Understanding Varicose Veins -- Prevention

Reviewed by Debra Jaliman, MD on July 17, 2019

How Can I Prevent Varicose Veins?

  • Exercise regularly! Staying fit is the best way to keep your leg muscles toned, your blood flowing, and your weight under control.
  • If you are overweight or obese, lose weight. Weight control prevents excess pressure build-up on veins of the legs and feet.
  • Avoid wearing tight clothing which can constrict blood flow in the waste, groin, or legs.
  • Avoid wearing high heel shoes for prolonged periods of time. Flat or low heel shoes are better for circulation as they improve calf muscle tone
  • Avoid sitting or standing for prolonged periods of time to encourage blood flow. If your daily routine requires you to be on your feet constantly, consider wearing daily support hose. Stretch and exercise your legs as often as possible to increase circulation and reduce pressure buildup.
  • If you smoke, quit. Studies show that smoking may contribute to the development of varicose veins.
  • If you're pregnant, be sure to sleep on the left side rather than on your back to minimize pressure from the uterus on the veins in your pelvic area. This position will also improve blood flow to the fetus. If you are prone to developing varicose veins, ask your doctor for a prescription for compression stockings.



WebMD Medical Reference



National Heart Lung and Blood Institute: "Explore Varicose Veins."

Mayo Clinic: "Varicose veins."

© 2019 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.