Are your legs feeling heavy or tired at the end of the day? Do you have swollen ankles or feet? Are you noticing new leg veins or more prominent veins?
If so, you are not alone. Perhaps even your mom, your grandmom, or one of your aunts has varicose veins. It is a very common disorder in women (about 25% of all women). It is hereditary, and is definitely aggravated by pregnancy. Vein disease is a progressive disease and can be affected by hormones, especially the hormones of pregnancy. Additionally, in pregnancy your circulating blood volume increases, and you have the pressure of a large gravid uterus! These together can not only cause discomfort in your veins and legs, but also the stretching of your veins and lasting damage to your leg’s venous valve system. This can result in lasting ugly veins and uncomfortable legs.
There are lots of simple ways to help.
1) You can walk for 30 minutes every day. This is good for every system in the body!
2) WHENEVER you are sitting down, you can elevate your legs. Any little bit of elevation is better than none.
3) At the end of a long day, or whenever your legs are tired or achy, you can elevate your legs above your heart (up on the back of your couch or up on the wall, for example); just a minute or two actually helps, especially when you are busy.
4) If there are hours when you cannot put your feet up, never mind above your heart, you can do foot dorsiflexion exrcises ( toe raises). Keeping your heel flat on the floor, pull your toes up toward your knee. Twelve dorsiflexions, with good relaxation between each, will effectively empty the lower leg of extra fluid.
5) A surprisingly easy, helpful practice is to wear graduated compression stockings. They need to be measured for you so that they are comfortable. Compression support hose greatly reduce your swelling, discomfort and especially the risk of ongoing damage to your veins. Support hose have come a long way since your mom’s days. There can be light weight, very sheer, and come in many pastel and fashion colors. We have support hose with some cotton for coolness and breathability. There are calf highs, thigh highs and special pregnancy tummy supporting panty hose. All of these come in open toe styles for flip flops and summer sandals!
Please call 480-860-6455 and schedule a visit with a carefully trained Phlebology RN (vein nurse) to talk with you about your likes and needs. The visit costs $25. You will receive a lot of information about natural ways to protect your legs, and the visit will be a very cost-effective investment in your comfort, your long term appearance and your vascular health.