5 Simple Ways to “Get A Leg Up”
If your legs look like a road map with raised purplish topography, you may have varicose veins. Varicose veins come in many forms but are typically enlarged, twisted veins that may appear as a series of knots just below the skin.
Veins are responsible for pushing blood back to your heart through one-way valves, so your legs are susceptible to varicose veins since they are working against gravity. If valves become damaged or weakened, blood may pool behind the valve causing the vein to bulge. It’s estimated that 40-million Americans suffer from varicose veins. Many many factors play a role in who develops them, such as age, gender, obesity, and genetics.
It’s not vain to be concerned about your veins.
Varicose veins may be unsightly and may make you swear you’ll never wear shorts even on the hottest summer day, but their effect on your health may go beyond cosmetic. At Premier Vein Clinics in Knoxville , we have treated numerous patients who’ve experienced pain, cramping, swelling, or blood clots due to varicose veins, and we have comprehensive treatment plans that are customized for each patient.
Regardless of your level of varicose vein distress, there’s one practice you can do daily that may bring relief from discomfort and improve the appearance of your varicose veins—leg elevation. By elevating our legs we give our veins a break from working against gravity, which improves circulation and can alleviate pain and swelling.
Five simple ways to elevate your legs throughout the day:
- Many of us work at a desk all day, which doesn’t do varicose veins any favors. If your space allows, use a step stool to elevate your feet for a few hours each day. Avoid crossing your legs, as this could put extra pressure on the circulatory system.
- If space doesn’t allow for you to keep your feet stretched out on a stool, push away from your desk a few times a day, lift and stretch your legs straight, then rotate your ankles and feet ten times in each direction. Try to find a trigger that will help you remember to do this often—when you’re on the phone, or at the top of each hour, or each time you switch to a new task.
- While reading or watching tv at home, rest your legs on an ottoman or coffee table if you’re sitting. If you’re lying on the couch, prop your legs on the arm of the couch. You’ll receive even more benefits if you flex, point, and rotate your feet while your legs are elevated. Add pillows for extra elevation and comfort. Elevating your legs approximately 8 to 12 inches above heart level promotes venous drainage. Rest for 20 minutes.
- If you read or watch TV in bed before going to sleep, put two or three pillows under your feet to elevate your legs. Again, flexing, pointing, and rotating the feet in this position gives your circulation an extra boost.
- This yoga pose relieves cramped legs and rejuvenates the whole body:
- Lie on your back with your head, shoulders, and upper back resting on
- Push your hips as close to the wall as you can.
- Slowly lift your legs, one at a time, until they are straight with your feet resting against
the wall. Hold for 15 minutes.
- You can also tuck a folded blanket or pillow under your hips for comfort.
Try these self-care methods of elevation steadily for 30 days. It may help to take photos of your varicose veins on day 1, and again on day 30, to measure improvements. Notice along the way which techniques bring you the most relief. Your veins will thank you.
If you are suffering from painful varicose veins and can’t seem to get relief, request an appointment with one of the experienced vascular surgeons at Premier Vein Clinics. We are conveniently located on Papermill Drive in Knoxville, call (865) 588-8229 to schedule an appointment and take the first step in restoring your beautiful, healthy legs.