Varicose Veins Home Treatment - Topic Overview
Self-care, or home treatment, is recommended for most
varicose veins. Home treatment can relieve symptoms and slow down the progress of
varicose veins. For many people, home treatment is the only
treatment they need.
Exercise can help relieve symptoms and slow the progression of varicose veins by improving blood circulation in your legs.
Try to walk every day.
- Bicycling and swimming are also recommended
for varicose veins. Some doctors say swimming is ideal because, in addition to
working your legs, it puts the legs at heart level and avoids the pooling of
blood in the legs that comes with varicose veins. For more information, see the
- Exercise your legs. When you are sitting down,
rotate your feet at the ankles in both directions, making small circles. Extend
your legs, and point and flex your feet. Bend your legs back and forth at the
High-impact exercises such as running may be uncomfortable
for people with varicose veins.
Stay at a healthy weight
Staying at a healthy weight, and losing weight if you need to, may help relieve symptoms caused by your varicose
veins. Being overweight can increase the swelling and discomfort
For more information, see the topic Weight Management.
Elevate your legs
When you elevate your legs, ideally at or above heart level, it helps
keep the blood from pooling in your lower legs and improves blood flow to the
rest of your body.
There are simple ways to improve the blood flow in your legs
and prevent or improve
- Prop up your legs when you are sitting. Use a
footrest at work and a footstool or ottoman at home to elevate your
- Lie down and prop your legs above heart level at the end of
the day. Try lying on your back on a bed with your feet propped on the wall or
on pillows to improve blood flow back to the heart.
- Avoid crossing
your legs at the knees when sitting. If you can't prop up your feet, set them
flat on the floor or cross them at the ankles. Crossing legs at the knees
squeezes veins and blocks blood flow.
- Regularly tense the muscles
in your legs and point and flex your feet when you are sitting for a long
period of time, such as during airplane travel or a long car trip.