Varicose veins occur when blood vessels become damaged, and excess blood enters them. Such vessels become enlarged, dilated, or otherwise strained because of the pooling blood. Varicose veins appear almost exclusively in the legs. Factors like temperature, level of activity, and medical conditions, can exacerbate the problem. When varicose veins are unable to keep up the pace of blood flow, painful leg cramping occurs.
Leg cramps related to varicose veins are common. Unfortunately, they’re also very painful. At BASS Vein Center, we help our patients treat problems related to varicose veins, including leg cramps. If you struggle with this problem, don’t let it derail your life. Instead, follow these simple treatments for leg cramps.
Your heart pumps oxygen-enriched blood throughout your body via your arteries. Your veins then cycle deoxygenated blood back to your heart. Varicose veins cause the deoxygenated blood to linger longer and cause pain. To relieve pain, you need to help keep the circulation going normally.
A simple way to do this is to elevate your legs for ten to fifteen minutes. Specifically, you need to position your legs in such a way that they are above your heart. One way to do this is to lay down and press the backs of your legs against a wall. Doing so helps pooled deoxygenated blood move again, reducing pain and swelling.
If you aren’t able to do this (or are in a location where it would be impractical), you can simply prop your legs up while you’re sitting or lying down.
Staying hydrated is vital to maintaining healthy circulation. However, it’s difficult to pin down exactly how much water you should drink a day because it varies from person to person. Harvard Medical suggests that four to six glasses a day is a good rule of thumb, but you must make adjustments based on your activity level and diet. Your physician can help assess your hydration needs.
Do you keep track of how much time you spend sitting down at work and home? Americans lead increasingly sedentary lifestyles, which has caused an increase in health problems for adults. For example, if you have varicose veins, keeping your legs positioned and for how long can increase leg cramping.
Take frequent breaks to get and stretch your legs, not only when you’re experiencing leg cramps but at regular intervals to prevent that pain. Also, reassess your footwear. For example, any boots or shoes that significantly raise your heels above your feet causes undue pressure throughout your legs, causing muscle strain and hurting blood flow.
The muscles in your calves can strengthen veins in your legs as they return blood to your heart. Exercise, in general, helps regulate circulation, but focusing on your calves can help reduce leg cramps.
Exercising your calves doesn’t have to be a heavy-duty affair. Choosing to spend more time walking can give them the necessary boost, as can simply flexing the muscles occasionally throughout your day. However, running and cycling can do wonders if you decide you want to kick things up a notch.
To keep varicose veins at bay and minimize the risk of experiencing those uncomfortable leg cramps, adopting preventive measures is key. Here's your guide to maintaining vascular health and promoting overall well-being.
Firstly, maintaining a healthy weight is crucial. Extra pounds can put undue pressure on your veins, especially those in your legs, making them more prone to damage. Aim for a balanced diet rich in fiber, fruits, and vegetables to support weight management and provide essential nutrients for vascular health.
Regular physical activity is your ally in preventing varicose veins. Engaging in exercises that get your blood pumping, such as walking, swimming, or cycling, helps keep your veins in good shape. Not only does exercise strengthen your calf muscles, which play a role in venous blood return, but it also promotes overall circulation, reducing the likelihood of blood pooling in your lower extremities.
When it comes to wardrobe choices, opt for comfortable footwear and avoid high heels for extended periods. Shoes that significantly elevate your heels can disrupt blood flow in your legs and contribute to muscle strain. Instead, choose shoes that provide proper support and allow your feet to rest comfortably on the ground.
Incorporating these preventive measures into your daily routine not only supports vascular health but also contributes to your overall well-being. By taking proactive steps, you empower yourself to maintain healthy circulation, reducing the likelihood of varicose veins and the discomfort they may bring.
If you live near Berkley, Alameda, or Concord and want professional treatment for leg cramps, BASS Vein Center can provide the medical help you need. Our team of experts can answer any questions you have and will work hard to diagnose the underlying cause of your leg cramps. For more info about our treatment options, visit our office or call us at 925-281-5912 to schedule an appointment today.