At the Vein Institute of NJ, our vein doctors have seen many patients who come to us with leg issues that could be solved through simple elevation. Elevating your legs can provide immediate relief by taking pressure off your leg veins which encourages the blood to flow out of your legs and continue on through the rest of your body.
Veins are important vessels that bring blood back to the heart. But adding undo pressure to them may affect their ability to perform properly. From lying down improperly to sitting too long to standing too much to wearing tight-fitting clothes, you may be stressing out your veins.
How To Get The Best Vein Relief
A horizontal position is the key for the start of relief. Whether you’re sleeping or lying on the couch for a night of TV or movie-viewing, grab some pillows and arrange them comfortably under your legs. The goal is to get your legs elevated 6 to 12 inches above your heart. Try this at least 10-15 minutes, 3 times a day.
Employing some yoga techniques is also a great solution. Doing the “Legs Up the Wall” pose stretches the hamstrings, relieves lower back tension and can help reduce any swelling or cramps that may have built up from sitting or standing for extended periods. To do this, sit with one hip next to a wall. Swing your legs up parallel to the wall as you lean back and rest your upper body on the ground, forming an L shape. If your hamstrings are tight, slip your hips back a few inches from the wall or put a slight bend in your knees. For added support, you can also place a folded blanket beneath your lower back. You can hold this position for 10 slow breaths breathing in through your nose.
Another great relief technique is massage. If you have a willing partner, a foam roller, or even a percussion gun, a brief leg massage while your legs are elevated is a wonderful way to get rid of the day’s stress, giving your legs some much-needed TLC.
Elevation can and should also be done after sitting for extended periods of time, such as at your work desk, in front of a computer, in a car during a long ride. If you have to be sitting and can’t stand up and walk around, then at least try to make your position as ergonomically-smart as possible. Try putting a footstool under your feet to provide some elevation. In addition, moving your feet and legs is the easiest type of exercise to do to relieve achy muscles. Lift your feet off the floor and rotate your ankles to turn your feet in circles. Flex your feet up and down, raising first your toes off the ground and then just your heels.
As you focus more and more on leg elevation, you’ll begin to experience the positive benefits of relaxation and pressure relief, while also proactively managing your varicose veins.
To learn more about proper leg health, schedule an appointment with our vein physicians today.