If you are concerned about developing varicose legs at some point in your life there are some things you can do now to try to prevent them from occurring. Varicose veins develop when then valves in the veins in your legs become weak and allow the blood to flow backward and pool in an area of the vein. This is referred to as retrograde.
Prevention is important, especially if you have a genetic predisposition to getting them. What that means is, if your mom or grandma has them you probably will get them, too.
So, how do you prevent varicose legs from happening in the first place?
Stay slim. Being overweight puts undo pressure on your lower body. More pressure means that the valves in your legs that push the blood back to the heart have to work harder to do their job. Working harder is not always a good thing. Too much pressure can weaken them and then slowly make them less efficient until the blood pools and increases your chance of developing blood clots, pain, swelling, and eventually ulcers.
Exercise. Start walking every day. Anything to keep your calf muscles in shape. The calf muscles are important because they assist the valves in the leg in pumping the blood where it needs to go. The veins in your leg have to fight the effects of gravity and need all the help they can get. So, keep your legs muscles in shape and well toned.
Elevate your legs regularly, especially after exercise. This will take the pressure off your legs and make it easier for the valves to work and the blood to flow smoother. Make sure to elevate your legs to a level that is higher than the level of your heart, otherwise it will not do you much good.
If you can’t elevate your legs while you are at work, for example, just try to
keep your legs moving somehow. Flex your ankles a couple of times an hour while sitting at your desk to keep the blood pumping. Get up and walk around, too. Keep those juices flowing.
If you are on the other side of the spectrum and have a job where you rarely get to sit down, the same basic principles apply. Keep moving. When you are standing in the same position for several hours at a stretch you can do some deep knee bends or just flex your leg at the knee to help keep the blood moving.
You could also wear compression stockings. Whether sitting or standing at your job, wearing compression stockings will help your legs feel better by giving much needed support and aid the valves to keep the blood pumping out of your legs.
If you should develop varicose legs, make sure to avoid exposure to excessive heat conditions like hot tubs, spas, or saunas. Heat increases inflammation and swelling and will also increase vein distention. Varicose veins are large and can become fragile. Excessive heat can rupture the veins and cause massive bleeding inside the leg.