Varicose veins don’t just cause cosmetic symptoms. Those with the condition commonly talk about experiencing an aching, throbbing pain, muscle fatigue, heaviness, or restlessness in their legs as well.
The reality is, people with varicose veins may experience a variety of different types of symptoms. It varies from person to person. Some people experience physical symptoms like pain or aching, while others experience cosmetic symptoms like blue-ish purple veins that bulge or twist beneath the skin. According to Mayo Clinic, people with varicose veins commonly experience these symptoms as well:
- A heavy feeling in your legs
- Burning, throbbing, muscle cramping and swelling in your lower legs
- Worsened pain after sitting or standing for a long time
- Itching around one or more of your veins
- Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
All of those symptoms can be uncomfortable and irritating on a daily basis. But don’t worry, there are ways you may be able to relieve some discomfort from varicose veins, from home.
Ways You Can Relieve Common Varicose Vein Symptoms
Elevate Your Legs
Keeping your legs elevated, can help relieve physical symptoms of varicose veins. Elevate your legs ideally at the same height as your heart or even slightly above it. After having to sit for long periods of time, do your best to elevate your legs, since it gets your blood flowing smoothly back towards your heart.
Sometimes, sometimes sitting for long periods of time is unavoidable. But getting up to move every half hour for a few minutes, can help prevent the worsening of your varicose veins. Walking, bike riding, or swimming are all considered safe exercises for someone with varicose veins. The exercises will get your blood pumping and force pooled blood to pump out of your legs. Plus, it will help with blood circulation, helping with painful or throbbing symptoms of varicose veins.
Be Mindful of Your Sitting Position
Next time you sit down, pay attention to how you are sitting. Sitting slouched over with legs crossed, is a less than ideal sitting position for someone with varicose veins. Try to be mindful of how you are sitting-sit with both legs hip width apart on the floor or elevated. Crossing your legs while you sit may cause circulation problems, which may result in leg fatigue.
Harvard says, “Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy, and we need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints. Without it, the muscles shorten and become tight.” Tightened muscles further constrict blood vessels and prevent healthy circulation through the veins. Stretch your leg muscles daily to help relieve symptoms of varicose veins. Standing quad stretches, sitting v stretches, or butterfly stretches are great for your leg muscles. You can also try dropping your foot off of a stair step and hold for 30 seconds and repeating five times each leg to help stretch your calf muscles.
Cold water can actually be really great for physical symptoms of varicose veins. Cold water prevents your veins from expanding, which relieves pain, fatigue, and heaviness in your legs. Plus, the cold water can help improve circulation in the body. Soaking your legs in cold water is an easy way to relieve your symptoms.
Drinking enough water is so important for everyone, especially if you have varicose veins. Hydration doesn’t just get your blood pumping, it also helps your skin maintain elasticity and smoothness as well. Dehydration can be the cause of many physical symptoms of varicose veins, including muscle/leg aches.
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