Our legs along with our feet take us wherever we need to go every day. Not only should we care for them because of aesthetics and physical attractiveness, but we also maintain them for our overall health and mobility. Usually, Shea butter and body lotion are used to maintain the quality of the skin in this area. When the legs are exhausted and in pain, there are liniments and heat pads that we use to alleviate the pain. But how and why should we take care of our legs and prevent varicose veins in this area?
Structurally, our leg is the whole lower limb which consists of the thighs, the feet, and even the hip and glutes attached to it. However, in terms of human anatomy, the general consensus is that the legs are the upper limb that extends to the knees, the lower legs, and the ankles. Apart from that, there are veins, muscles, and cartilage in this part of the body so that we could move around and get from point A to B without any problem.
When we stand, the amount of force and effort for the vein to keep the blood flowing around the body is greater as it works against gravity.
Consequently, sitting for an extended period of time without rest or change of position restricts blood from flowing steadily. That said, everything in moderation is healthier. To add to this, we know spider veins and varicose veins are the results of weakening veins aside from genetics.
This could be from an injury, clot, blocking, or restriction in the deep veins. As the pressure of the blood becomes greater and continuous, it becomes weaker as time goes by. Varicose is an adjective that is defined as swollen or dilated, which the veins in the leg could be if we don’t take care of it.
Luckily you can make use of self-care for the legs before resorting to any medical procedure that your doctor may suggest.
Mostly, to take care of the legs is to improve the circulation, health of the bones and muscles as it is taking care of the glow of your skin. Whether you sit and stand, always make sure to get a 30-minute break to do the opposite.
For example, if you have been sitting for so long you can opt to stand and/or walk around. That or if you have been on the move or standing for a very long time, it’s time to rest those weary legs and sit or lie down for a bit. Soaking in hot baths is also not good for the leg veins.
This is because when the entire body is hot, there is also an increase in blood flow which could pool around the varicose veins. The body responds to the heat it receives by dilating or opening up the blood vessels. This would in turn attract the fluids, salt, and blood nearer your skin to encourage perspiration.
Aside from sitting and standing for long periods, someone could have varicose veins when they are overweight or obese, are elderly or currently pregnant, is female, and have a family history of it.
Nutrition also plays a bit of a role. As there are food and lifestyle choices that make the blood thicker thus it would be harder to flow in our veins.
The veins would not only be prominent, but they would also have a dark bluish tone that would make it look less inconspicuous. If a person eats fatty food and does not exercise, they would in time be overweight and at risk for varicose veins. To prevent varicose veins, you can incorporate blueberries, avocado, watercress, rosemary, and ginger which nourish the blood vessels and improve circulation. If someone is overweight, they may consider having a high fiber diet with a lot of vitamin C.
There are some ways that one can use to alleviate the symptoms.
One of these is elevating your legs above the level of your heart about 3 to 5 times a day for about 15 minutes. If you can avoid crossing your legs, that would be helpful too as it restricts continuous blood flow. Standing up for too long, especially while wearing high heels is a no-no.
Exercising outside especially during hot weather is also not recommended for many reasons aside from varicose veins. Compression stockings also contribute to restricted blood flow and depending on your susceptibility so do tight-fitting clothes on the legs. If the appearance and symptoms of varicose veins bother you, you can also talk to a specialist about this.
Most likely they would recommend some treatments and you can also choose which one is well suited for you. One of these is sclerotherapy. This is recommended for smaller veins. This involves injecting a solution to your veins which would cause veins to scar and force the blood into healthier veins. Around two to three sessions may be necessary and results are 3-6 weeks for spider veins and 3 to 4 months for varicose veins.
Laser treatment may also be discussed by the specialist as a treatment option. Spider veins may disappear right after the treatment, larger ones may reappear after 3 months. Like sclerotherapy, you may need three sessions for treatment. As it is non-invasive you can return to normal activities after the session.
However, the area treated must be protected from the sun from three weeks to a month. This is to prevent dark spots. Other treatments like EVLT or endovenous laser therapy and RFA or radiofrequency ablation involve working inside the vein to destroy it. The former is for smaller ones and the latter for larger ones.
You can do self-care for your legs also while you are in the office or home office. Changing from sitting to standing, walking around to keep blood flowing, elevating your legs during breaks are things you can do for self-care. Having the FlexiSpot Sit2Go 2-in-1 Fitness Chair is also highly recommended to make sure that we exercise our legs by cycling regularly while working on our daily tasks. The leg muscles will be stronger and toned, thus cycling will prevent muscle cramps.
The fitness chair as the name implies is like shooting two birds at a time because you will be productive and physically fit, especially your legs. Aside from the advantage, this fitness chair is seat height adjustable and has a breathable mesh backrest that ensures comfort and cooling effect for your body. The seat cushion also will make your sitting experience cozier and pleasurable.