By Dr. Samuel P. Martin
Did you know that being in water is the only place that gravity doesn’t affect your leg veins, other than outer space or standing on your head? This is a good reason to get wet, especially at the end of the day!
The effects of gravity for long periods, is a key factor in the development of vein disease. Veins are responsible for returning blood from the legs to the heart. They have a tough job because blood has to travel uphill. Due to many factors such as occupation (standing or sitting for long periods of time), heredity, pregnancy or hormonal factors, the veins can become stretched or “varicose” and malfunction. Swimming and water exercise have anti-gravity effects. it is one of the best ways to take “pressure” off your veins and promote leg health.
At Vascular Vein Centers we recommend daily immersion in water be it walking, swimming, pedaling with an Aqua Jogger or other buoyant device or even sitting in the shallow end. Most people experience relief of aching, throbbing and pressure especially if their job requires prolonged standing or sitting. Pool therapy is also effective in patients with lymphedema – swelling secondary to abnormal lymphatic’s in the leg.
Pool therapy relieves the discomfort of spider and varicose vein. If left untreated they can lead to thickening and dryness of the skin and even ulceration of the lower leg.
Top 3 tips for leg Health include:
Exercise: Whether on land or in the water, activating the calf pump (Your Calf Muscle) With every step, the calf muscle contracts, squeezing the veins and pushing blood toward the heart. Pool immersion enhances the effects of exercise.
Elevate: When you are not in the pool or physically active. Take every opportunity to elevate your legs on a stool or desk.
Wear Compression Stockings daily: Wear compression stockings or Leggings daily to relieve symptoms of venous disease. Compression can help prevent varicose and spider veins or keep them from progressing by helping the calf pump. This is especially important if you have a job that requires long periods of standing or sitting.
If you have any questions on your leg health or are experiencing any of these symptoms that are concerning you call Vascular Vein Centers to schedule a consultation or visit our Docs Socks and Skin Care Store.