What are Varicose Veins?
Veins in your legs must return blood to the heart against the force of gravity. To do this, they have one-way valves that prevent blood from flowing backward and collecting in the legs. When these valves become damaged and cannot do their job anymore, blood pools inside the veins, causing them to stretch and bulge. This also causes the bluish or purplish hue that varicose veins often have.
Factors that increase your risk of varicose veins include:
- Increasing age
- Hormonal factors
- Long periods of sitting or standing
How to Prevent Varicose Veins?
Some factors increasing the risk of varicose veins are not within our control. For example, if you have relatives with varicose veins, you have a genetic predisposition to them. During pregnancy, changes to the body, including increased pressure on the pelvic veins, cannot be avoided. However, you can control several contributing factors.
When the muscles in the legs work harder, their contractions help power blood flow in the legs. In addition, exercise improves cardiovascular health, which improves overall blood flow and keeps blood moving through the veins.
Staying in Motion
Sitting or standing in one place for a long time can strain the veins in the legs. Whether you spend long periods of time on your feet or sitting down, make sure you regularly move around and change position. This helps keep blood flowing and reduces pressure on the veins.