What’s the single biggest myth about varicose veins? Jacksonville vein specialist Dr. James St. George of the St. Johns Vein Center says this misconception is at the top of the list:
“Almost invariably, patients and many physicians believe that varicose veins are a cosmetic problem, when in fact, it is a treatable medical condition.
The root cause of varicose veins is weakened or damaged vein valves. Our veins have one-way valves that assist in keeping the blood moving only upward toward our heart. When these valves are compromised due to, genetics, pregnancy, age and jobs that require us to sit or stand for long periods, they become weakened, which allows the blood to pool in our legs and creates varicose veins. While varicose veins are not always 100% preventable there are steps we can take that will delay and lesson the symptoms.
The primary goal is to reduce the pressure on inside your veins and to strengthen your vein walls. Regular cardiovascular exercise like power walking improves muscle tone. When we walk our calf muscles contribute significantly in returning the blood in our legs back up to our heart. If standing or sitting for long periods are unavoidable, invest in a quality pair of compression stockings. Wearing compression stocking while pregnant is also a good preventative measure. Elevating your legs above the level of your heart when relaxing and controlling your weight are also recommended.