Conservative Treatment

Varicose veins and venous reflux disease cannot be completely prevented. However, it is well-proven that conservative steps to improve your circulation and muscle tone can reduce the risk of developing varicose veins or getting additional varicose veins.  Some basic recommendations:

Exercise.

Get your legs moving.  This augments your calf muscle pump and thereby improves both you arterial and venous circulation. Charlottesville and Central Virginia residents are fortunate to have a variety of opportunities to enjoy low-impact exercise both outdoors and indoors all year round.

Control your weight.

Losing excess weight removes unnecessary pressure on the veins in your legs, where varicose veins and venous insufficiency are likely to occur.

Watch what you wear.

Avoid high heels.  Low-healed shoes work calf muscles more, which is better for your leg veins.  Don’t wear tight clothes around your calves or groin.  Tight panty-leg girdles, for instance, can restrict circulation.

Elevate your legs.

To improve venous circulation attempt to elevate your legs every three to four hours for 15 minutes to assist gravity and thereby your circulation.  Although crossing your legs has long been thought to aggravate circulatory problems, this has never been clearly proven.

Avoid long periods of sitting or standing.

Make a point of changing your position frequently to use your calf muscles and encourage venous blood flow.

Compression.

One of the most proven and beneficial conservative therapies in treating leg swelling and symptoms associated with varicose veins is compression therapies (see below).

WHEN TO SEEK MEDICAL ADVICE

Self-help efforts such as leg elevation, compression and the other listed preventive measures can help ease the pain and discomfort of varicose veins and may slow the progression.  But if you are concerned about the appearance and symptoms associated with your veins and the self- care measures have not improved your venous condition from getting worse, see your physician.