Thanks to everyone who joined us Tuesday, September 8, for our live online chat “Your Aching Legs: Minimizing Varicose Vein Pain and When It’s Time to Consider Treatment” hosted by Dr. Mark Rheudasil.
Although varicose veins may not be preventable, there are ways to reduce the likelihood that you will develop them. Dr. Rheudasil provided some insights on the cause of varicose veins along with tips on how to minimize varicose vein development and minimize the discomfort they cause for those who already have them.
Here are just a few highlights:
Question: I have a profession that requires me to be on my feet all day. I can’t change jobs at this point in my career but want to minimize or prevent the formation of varicose veins. What can I do?”
Dr. Rheudasil: For people that spend a considerable amount of time on their feet, gravity causes blood to pool in the lower legs – especially when the veins are not functioning normally. This may cause aching or heaviness, and may increase the size of varicose veins. Wear knee-high support stockings, move around a bit so that the calf muscles contract and pump some of the blood out of the lower legs.
Question: Can losing weight help prevent varicose veins?
Dr. Rheudasil: Yes, veins have to pump blood out of the legs against excess weight, so losing weight and being fit helps vein flow and helps reduce varicose vein likelihood.
Question: I am pregnant and have developed varicose veins, which I understand is common, will these go away eventually, or do I need to seek treatment? There is minor pain from time to time.
Dr. Rheudasil: Pregnancy is a very common risk factor for varicose veins. During pregnancy we prefer to be as conservative as possible, so we would recommend compression stockings and leg elevation. The veins will likely improve after delivery, but they will likely not go away. I would not recommend a specific treatment until after delivery.
Our chat participants submitted other questions about the effect of heel height on varicose vein formation, the relationship between heart disease and varicose veins, and whether itchy legs could be related to various veins. If you missed this chat, be sure to check out the full list of questions and answers on the web transcript.
If you have additional questions for Dr. Rheudasil, feel free to leave a comment in our comments area below.