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Lifestyle Changes to Improve Leg Pain From Vein Disorders

Your legs really hurt by the time your day ends. If your leg pain stems from varicose veins, the valves in your leg veins aren’t functioning properly, so your blood has trouble moving upward to your heart from your legs. Your blood begins to flow backward and pools in your leg, creating large, purplish, rope-like raised ridges on your legs. The pooled blood can also cause your legs to swell. 

If you’re a teacher, a nurse or doctor, a warehouse worker, or have another job where you’re standing most of the day, you’re more susceptible to leg pain from varicose veins than those with sedentary jobs. 

Carol White, MD, at Dr. White’s Vein Center and Morgantown SculpSure & Clear Ink, PLLC, in Morgantown, West Virginia, is a vascular vein specialist and board-certified physician. She understands your problem and is your professional partner in your vein treatment. 

Following are lifestyle changes you can make to minimize your leg pain. 

Don’t stand or sit too long 

Anyone from a preschool teacher to a surgeon who stands for long periods needs to take frequent breaks, if possible, to rest your legs. During your break, arrange to sit in one chair and prop your feet on pillows on an adjacent chair. 

Likewise, sitting too long in one position can cause a blood clot to form, leading to deep vein thrombosis, when a clot breaks free from the wall of your vein. If the clot gets to your lung, it can cause a fatal pulmonary embolism. At your desk, use a footrest, and use an ottoman when at home. Get up and move around every 20 minutes or so if you’re sedentary during the day. 

Exercise regularly

Although it sounds counterintuitive, building an exercise routine into your week increases your energy. Walking, biking, and swimming are great exercises that help your blood circulation and may help prevent varicose veins. 

Sleep with your legs elevated

Sleeping with your legs elevated prevents blood from pooling in your legs when you’re asleep. There are all sorts of leg elevation pillows you can purchase. Learning to sleep with your legs elevated above your heart for at least part of the night provides a great respite for your legs so that you’re well rested in the morning. If you have a private place where you can use one of these pillows at work, take one there too. 

Lose weight 

You’re more at risk of venous disease if you’re overweight or obese, and you’re more likely to have symptoms like pain and swelling. Dr. White can refer you to evidence-based weight loss programs. Your legs would thank you if they could talk. Your weight can place you at risk of other major health complications as well.

Lose the high heels

If you’re a woman and you’ve worn high heels for most of your professional life, it’s time to make a change. When you walk in flat shoes, your calf muscles help push blood from your legs up toward your heart. High heels make it more difficult for your veins to move the blood upward and may cause venous insufficiency. 

Wear compression stockings

If you don’t already, buy and wear compression stockings when you’re standing for long periods of time. They help minimize pain, ease pressure on the valves in your veins, and improve the blood circulation in your legs. 

For a correct diagnosis and to get started on treatment for your leg pain, call our office or request an appointment online today.

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