Varicose veins – those unsightly, often painful bulging leg veins that many people develop as they age – are one of the easiest conditions to treat, thanks to advances in medical science. However, many people look for ways to reduce the signs and symptoms of varicose veins at home. These so-called natural varicose vein treatments can be quite effective for many people, although they will usually not deliver the lasting results of professional medical treatment. In fact, these natural varicose vein treatments are more about preventing varicose veins, rather than getting rid of them.
Diet and Exercise
Your vein health, like most things, is closely tied to your overall health. In fact, varicose veins are among the wide range of conditions that are helped through proper diet and exercise. The fact is, maintaining a healthy weight is great for your circulatory system, including your veins. It relieves the strain on your veins and is likely to make you more active, allowing the blood to pump better. Exercise and weight loss can become a virtuous cycle for relieving vein pressure: losing weight allows you to be more active, and being more active helps you lose weight. Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet will also contribute to weight loss and provide nutrients that strengthen your cardiovascular system.
Change Your Position
Sitting or standing in certain positions can also make varicose veins worse by restricting the blood flow. Standing for long periods of time forces your blood to fight against gravity, so avoid standing in place for prolonged periods of time. Mix up your position by sitting with your feet elevated from time to time, again being sure not to stay in this position for too long. Don’t sit with your legs crossed, as this restricts circulation. The same goes for chairs with deep seats, where the edge cuts into the back of your legs and slows the circulation. Keep your shoes and clothing relatively loose for the same reason. Finally, practice little exercises with your feet while sitting:
- Rotate your feet clockwise, then counterclockwise
- Flex your feet up and down as you would on a gas pedal
- Slide your heels back and forth across the ground
While these natural varicose vein treatments can be great for your vein health, the only way to truly get rid of varicose veins is through professional medical treatment. This is because varicose veins develop as a result of dysfunctional valves within the veins. Once they are broken, improved circulation can’t fix them. For permanent varicose vein relief, you should always consult with a board-certified vein doctor.