The primary treatment for varicose veins has long been conservative therapy including such options as compression/support hose and lifestyle changes such as weight loss and exercise. This form of therapy will not remove existing abnormal or diseased veins but it can significantly improve symptoms and is a form of treatment for those people who are unable to undertake other treatment options. Also, some insurance companies require a trial of conservative therapy prior to approval of other forms of therapy.
Conservative treatments for venous insufficiency include:
- Graduated compression stockings – special “tight” stockings that are custom made to fit your legs
- Regular exercise regimen, such as walking, this helps to strengthen the leg muscles
- Elevating the legs while seated
- Avoiding standing or sitting for long periods of time without walking. When sitting, avoid crossing your legs. Keep your legs raised when sitting, resting, or sleeping.
- When you can, raise your legs above the level of your heart.
- Weight loss, if overweight or obese. This will improve blood flow and ease the pressure on your veins.
- Avoiding constricting clothing, especially those that are tight around your waist, groin (upper thighs), and legs. Tight clothes can make varicose veins worse.
- Avoid wearing high heels for long periods. Lower heeled shoes can help tone your calf muscles. Toned muscles help blood move through the veins.