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How to Lower Your Risk for Bulging, Painful Veins

How to Lower Your Risk for Bulging, Painful Veins

Varicose veins and spider veins can be unsightly. Their underlying causes, such as chronic venous insufficiency, can also cause physical symptoms, including leg swelling, cramping pain, open ulcerations, and other skin changes.

Board-certified vascular surgeon Dr. Gary Nackman provides advanced treatments for varicose veins and other venous conditions at NJ Vein Care and Aesthetics Center in Oradell and Clifton, New Jersey. These minimally invasive treatments eliminate the physical and aesthetic concerns associated with varicose veins. 

You can’t “heal” varicose veins without specialty care. However, once the damaged veins are addressed, there are several steps you can take to lower your risk of developing new varicose veins.

Consider these practical suggestions from our team to help maintain healthy veins and reduce your risks of vein-related problems.

1. Stay active

Regular physical activity promotes healthy blood circulation, especially in the legs, where blood returning to the heart must flow against gravity. When you walk, run, or otherwise engage your calf muscles, the resulting contractions help push blood back to the heart.

Strive for moderate exercise for at least 30 minutes five days a week. Activities like walking, cycling, swimming, and yoga are excellent choices. If you have a sedentary job, make an effort to take short breaks to stretch and walk around periodically.

2. Maintain a healthy weight

Being overweight or obese puts extra pressure on your veins, especially those in your legs. This can lead to weakened vein valves and an increased risk of varicose veins.

Adopting a balanced diet and regular exercise can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight, reduce the strain on your veins, and lower your risk of vein-related issues.

3. Elevate your legs

If you spend long periods sitting or standing, gravity can cause blood to pool in your lower extremities, increasing the likelihood of developing varicose veins.

To counteract this, elevate your legs whenever possible. If you sit at a desk for work, periodically prop your feet on a footrest or stool. At home, lie down and elevate your legs above the level of your heart for 15-20 minutes several times a day.

4. Wear compression stockings

Compression stockings are designed to apply gentle pressure to your legs, helping to improve blood flow and prevent blood from pooling in your veins. They can be particularly beneficial if you have a job requiring extended periods of standing or sitting or are prone to varicose veins.

Our NJ Vein Care and Aesthetics Center team recommends you check with your healthcare provider to determine the appropriate compression level and the best type of stockings for your needs.

5. Avoid prolonged sitting or standing

Prolonged sitting and standing can contribute to poor circulation and increase the risk of varicose veins. If your job requires you to sit or stand for extended periods, change positions frequently and take short breaks to move around.

Consider using a standing desk or ergonomically appropriate chair to reduce the strain on your legs and encourage better blood flow.

6. Stay hydrated

Drinking adequate water is essential for maintaining healthy blood viscosity and circulation. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water daily, more if you're physically active or in a hot environment.

7. Nourish your veins

Consider a diet rich in fiber, antioxidants, and nutrients to support vascular health and reduce the risk of varicose veins. Include plenty of berries, leafy greens, colorful vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.

Foods high in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits and bell peppers, are particularly beneficial, as vitamin C is essential for collagen production, which helps maintain the strength and elasticity of vein walls.

You don’t have to live with the cosmetic or physical effects of bulging, discolored veins. Call our NJ Vein Care and Aesthetics Center office in Oradell or Clifton, New Jersey, today to schedule an evaluation or request an appointment online. 

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