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How to soothe aching legs ... and fight off varicose veins.

Varicose veins are caused by genetics and gravity. Nothing can be done about one's hereditary predispositions, but it is possible to stave off the effects of gravity. Varicose veins occur when the veins are enlarged and no longer able to properly push blood from the lower leg to the upper leg. Too much blood often causes the valves in the veins to break, reducing circulation from the lower to the upper leg. The vein walls become too thin and lose their elasticity. Although men and women are equally susceptible, pregnancy is a major catalyst. Fluid retention and the baby's weight compress blood flow, boosting pressure in the veins and impeding circulation. The veins most likely to become varicose are the superficial ones directly under the skin. Regular exercise helps keep blood flowing properly, although high impact activities, such as jogging, can cause more problems. Avoid wearing high heels regularly. Wear support stockings, which prevent veins from over-filling with blood, to prevent broken veins. Put on stockings as early in the morning as possible. Elevate your legs for a few minutes to empty veins of blood before putting stockings on. Avoid sun exposure and putting your legs in very hot water -- excessive heat expands the veins. Vary positions during the day. Avoid tight clothing. Get a leg massage. Eat a healthy, balanced diet to maintain proper weight; excess weight pushes against the direction of blood flow back up the legs. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables -- Vitamins C and E are important in maintaining good circulation. Reduce intake of salt, which causes fluid retention.

SOURCE: MDX Health Digest


The information collected here has been developed over searches on the internet.  We are not in any way responsible for, or endorse, information on other web sites, it is here for public information.   Your doctor is the best source of leg health information and treatment.  We hope you find this information helpful.  This article has been provided courtesy of  Ames Walker Hosiery ( and may be reproduced for personal use provided no part of this article (including the text contents) has been changed. Copyright © 2003  Ames Walker International Inc.


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