Varicose veins are incredibly common, affecting up to one-third of all adults, and about half of all women. With symptoms ranging from unsightly bulging veins on the legs to burning, itchy and painful sensations or swelling and cramps. Finding the right solution for your veins is often front of mind for many of us. While treating serious cases of varicose veins normally requires a medical procedure or surgery, there are things you can do to lower your risk and manage the symptoms.
How do you navigate all the different tips and remedies to determine what’s best for you and your veins? We’ve separated fact from fiction to make sure you’ve got the best home remedies to manage your varicose vein symptoms.
How diet can help
Diet can have an effect on the development and severity of varicose veins for a range of reasons, from excess weight putting too much strain on the body, high salt level retaining too much fluid in the legs or even constipation causing strain on the veins and muscles in the lower body.
Reducing the intake of salty foods, trans fats and saturated fats is an important start. To get the most out your diet increase your plant-based food intake, and eat more of the following
- Almonds, pistachios, cashews and other nuts and legumes.
- Blueberries, cherries, apples, grapes and citrus fruits.
- Garlic, lentils and potatoes
- Salmon and tuna
- Wholegrain foods as well as oats, wheat and flaxseed.
What you’re looking for is anything high in potassium, fibre and flavonoids, as these minimise water retention, prevent constipation and promote circulation, all of which help lessen the symptoms of varicose veins.
The importance of compression
Medical grade compression is part and parcel of varicose vein aftercare, essential to the recovery from any kind of medical procedure treating these blood vessels. The great news is it’s not only good for recovery of varicose vein treatment but helps to reduce swelling, pain and discomfort that comes with varicosities.
Going for high-quality medical-grade compression stockings like the Bauerfeind VenoTrain Micro is a great way to manage varicose vein symptoms on a daily basis.
Exercises to relieve vein pain
Regular exercise is one of the simplest and most beneficial ways to not only manage swelling but improve your overall health in general. In particular, it helps with varicose veins symptoms by increasing circulation, lowering blood pressure, aiding in weight loss, building up muscle strength and more.
Low-impact exercises in particular help to provide this without straining the body.
Here are some ideal exercises
- Walking (at least 20 minutes a day)
- Yoga ( simple movements are okay, you don’t need to push it)
Massages can help
Massaging the legs when there’s varicose vein pain can be a great way to bring relief when the symptoms strike. Gently massaging the legs with mild massage oil or better yet moisturiser is the best way to help here. Make sure you don’t put pressure directly on the veins, as that may damage the strained and fragile vessel walls and cause bleeding in the surrounding tissue.
Clothing that’s tight-fitting might look good, but it can cause restriction of blood-flow and dry out the skin. Wearing looser fitting clothes, especially around your legs, waist and hips, helps to keep a regular blood-flow and reduce varicose symptoms.
In the same way, high heels limit blood flow by restricting blood-vessels and weakening the calf muscles that pump blood up the legs. Switch to joggers or flats where you can.
Seek expert advice
The doctors at The Vein Institute specialise in varicose vein treatment. We offer patients a comprehensive program using non-surgical laser treatment techniques. You can learn more in our Definitive Guide to Varicose Vein Treatment.
The benefits of non-surgical varicose vein treatment are:
- Walk-in walk-out treatment
- 98% success rate
- Extremely effective
- Can be performed at a clinic (no hospitalisation)
- No general anaesthetic
- Medicare rebates apply
- No downtime or time away from work
To book a consultation and discuss our treatment program, call 1300 981 402. Or, make an enquiry via the Contact Us page.