Varicose veins can be much more than just unsightly. For those who suffer from them, they can be painful when touched. If they affect the blood flow they can cause itchy skin, swelling in the feet and ankles, and generalized pain throughout the whole leg. These poor folks don’t have to ask, “Do varicose veins hurt?”
If you suffer from pain or discomfort caused by varicose veins, it may comfort you to know there are ways to alleviate it. Most of the following tips are easy. You can do them without the need for treatment or a doctor’s visit.
If you want to know how to relieve varicose vein pain you have come to the right place. The following 10 tips should have your legs and feet feeling better in no time.
Ease The Pain of Varicose Veins
The pain from varicose veins can range from mild discomfort to distracting, to intense. Fortunately, in most cases, there are ways to reduce or completely end these aches and pains. Here are some suggestions.
1. Elevate your legs
Raise your legs and feet to or above the level of your heart. This will help drain some of the excess blood in your varicose veins. It will also help reduce any swelling of the lower legs, ankles, and feet that may have occurred due to reduced blood flow and the effects of gravity.
Reduce the swelling and the amount of blood in the veins to take the pressure off any nearby nerves and alleviate that source of pain. Elevating your legs has also proven to be a good way to reduce the heavy feeling some people with varicose veins experience.
Some people find relief from the pain caused by varicose veins by gently kneading and massaging the area around the bulging vein. Massage oils or lotions should be used to prevent damage to the skin, which may already be itchy and dry because of the varicose vein.
It is important that the area around the vein should be rubbed, not the vein itself. If you put too much pressure on the already damaged vein it may cause further problems.
3. Cold Water
Use cool cloths or soak your feet and lower legs in a cool bath to help to reduce the pain of varicose veins. Cool the affected areas to help reduce swelling and pull blood away from the surface of your legs. Both can help to ease the pain.
Stretch the muscles in your legs, especially after periods of inactivity. This can ease the pain and cramping often associated with varicose veins. Stretching wakes your muscles up and improves circulation.
This increased blood flow should drain some of the excess blood from the affected veins, thus reducing pressure and pain.
5. Move Frequently
If you sit or stand still for long periods of time you can cause blood to pool in your lower extremities, which may cause or increase your pain. Whenever possible, move. If you usually sit at your job, then try to get up and walk around at least once an hour. If work requires you to stand still for long periods and walking around is not an option, try marching in place or other movements that require you to flex the muscles of your legs.
6. Over the Counter Pain Relievers
Most of the popular over-the-counter pain medications sold today are also anti-inflammatory, which means they relieve pain, in part, by reducing swelling. They can be very effective at alleviating the pain of varicose veins.
Preventing the Pain of Varicose Veins
In most cases, it is easier to prevent a problem than to fix it. The pain caused by varicose veins is no different. The following tips may help you prevent the pain of existing varicose veins and perhaps keep any new ones from developing.
7. Compression Stockings
Compression stockings are a very effective way to prevent the pain of varicose veins and protect you from the development of new ones. They work by applying pressure to the outside of your leg to prevent the pooling of blood and fluids that can cause varicose veins.
For many, the gentle pressure these stockings offer is also an effective way to reduce the severity of existing pain.
Exercise is a good way to keep your blood vessels in top working condition. In the case of varicose veins, regular exercise keeps the blood flowing so it won’t pool in your legs and feet, which reduces your chance of developing or worsening varicose veins.
For existing varicose veins, healthy blood flow will reduce the pressure and should prevent pain.
9. Eat Healthy Foods
This is a prescription for whole-body health, but it will also have a positive effect on existing varicose veins and may prevent new ones from forming. Here are some things to add or subtract from your diet to prevent varicose vein pain:
- Avoid salty foods – too much salt in your diet will cause you to retain excess fluids and may increase your blood pressure. Both of these things can increase the amount of pain you feel from varicose veins.
- Add potassium – foods rich in potassium have been shown to help your body rid itself of excess water which will help to regulate your blood pressure and prevent the buildup of fluids in your legs.
- Add flavonoids – flavonoids can be found in many fruits and vegetables as well as cocoa and garlic. Flavonoids improve circulation which should reduce or prevent the pain of varicose veins.
10. Lose Weight
Obesity is a major contributing factor to the development of varicose veins and will increase the likelihood of them causing substantial pain once they exist. Losing weight will reduce the pressure on your legs and feet which in turn will reduce or prevent the pain your varicose veins cause you.
Healthy You, Healthy Legs
While it may not be possible to prevent varicose veins completely, it is possible to reduce their severity and alleviate most of their pain.
The tips outlined above will, in most cases, improve your overall health as well as preventing or reducing the pain caused by varicose veins. Try these suggestions for a healthier, pain-free life.
For more information about how to keep the veins in your legs and the rest of your body functioning at their best, contact us at Medicus Vein Care.