There’s no way to completely prevent varicose veins. But improving your circulation and muscle tone can reduce your risk of developing varicose veins or getting additional ones. The same measures you can take to treat the discomfort from varicose veins at home can help prevent varicose veins, including:
* Elevate your legs when possible, keeping your feet positioned higher than heart level.
* Exercise daily. Walking, climbing stairs, cycling and swimming keep your calf muscles in motion to activate the calf muscle pump. This reduces pooling and pressure in the veins.
* Move your legs frequently. Flexing your ankles periodically will pump the blood out of your legs (simulating walking). During periods of prolonged sitting or standing, flex your ankles 10 times and repeat this every 10 minutes. Try to avoid sitting for extended periods throughout your day.
* Compression stockings. These provide external graduated counter-pressure to aid in venous blood flow to the heart. They reduce pooling and pressure in the veins. They also may reduce the risk of forming a deep vein blood clot. Consider wearing them during long plane or car rides.
* Maintain your ideal body weight to reduce excess pressure on your legs. Eat a high-fiber, low-salt diet.
* Avoid prolonged sitting and standing. On long car or plane trips activate your calf muscle pump by moving your feet up and down frequently as described above. You should also consider stopping for short walks every few hours.
* Avoid excessive heat on your legs, such as hot tubs and hot baths. Heat will tend to increase vein distention and lead to more pooling of blood.
In case a vein ruptures and starts to bleed it is advisable to immediately elevate your leg and compress the area. Contact your physician or seek emergency medical care immediately.