|Photo: Steven Klein|
- Exercise is very good for vascular health, as it improves circulation by pumping up blood flow.
- Any type of exercise that strengthens the "second heart", which is the muscles of the calf and foot – is beneficial.
- Running is great for vascular health, but be sure to wear sneakers with support so your legs don’t swell when hitting a hard surface.
- Varicose and spider veins are different. Varicose veins are the thick, ropey veins that protrude out of the legs, and spider veins are the small, thin blue blood vessels that can be seen under the skin.
- Both of these conditions are hereditary, but can sometimes be prevented with a healthy lifestyle. For example, avoid cigarettes and a bad diet, and make the effort to eat healthy and exercise. Hormonal birth control can cause these veins to form.
- If varicose veins run in your family, or if you already have them, wear Graduated Compression Stockings. Compression stockings act like an added layer of muscle, aiding the performance of the "second heart" and venous circulation. They are tight at the ankle, and looser as they go up, which helps prevent swelling and vein formation. These can be purchased at medical supply stores.
- Spider and small varicose veins can be treated with sclerotherapy – a painless injection treatment. During treatment, a mild chemical solution is injected into the vein that is causing the issue. The sclerosing agent irritates the walls of the vessel, causing it to collapse. The body then reabsorbs the vein and blood is re-routed to a healthy vein, restoring proper venous circulation in the area.
Luis Navarro, M.D.
Diplomate: American Board of Phlebology
Director: Vein Treatment Center, New York
Dr. Luis Navarro, Director of The Vein Treatment Center in New York, NY, and one of the most well-respected and established physicians in the country, has devoted his life's work to the treatment of venous disorders (varicose and spider veins). He founded the Vein Treatment Center in 1982, where he currently holds his practice. He developed a novel approach to treating varicose veins called Combined Therapies that merges minimally invasive techniques to achieve the maximum cosmetic results. Dr. Navarro's facility, the Vein Treatment Center, remains one of first and only facilities exclusively devoted to the treatment of venous disorders.