Varicose veins are abnormally thick, and have a gnarled appearance. These veins may be red, blue, or flesh-colored, and when swollen, may rise above the skin. Your feet and legs are most commonly affected, because standing and walking increases vein pressure in the lower body.
Common risk factors are age, being female, a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, and smoking.
Some people are only concerned with how the veins look, while others experience pain and discomfort. Thankfully, self-care measures can resolve most problems.
Here are 5 helpful tips to deal with varicose veins in menopause:
Alternate Sitting and Standing
If you have a desk job, this may be harder to do. Take all of your breaks and lunch period, and move around. Changing positions frequently encourages better blood flow.
Avoid High Heels
When you’re wearing high heels, your calf muscles contract less, and less blood is pushed out. Your venous blood pressure rises, stressing the valves in your veins.
Maintain a Normal Weight
Shedding those extra pounds relieves pressure on the veins. Go easy on the salt shaker, to prevent swelling from water retention.
Set aside a few times a day to elevate your legs above your heart. You may need to use a few pillows under your legs. This really helps with swelling and pain.
Painful varicose veins can make exercising difficult, but low impact activities such as walking and biking can improve blood circulation. Ask your physical therapist which stretching exercises will help the most.