I’ve seen so many commercials lately for Varicose Vein surgery through vein stripping, which just sounds very invasive (and painful). Their are other options, such as Sclerotherapy (http://medibid.com/medical-procedures-sclerotherapy-cosmetic/930). But this article from LiveStrong says that exercise is part of most treatment plans for varicose vein and is also recommended as a preventive measure.
Written By Dorian Facey from LiveStrong.com
The National Women’s Health Information Center states that about half of the population over 50 years old in the United States is afflicted with varicose veins. These enlarged veins may bulge, have a cord-like or twisted appearance and vary in color from blue to red to flesh-colored. Exercise is part of most treatment plans for varicose vein and is recommended as a preventive measure.
Varicose veins are most often on the legs and thighs, and develop when the valves in the veins become compromised. These one-way valves keep blood from flowing backward and backing up in your veins. Veins in your legs carry blood back to your heart against the pull of gravity, and when the valves do not close all the way, blood leaks back into your veins. Your veins then become distended, or varicosed. While they are usually visible on the skin, other signs that varicose veins may be present include restless legs, throbbing, cramping, swelling and pain that worsen when you sit or stand for long periods.
Treatments for varicose veins focus on relieving symptoms, preventing complications or improving appearance. Sclerotherapy is a chemical injection that results in the blood supply to the vein being cut off. Surface laser treatment can be used only on small varicose veins, and it is not suited for all skin types. Endovenous techniques deliver either radio-frequency or lasers via a catheter to veins deep inside the leg. Surgery is reserved for treating very large veins and usually involves the removal of the vein. The National Women’s Health Information Center does not include exercise among the listed treatment methods, but exercise is mentioned as a way to ease some of the discomfort associated with the condition and to help prevent new varicose veins from forming.
How Exercise Helps
Improving the circulation of blood in your legs is key to preventing varicose veins. Leg lifts, knee bends, walking on tiptoes, walking on your heels, stretching your calves and pedaling will strengthen your leg muscles and increase your blood flow. Swimming, walking, biking and aerobics are good exercises to prevent development of varicose veins. The movement of blood up the veins in your legs occurs in response to squeezing of your leg muscles, so stronger muscles mean better flow through your veins. Being overweight is a risk factor for developing varicose veins, and exercise will help you maintain optimal body weight.
Avoid activities that cause the blood pressure in your legs to increase, such as high-impact aerobics, jogging and strenuous cycling. These high-intensity activities may cause your varicose veins to become more pronounced. Moderate exercise can relieve varicose vein symptoms, but while exercise may prevent their formation, there is no indication that exercise will get rid of them.