Though they’re not permanent cures, several easy at-home treatment can help ease the pain of varicose veins.
Varicose veins aren’t just unsightly; they can also be painful. Individuals with varicose veins frequently complain of pain, swelling, throbbing, or a burning sensation in the extremities where varicose veins appear.
Only medical intervention can provide a permanent cure for varicose vein discomfort, but patients with the condition may find temporary relief from several at-home treatments. If your varicose vein pain becomes bothersome, you can try one of these four methods to calm your aching legs.
- Elevate your legs. Since varicose veins are caused when the valves in our veins fail to properly rush blood back to the heart, elevating your legs helps push the blood from the lower part of the body to the heart. While laying on a bed, prop your legs up on three or four pillows; just make sure your legs are above your heart. Do this four times a day for 15 to 30 minutes each time.
- Stretch and change positions. Moving and stretching your legs gets the blood flowing throughout the body, which aids in easing the pain of varicose veins. Similarly, sitting or standing for long periods can aggravate varicose veins. Switch positions from standing to sitting or vice versa every 30 minutes during the day.
- Soak legs in cold water. Varicose veins respond better to cold temperatures, which is why sufferers experience more discomfort during the summer months. Warm weather tends to dilate the veins, which puts more pressure on already strained varicose veins. On the other hand, cold water shrinks the veins.To alleviate the cramping and throbbing of varicose veins, place your legs in a tub of cold water.
- Drink Plenty of Water. Like exercise, proper hydration promotes blood circulation. For varicose vein sufferers, drinking plenty of water keeps the blood flowing and can help reduce discomfort.
Preventing the Pain of Varicose Veins
If you’ve already noticed varicose veins on your legs but haven’t yet experienced any discomfort, you might want to take steps to prevent pain from interfering with your daily life. Fortunately, there are preventative measures you can take to ward off varicose vein pain.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight plays a major role in the formation of varicose veins. By losing weight, you’ll reduce the stress those extra pounds put on your veins. It’s also a good idea to follow a low-salt diet to prevent water retention that can cause swelling.
- Wear low-heeled shoes and less restrictive clothing. Avoid wearing high-heeled shoes; instead, opt for lower heels that allow the calf muscles to move more freely. That movement enables the veins to do their work better. Wearing tight clothing, particularly around the waist, legs, or groin area, can impede blood flow.
- Put on compression stockings. Compression stockings wrap your legs in a tight elastic that boosts blood circulation in the limbs. You put them on the first thing in the morning and take them off when you go to bed. Depending upon how much compression you want or need, you can buy a pair at the pharmacy or a medical supply store. Your doctor may also give you a prescription for the stockings if your varicose veins are causing a great deal of discomfort. (Check with your insurance carrier to make sure the item is covered.)
However, it’s important to note that these pain relief methods only provide temporary reprieve from varicose vein pain. To achieve a permanent solution you’ll likely need surgery to deal with the underlying cause — chronic venous insufficiency.
Luckily, there are several minimally invasive procedures currently available to treat varicose veins. The doctors at the Center for Vein Restoration can help you understand all of your options and take the first step toward healthy veins.