Wednesday, 30 May 2018
Whether you’re concerned with how your legs look in shorts or about leg fatigue and pain that keeps you from enjoying summer activities with family and friends, great legs make a difference. If you want legs that look and feel good, these tips are for you.
Let’s start with what you can do right now for great legs that look and feel amazing.
There’s a lot you can do for your legs at home to help them look and feel great. We call these lifestyle changes our Better Veins for Life® principles, and they include:
We invite you to learn more about these principles and implement them into your daily routine today.
Great legs are usually determined by the appearance of strong calf muscles, and for good reason. Strong calves are necessary for healthier circulation. When you flex and pump your calf muscles, not only are you strengthening the muscle, you’re encouraging blood flow back up toward the heart. This helps prevent blood pooling in the legs, causing varicose veins.
It’s not enough to just move your legs; activating the calf muscles is also important. It helps relieve aching, tired, or heavy legs related to standing or sitting for long periods of time.
Remember, it’s important to talk to your primary care physician before starting any new exercise regimen. That being said, we recommend the following exercises for healthy legs and veins:
Just adding daily walks to your routine will do a lot to improve your vein health and help you achieve great legs you can feel confident showing off in shorts.
Your legs take a lot of abuse, but if you’re overweight, the strain on the legs is even greater. Being overweight can cause muscle aches and joint pain as well as increasing your risks for varicose veins, spider veins, lymphedema (swelling), and blood clots. Shin splints are also common. So while being overweight may make you feel uncomfortable about your appearance in a bathing suit, it can also cause a host of other problems that prevent you from having great legs that look and feel healthy.
Exercise and a healthy diet can help you lose weight, and some foods may also help improve circulation. Talk to your primary care physician before starting any exercise or diet program.
Most people only elevate their legs if their feet hurt. Women often never consider leg elevation until they’re told to do it during pregnancy. There’s a good reason that your OBGYN told you to do this; it helps prevent swelling (edema) and improves blood flow back up toward the heart, as varicose veins and blood clots are more common during pregnancy.
Elevation is important for everyone, however. Regardless of your activity level, elevating your legs for about 30 minutes each day helps improve circulation, reduce discomfort and swelling, and prevent varicose veins and blood clots.
Everyone can benefit from healthy compression wear, regardless of activity, weight, or job. Compression garments are designed to simulate calf muscle contraction to encourage blood flow while relieving aches, pains, and heaviness in the legs. Athletes, moms, office workers, teachers, and people recovering from surgery all benefit from compression garments like socks, sleeves, stockings, and even leggings. If having great legs appeals to you, compression is a great place to start.
In addition to compression wear, it’s important to make wise choices in the kinds of clothing and shoes you choose to wear on a daily basis. Pants and shorts that are tight, cut into your skin, and leave behind marks on your legs and waist affect blood circulation in your legs. Opt for a looser fit for healthier circulation. High heels are also a common cause for leg fatigue and venous disease; while your legs may look amazing when you wear heels, frequent wear can contribute to spider veins and varicose veins. We recommend restricting high heel wear to only special occasions. Opt for ballet flats for a more comfortable, fashionable look.
Compression wear has also become very fashionable. Sheer stockings, professional socks, and even leggings are available to purchase in our practice.
In addition to compression, massaging your legs at the end of every day is very beneficial. Using a topical oil or lotion, really work the calf muscles to relieve aches, pains, and heaviness while promoting healthy circulation and lymphatic drainage. A great bonus is that your legs will be well moisturized, improving the health and look of your skin.
Self-massaging your legs before bed can also help you relax and fall asleep faster and reduce restless legs. You may also want to splurge every-so-often on a professional massage. It’s a great way to improve circulation, reduce inflammation, and simply treat yourself.
Our sister practice Spa Medical can provide you with amazing cosmetic skin treatments to help with uneven skin tone and texture. But here at Vein Specialists of the South, our procedures focus on venous disease such as lymphedema (leg swelling), spider veins, varicose veins, and venous ulcers. These conditions cause cosmetically unappealing symptoms for patients, caused by very real medical concerns that can affect overall wellness and quality of life.
Lymphedema, inflammation that occurs due to a collection of lymphatic fluid, usually affects the legs, but can occur in other areas of the body as well. The swelling can get bad enough that one leg is significantly larger than the other, causing physical discomfort and even embarrassment for patients. Lymphedema can also increase the risk of skin infections.
If you have lymphedema, help is available. Manual lymphatic drainage massage, graduated compression hose, medication, multi-layered compression wrapping, and pneumatic compression devices are used to help treat lymphedema in our practice.
If your lymphedema is caused by an underlying condition, we will also refer you to your primary care physician and/or specialist to treat the cause and not just the symptoms of your leg swelling.
If you have spider veins on your legs, they’re likely a cosmetic concern and nothing more. While spider veins do not require medical treatment, many patients want to have them removed to improve the look of their legs. If you want great legs that look amazing, sclerotherapy can help reduce the appearance of spider veins.
It’s important to note that some spider veins are a symptom of underlying venous disease caused by venous reflux. Even if you don’t have visible varicose veins, they may still be present. If so, we can locate them during an evaluation using our ultrasound. We can then make recommendations for further treatment based on what we find during your evaluation.
Visible varicose veins can make some patients feel like their legs don’t look good or healthy. For many patients, varicose veins in the legs can also cause discomfort, aches, heaviness, and even pain.
Regardless of how varicose veins make you feel, our team offers a wide-range of minimally invasive, non-surgical treatment options to help you achieve great legs you can feel good about. Treatments include:
We also recommend conservative care; these were laid out above in our Better Veins for Life® principles. We created these principles because we are interested in helping you improve your health for long-term results, with great legs that look and feel good for years to come.
Venous ulcers are painful and severely impact quality of life. Visible varicose veins are almost always present, and many patients with venous ulcers also have a history of blood clots. Left untreated, venous ulcers can cause the skin to thicken, become discolored, and swell. Some patients also develop visible ulcers on the skin. Dry, itchy skin is also common.
Compression helps venous ulcers heal on their own, but the recurrence rate is about 60%. It’s important to have your legs evaluated as soon as you notice any symptoms of varicose veins or other venous disease. An evaluation and immediate treatment will help prevent your symptoms from progressing into painful, unsightly ulcers.
Are you ready to achieve great legs but are unsure where to start?
Do you have unexplained leg pain, heaviness, or discomfort?
Are you ready to find out how to treat visible varicose veins and spider veins?
Our vein specialty practice focuses on helping patients like you achieve great legs that look and feel good. With conservative home care options and in-office procedures recommended for your unique needs, we will guide you every step of the way toward healthier, BetterLooking™ legs.
Our consultation process is personalized and unique; we offer three different consultation and evaluation options to our patients. These include:
Our numerous consultation and evaluation options provide tremendous flexibility to our patients, and we invite you to get started with whichever option makes the most sense for your needs.
Get great legs with the help of our vein specialists in Middle Georgia. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or get more information about our practice and services. Our team is ready to discuss insurance and payment options, the consultation process, and more. Don’t hesitate. Give us a call or email us to learn more and get started today.
Dr. Kenneth Harper, founder of Vein Specialists of the South, has evaluated more than 22,000 patients and performed over 18,000 procedures since 2000. Dr. Harper is a leader in comprehensive vein care, having focused on diagnosis and treatments for varicose veins, spider veins, venous ulcers, and leg swelling since 1997.
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