varicose vein treatment san diego

Easy, Everyday Tips for Maintaining Healthy Veins

How our society has evolved such that either sitting or standing all day has become the norm, I’ll never know, since both sitting are standing are terrible for circulation. Circulation issues, spider veins, and varicose veins can be worsened by the negative effects of gravity and pressure from sitting or standing. Remember, the purpose of the veins is drive blood back to the heart…this means that veins are literally fighting an uphill battle against gravity. Strain on the veins causes veins to stretch, and causes the one-way valves to malfunction, resulting in the bulging, purple appearance of varicose veins. Luckily for us, varicose vein treatment and spider vein treatment are simple, affordable, and painless, however, it’s always a better to keep healthy and avoid developing a vascular condition that requires treatment.

The function of our veins is to return blood back to the heart, after being pumped throughout our artery system. However, our veins must continually work against gravity to send blood to the heart from all areas of the body below the heart. Standing or sitting all day can make the task harder, and worsen the negative effects of gravity on blood flow.

While varicose veins and spider veins are the most common condition associated with vascular disease, in part due to the fact that they are visible to the naked eye, there are other conditions to be aware of. Deep Vein Thrombosis, or DVT, is caused by blood clots that form in the legs, and can be fatal if the blood clot dislodges and travels to block a pulmonary artery. Circulatory issues may lead to chronic wounds, a condition in which a simple wound does not get proper blood flow or nutrition to heal. Chronic wounds require wound care from a specialist, such a vascular surgeon, who may recommend lifestyle changes in addition to a wound care treatment regimen.

When veins have to work too hard, they can begin to stretch, and lose their ability to function properly. The one-way valve that helps ensure that blood flows on direction may fail, causing blood to pool. Hence, varicose veins and spider veins.

Many factors contribute to varicose veins, spider veins, and other circulation problems:

  • Constant standing or sitting, usually job-related
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Hereditary predisposition to varicose veins of vascular disease
  • Pregnancy

Below please find some everyday tips to keep your veins healthy.

  1. Limit Salt Intake: It pays to keep your body well-hydrated. Avoiding salt helps prevent swelling, which, in combination with sitting or standing, can put further pressure on veins. Watch for sodium levels on food labels and restaurant menus.
  2. Get Regular Exercise: Regular exercise helps improve circulation, improve vein function, strengthen the body, improve blood flow, and more. Walking, running, swimming, yoga, and gentle strength training are highly recommended at least 3 times per week. Swimming is especially beneficial for the circulatory system, as it alleviates pressure on veins, and removes the factor of gravity from the equation (while you are in the water).
  3. Wear compression garments: Compression garments, such as compression socks, can relieve swelling and help increase blood flow.
  4. Elevate your legs: Elevating the legs helps reduce the demand of the veins. Put your feet up whenever possible, and sleep with a small pillow under your feet.
  5. Re-think your sitting position: Sitting in the same position can cut off circulation in the backs of the legs. Change positions frequently, alternate between sitting and standing, and make sure to get up at least once per hour.
  6. Wear comfortable, non-restrictive shoes: High heels look great in pictures, but that’s about all they are good for. Wear shoes that allow full range of motion of the foot, ankle and calves…these areas are the furthest from the heart, and require veins to constantly work against gravity.
  7. Keep Moving: Get up and walk around at least once every hour. Perform simple calf, foot and ankle exercises and stretches every hour.
  8. Wear loose-fitting clothing: Tight clothing and support garments may limit the blood flow through your legs, waist, and pelvic area.


The San Diego Vascular Center specializes in diagnosis and treatment for all vascular health issues for patients in San Diego County, Orange County and Riverside County. For more information or to set an appointment with our staff of board-certified Vascular Doctors, please contact us.