, British Society of Interventional Radiology, and the Singapore Radiological Society. Book an appointment with him for a detailed analysis of your medical reports and discussion of probable medical procedures for quick healing and recovery.