AVOID HIGH HEELS, AND OTHER TIPS TO PREVENT VARICOSE VEINS
Varicose veins are a cosmetic concern, especially in the spring and summer. But, year round, varicose veins can cause pain and swelling, and may require medical treatment.
Tips To Prevent Varicose Veins
To prevent varicose veins in the first place, Dr. David Greuner, a cardiovascular surgeon with offices in West Caldwell, NJ and New York City, where he treats many women in their 30’s and 40’s, has some tips that may help save you a trip to the surgical suite altogether.
- First of all, if you do have pain and swelling in your legs, get a diagnosis from a vein specialist, who can check visually and use ultrasound to locate deep varicose veins, which can be dangerous if left untreated.
- Get regular exercise – regular aerobic activity improves your circulation, and well-toned muscles (aside from looking great), increase your ability to return blood to your heart. An aerobic activity involving your legs, such as stairmaster, biking and walking will improve vein function.
- Elevate your legs – use an exercise ball or large cushion and do so for at least 10 minutes, once or twice daily; especially if you sit or stand for prolonged periods.
- Move your legs frequently – flexing your calf muscles at regular intervals throughout the day will pump the blood out of your legs.
- Avoid wearing high heels – they may look great, but high heels interfere with the normal pumping action of your calf muscles and can contribute to the development of venous disease and varicose veins.
- Maintain a proper weight – even moderate weight loss can help lower pressure in the abdomen, which compresses the large veins, causing blood to back up in the legs.
- Wear support hose if appropriate – they are available at pharmacies, over the counter and “graduated” pressure stocking are usually best.
- Breathe! Straining, especially during exercise increases pressure in your veins, worsening vein disease. Pick up a yoga class and practice regular breathing during exercise.
Most people do not realize that if your varicose veins cause pain and swelling and disrupt your daily activities, treatment is generally covered by insurance.
Modern, Minimally Invasive Treatments
There are a variety of treatments, for varicose veins, including sclerotherapy (injections of foam or liquid gels into the problematic veins) and surface laser therapy. If the pain and swelling is caused by deeper vein problems, invisible to the naked eye, an ultrasound can be performed to locate the vein, which is then treated using radiofrequency or lasers inserted via a catheter inside the troublesome vein.
About Dr. Greuner
Dr. David Greuner is a board certified surgeon, fellowship trained in cardiothoracic and cardiovascular surgery, and has offices in Manhattan, Brooklyn and West Caldwell, New Jersey. He provides state-of-the-art diagnostic procedures and minimally invasive therapies for vein diseases and other circulatory problems, as well as general abdominal and chest surgery.
Dr. Greuner has appeared on national and Metro New York TV shows and in the Metro-area print press. See http://veincenters.net. Telephone: 888.286.6600.