Varicose veins usually appear because of improper functioning valves within the veins.
If you think you are not abusing your legs, think again. One day, suddenly, you might see those small blue veins getting bigger and bigger just like a “toddler needing too much attention.” Before they do, take the load off your legs with these simple tips which only takes 5-15 minutes of your day.
What are varicose veins?
These swollen veins are usually found in the legs and feet and can show through paler to medium skin and even start bulging and getting lumpy.
Other symptoms are a pain in the legs, that can start feeling uncomfortable and heavy, cramps and swelling in the ankles, especially at night, also, the skin can get tight and itchy. All this, of course, gets worse in warm weather, or if your work or routine requires you to be standing for extended periods.
It’s about circulation. Blood has to move efficiently throughout the body. When circulation gets impeded for one reason or another, varicose veins can appear.
Our veins’ blood flow can be slowed down or made problematic by a failure of the one-way valves in our veins and prevent blood to be carried back towards the heart. This is especially true when the veins start losing their elasticity, weakening the valves and keeping them from working correctly, so the blood starts pooling in specific areas. And before you know it, BOOM! Varicose Veins!
Some other factors increase the likelihood of you getting varicose veins:
- age (veins lose elasticity over time),
- obesity (extra pressure on veins),
- pregnancy (because of the extra weight you are carrying)
- having a history of varicose veins in the family and
- standing or sitting for long periods (at work or traveling)
The good news is that varicose veins, as long as they’re relatively mild, don’t necessarily require a visit to the doctor. However, this does not mean that they should be ignored and it is always a good idea to consult your physician as soon as you have any of the symptoms. Treatment is within reach, and there are some options. Dr. Axe, for example, in one of his videos talks about different natural remedies for varicose veins.
So, let’s get to the point! What can we do to avoid getting, or even reduce varicose veins?
The answer is RICE! Yes! You read it right: R-I-C-E!
What is this RICE thing? It’s Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.
Rest well! Whatever your lifestyle, you need all the rest you can get. How much do you really need? Very hard to tell, it depends on several factors, but if you are a hard worker, you need a good amount of rest.
The same goes for your legs. If you walk to work, are pregnant or obese, your legs work twice as hard for you, factor in gravity, and your legs take all the load. You can wonder if living on the moon can cure varicose veins, but here on planet Earth, resting your legs decreases the risk of you getting varicose veins.
For women who wear high heels at work, you will need to ice your achy legs from time to time. There is no need to do this daily though, especially if you don’t have time. You can do it every time you feel that your legs are throbbing or after a really, really tiring day. Assuming that you are still awake to put ice on your legs 🙂
How to Ice your Varicose Veins: Simply soak a towel into an iced water bucket and apply the towel over the veins for 5-7 minutes. Do not exceed 10 minutes or put ice directly on the skin. You may also want to take a cold shower after this treatment.
You can skip to minute 1:58 of Dr. Axe’s video as he talks about how compression is an excellent solution for varicose veins. Cotton compression socks are best though because they are hypoallergenic and the fabric is much more comfortable compared to other synthetic compression socks or calf compression sleeves.
Even better, cotton compression socks can be worn any time of the day and they remain comfortable even after many hours. So, while working, doing your household chores and standing for long periods of time, compression socks squeeze your lower legs helping the blood flow better on your veins. To know more about the best cotton compression socks in the market: click here.
This time, if your boss catches you putting your legs on the desk, you can reply: “I need to elevate them for my varicose veins treatment,” or, in case you do not want to risk your post, you can do this at home after work.
Elevating your legs literally takes the load off your legs. As we have said earlier, gravity takes a toll in your legs.
How to do it right? Get that remote, turn on the TV to your favorite soap and elevate your feet a little bit higher than 3 o’clock… and RELAX! Just make sure that you relax.
So, before your varicose veins become “tarantula veins” or look like the plan to a subway station; consider RICE and get the relief that you need.