Compression Therapy for Varicose Veins

Compression Therapy for Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are those unsightly bulging veins that you often see on legs or feet. If you have them, you’re probably aware of the discomfort or pain they can cause—especially after a long day of standing or sitting.

Compression therapy helps reduce the inflammation and pain caused by varicose veins—it also improves poor blood circulation.

Is compression therapy always the best way to treat varicose veins? And how does compression therapy for varicose veins work?

Here are the answers.


What Are Varicose Veins?

People usually find varicose veins—those enlarged and twisted veins—on their calves, ankles, and/or thighs. But they can be almost anywhere on your body. The veins are dark purple or blue and aren’t often a medical concern.

However, for many people, varicose veins are a cosmetic concern; they cause embarrassment when you’re wearing shorts, a skirt, or a bathing suit.

Other times, varicose veins can reveal a budding health issue or even pose a health risk themselves.

Varicose veins are caused by valve problems within the veins. Valves become damaged or weak and blood circulation is affected; the blood begins to pool in the legs and veins enlarge.


A woman sitting on a couch rubbing her aching leg


Some symptoms associated with varicose veins include:

  • Swelling in the ankles or legs
  • A feeling of heaviness in your legs
  • Itching around the vein area
  • Achiness or pain in your legs
  • Skin discoloration around the veins

At times, untreated varicose veins lead to other health issues, including venous ulcerations or chronic venous insufficiency (CVI).

The weakening of vein walls from chronic vein valve problems is a common cause of CVI. Blood flow toward the heart decreases and instead blood pools in the legs. CVI itself is not life-threatening but can lead to serious health complications including deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and leg ulcers.

Read about warning signs and diagnosing varicose vein disease.


Causes of Varicose Veins

Factors that contribute to the development of varicose veins include:

  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Being overweight
  • Pregnancy
  • Aging
  • Increased blood pressure in the veins


What is Compression Therapy?

Many vein doctors consider compression therapy to be the first line of treatment for mild-to-moderate varicose veins. They often suggest combining compression therapy with leg elevation or movement exercises.

Compression therapy helps eliminate many of the physical symptoms associated with varicose veins. It can also help with leg or foot discomfort associated with:

  • Chronic venous insufficiency
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • Swelling of the legs, ankles, and feet
  • Pregnancy


An infographic showing how compression socks improve blood flow


Compression treatment is non-invasive; it simply involves wearing compression (elastic) socks, stockings, or wraps. By applying continuous pressure to your legs and squeezing leg muscles, the compression clothing helps push blood upward against gravity, making it easier for blood to flow back to your heart.

This treatment also keeps fluid from building up in the legs, feet, and ankles, prevents blood clots, and helps ulcers heal on the skin.

Your legs will feel:

  • More comfortable
  • Less painful
  • Less tired
  • Less swollen
  • Better supported

Wearing the proper compression stockings will also help keep veins from getting worse.

A vein specialist can evaluate your vein health and recommend the exact type and amount of compression that will work best for you. You can purchase some compression stockings over the counter, while others require a prescription.

Compression stockings are also often recommended both before and after vein treatment.

Learn more about the symptoms and causes of poor circulation in the legs and feet.


Types of Compression Therapy


Closeup of a hiker’s legs with compression socks on.


Compression socks

Compression socks may extend to different lengths, from just over the ankle to up to your knee.

If you’re standing or sitting for extended periods during the day, ankle compression socks can keep your feet feeling comfortable.

Manufacturers rate socks to show the pressure they provide.

Units of measurement are listed as “mmHg,” which stands for millimeters of mercury—a measurement of pressure. Compression sock ratings include:

  • Low—less than 20 mmHg—do not require a prescription
  • Medium—20-30 mmHg—require a prescription
  • High—More than 30 mmHg—require a prescription

If you have moderate-to-severe varicose veins, your doctor will probably write you a prescription for compression socks for pain relief and improved circulation.


Compression Stockings


A woman putting  on compression stockings


Compression socks are a common type of compression wear. They reach up to the knee. Longer compression stockings (sleeves or tights) are available if swelling goes higher than your knee.

Compression stockings can be rated or not rated for pressure. The socks and stockings should feel comfortably snug but shouldn’t feel overly tight or painful.


Velcro Wraps and Bandages

These compression items are helpful for people who have trouble putting on socks. The elastic bandages often require several layers while wraps can have convenient Velcro closures.

Inflatable garments is another category of compression-wear. Users inflate these devices to a specific amount of pressure. They’re generally used by athletes to reduce muscle soreness and improve blood circulation to speed recovery.


Other Treatments for Varicose Veins

While compression garments usually help reduce discomfort caused by varicose veins, they cannot fix varicose veins or improve their physical appearance.

However, today there are many varicose vein treatments that will permanently eliminate existing varicose and spider veins.

Treatments for the elimination of varicose veins include:


Is Compression Therapy for You?

There are some medical conditions that make it unsafe to use compression therapy. One of these conditions is peripheral artery disease (PAD). Here, compression therapy would be harmful since the blood vessels in the legs would narrow and reduce blood flow.

It’s always recommended that you consult your doctor first before you start compression therapy.

Here’s more about vein conditions and ways to improve your vein health.

For a free varicose vein screening, contact us at The New Jersey Vein and Vascular Center.

Poor Circulation in the Legs and Feet

Poor Circulation in the Legs and Feet

Poor circulation can affect many areas of your body, including your legs, feet, and toes.

There are many reasons for poor blood circulation in the legs and feet, and usually several things you can do to improve your circulation.

It’s important to see a medical specialist for diagnosis, and then follow the prescribed treatment for your specific condition. There are different diagnostic tests doctors can perform to get an accurate diagnosis. But sometimes a doctor still can’t pinpoint the cause—even after tests are done.


Symptoms of Poor Circulation in the Legs and Feet

Some symptoms of poor circulation in the legs and feet are:

  • Numbness
  • Throbbing, tingling, or pain in limbs
  • Cold feet
  • Muscle cramps
  • Discolored feet that sometimes turn blue, white, purple, or red


A heel has dry, cracked skin


  • Dry or cracked skin on feet or legs
  • Hair loss on legs or feet
  • Slow wound healing on feet

When a person has poor circulation, cells don’t get enough oxygen and nutrients delivered, and waste remains in cells. Cells function poorly; blood vessels narrow, harden, or even close.

People with poor circulation are commonly:

  • Over 40-years-old
  • Overweight
  • Diabetic
  • Smokers
  • Living a sedentary lifestyle and don’t exercise


Some Causes of Poor Circulation



Diabetes is a condition that results in too much glucose (sugar) in your blood. Doctors can easily diagnose diabetes by performing blood tests.

Plaque accumulates in the blood vessels when high blood sugar continues for extended periods of time. Poor blood circulation affects the legs and feet and other parts of the body.

Without treatment, this could lead to serious health problems, including foot ulcers—which can result in amputation if they can’t heal properly.

People with diabetes need to have their feet checked regularly to make sure they’re not developing signs of poor circulation or neuropathy.




A woman has a hand up as she refuses a cigarette


Cigarette smoke causes damage to your arteries. Plaque accumulates over time and causes circulation problems.

It’s simple. If you smoke, quit. If you don’t smoke, don’t start!


Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are enlarged, unattractive veins that appear twisted or gnarled.

These unsightly veins develop when damaged blood vessels cause extra pressure to be put on the veins. Then the newly formed varicose veins further contribute to poor circulation by allowing blood to flow backwards, instead of up toward the heart. Read more here about chronic vein insufficiency.

Leg symptoms of varicose veins include:

  • Aching or heaviness
  • Itchiness
  • A burning sensation


A woman show’s her leg that has a vein condition


Some common risk factors for varicose veins include:

  • Being female
  • Obesity
  • Older age
  • Standing for lengthy periods of time every day
  • Smoking
  • Genetic predisposition

A vein specialist uses out-patient procedures to treat varicose veins. Changing your lifestyle, such as losing weight and wearing compression socks will help as well. However, damaged veins need medical correction.

Here’s how exercising will help keep your veins healthy.


Atherosclerosis and Peripheral Artery Disease

Atherosclerosis is a condition of dangerous plaque build-up that often affects arteries of the legs and arms, as well as the heart and brain.


An infographic showing peripheral artery disease (PAD)


Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) occurs when plaque damages the blood vessels that bring blood to the legs and feet.

PAD is the most common cause of poor circulation in the legs.

High blood pressure and high cholesterol can contribute to the development of PAD. When a person has PAD, they are also most likely at risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

One test used to diagnosis PAD is the ankle-brachial index. During this test, your doctor compares the blood pressure in your arm to the blood pressure in your ankle.

Here are things you can do to stop PAD from progressing:

  • Keep blood pressure and cholesterol under control
  • Exercise
  • Don’t smoke
  • Eat a healthy diet


High Blood Pressure and High Cholesterol

When you have high blood pressure, blood is pushing against your blood vessels with unusually powerful force. This can weaken your blood vessels and ultimately interfere with good blood circulation.

When a person has high cholesterol, cholesterol inevitably deposits on artery walls.


Raynaud’s Disease

Raynaud’s disease affects blood circulation when a person is cold or stressed. It usually affects blood flowing to toes and fingers, although it can affect other areas of the body.

Symptoms include:

  • Toes or fingers turning white
  • Extremely cold extremities
  • Burning, tingling, pain, or numbness

These symptoms can last for as little as one minute or continue for several hours.

Medication and lifestyle changes are used to treat Raynaud’s disease.

Risk factors for Raynaud’s disease include:

  • Having a job that causes vibrations to the body
  • Being over sixty and have another vascular disease
  • Taking cyclosporine or some beta-blockers
  • Having fibromyalgia or a history of hepatitis B or C


What You Can Do to Improve Blood Circulation in Your Legs

  • Follow medical treatments for underlying conditions
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise
  • Avoid sitting for lengthy periods of time—take frequent breaks
  • Do leg stretches
  • Don’t smoke
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine
  • Massage feet
  • Keep feet warm when outside in cold weather
  • Avoid stress – practice relaxation techniques
  • Wear compression socks
  • Eat a healthy diet


When to Contact a Doctor Immediately or call 911


An infographic displaying danger of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). 


Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) can be a life-threatening event. It’s caused when a blood clot in the leg interferes with circulation. There is always a chance that the clot will travel and cut off blood flow to the lungs.

DVT often occurs if you do not move for a long time—such as you are recuperating from an operation in bed or sitting in a plane or car for a long time. Read about traveler’s thrombosis.

Signs of DVT include:

  • Sudden pain (that begins in the calf) or swelling in the leg
  • Skin feels warmer than usual to the touch
  • Discolored skin
  • There’s numbness or “pins and needles” in your leg

If the clot has broken away, you may feel chest pain, sweat, and have difficulty breathing. More about when to see a doctor.

If you are concerned about your leg circulation or have varicose veins, contact us at NJVVC for diagnosis and treatment.

Traveler’s Thrombosis – Red Blotches on Ankles or Calves

Traveler’s Thrombosis – Red Blotches on Ankles or Calves

Traveler’s thrombosis, also known as economy class syndrome or deep vein thrombosis (DVT), is a medical condition that can occur when a blood clot forms in a deep vein, usually in the leg, after prolonged periods of sitting, such as during air travel or car rides.

Spring and summer often bring travel adventures. Many of us will go to our local airport, check in, go through the standard security measures, and board an airplane for an exciting new destination.

If you have ever travelled for prolonged periods of time, you may have experienced red blotches on your ankles of calves. You’re not alone. This is commonly referred to as Traveler’s thrombosis.


Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

Deep vein thrombosis or DVT, refers to a condition where blood clots form in the leg veins. This may occur in any situation where there is prolonged pooling of blood in the deep veins of the legs or pelvis.


How blood clots form in the legs


This common for bed-bound persons and those who sit for long periods of time in chairs, cars, trains, or airplanes.

If a clot, or portion of a blood clot becomes detached from the vein, this process is called venous thromboembolism or VTE.

In very few cases a clot, or portion of the blood clot can travel to the lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism, or PE.

This can present as a serious condition, as it is possible for a large embolism to travel in the bloodstream and block a major artery or blood vessel in your lung and can result in death.

Pulmonary embolisms are rare in airline travelers, occurring only in 0.4 million airline passengers. For those passengers experiencing PE, it is fatal about 2% of the time.

Personal risk factors can play a role in the incidence of VTE. Other conditions, like duration of flight and a person’s degree of immobility during the flight, can increase the risk.


woman traveling on airplane


Risk factors and symptoms of Traveler’s Thrombosis

The risk of developing traveler’s thrombosis increases when you have additional risk factors such as obesity, pregnancy, smoking, taking birth control pills, or having a history of blood clots.

Symptoms of traveler’s thrombosis can include pain, swelling, redness, and warmth in the affected area. In some cases, the clot may break loose and travel to the lungs, causing a potentially life-threatening condition called a pulmonary embolism.

To reduce the risk of traveler’s thrombosis, it is recommended to take frequent breaks and walk around during long flights, wear compression stockings or socks, and stay hydrated.


Compression socks on a woman’s legs


It’s also important to talk to a healthcare provider before traveling if there are additional risk factors present.

If you have red blotches on your ankles and legs after air travel, it is recommended that you seek medical attention to determine the cause and receive appropriate treatment.

If you are experiencing any other symptoms, such as pain, swelling, or difficulty breathing, seek medical attention immediately.


Leg and foot swelling during air travel

Leg and foot swelling during air travel is a common problem and is often caused by a combination of factors related to sitting for extended periods of time and the low cabin pressure in airplanes.


Airplane in the clouds


During air travel, the lower cabin pressure can cause fluid to shift from the blood vessels into the surrounding tissues, leading to swelling. Additionally, sitting in a cramped position for a prolonged period can cause blood to pool in the legs, further exacerbating the swelling.

Other factors that can contribute to leg and foot swelling during air travel include dehydration, wearing tight-fitting clothing, and not moving around enough during the flight.

People who have pre-existing medical conditions such as heart failure, liver disease, or kidney disease may also be more prone to swelling during air travel.

To prevent or reduce leg and foot swelling during air travel, it is recommended to:

  • Wear loose-fitting clothing and comfortable shoes
  • Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine
  • Walk around and stretch your legs frequently during the flight
  • Wear compression stockings or socks, which can help improve blood flow

Consider taking a low-dose aspirin before the flight, especially if you have a higher risk of blood clots.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition, talk to your doctor before flying and ask for specific advice on how to manage swelling during air travel.

How the Summer Heat Affects Your Veins

How the Summer Heat Affects Your Veins

We all love summer. But if you suffer from symptoms of varicose veins, the heat can be a hazard to your health. Don’t let summer keep you indoors. Use our tips to beat the heat.

It’s the time of year to go to the beach, hike, or simply enjoy relaxing on your deck.  Throughout the season, your first concern may be the sun’s effect on your skin.

But did you know how seriously the summer heat affects your veins? From swelling to discomfort, the heat can wind up being a real inconvenience. 

What the Summer Brings

Summertime naturally leads to more time spent outdoors. The combination of outdoor activity and rising temperature means more pronounced vein conditions.

In the heat, veins naturally dilate for better blood flow. However, when veins swell it can cause issues.

Dilated veins mean your body must fight gravity harder to circulate blood back up to the heart. This added stress can lead to weary veins.

Often, this results in damaged veins and the accumulation of blood in the lower legs. This is how varicose veins can develop and where added discomfort and pain begin. It is also the precursor for a more serious issue called Chronic Venous Insufficiency.

Who is at Risk

There are over 24 million people in the United States that suffer from varicose veins. But the people most at risk are females over fifty years of age.

Women who have had multiple pregnancies are also at a higher risk because of additional stressed placed on veins.
Hormonal changes also affect the onset of venous disease. Women in menopause should be particularly careful during the warmer months.

Although it may seem like varicose veins is a disease that targets women, it’s a guy thing too. In fact, nearly 45% of people who suffer from varicose veins are men.

Certain occupations are also more at risk for varicose veins than others. Jobs that include standing or sitting for long periods of time are prone to vein issues.

People who suffer from varicose veins are often affected physically and mentally. Constant pain, even if slight, can greatly impact your attitude and mental state.

Prevention and Preparation

The appearance of varicose veins and unwanted pain can take its toll on anyone. But trying to prevent vein conditions and slow existing ones is a step in the right direction.

Prevention of vein conditions in the summer is similar to prevention during the rest of the year. But it’s important to remember that conditions can easily be exacerbated in hot and humid weather.

By following these guidelines, you should make it through the summer months without added discomfort:

Good General Health

Maintaining a healthy weight, activity, and eating properly are all important for vein health.

Extra weight can put a lot of stress on your body and particularly your legs. Staying in good physical condition means not only a healthy diet but also regular moderate exercising.  The combination of movement and eating right may also help reduce excess weight.

Eating foods that improve circulation is another great way to protect your veins.

And believe it or not, standing up and walking around for only a few minutes really does help!

Stay Hydrated

Drink.  Drink.  Drink. Getting plenty of fluids to stay hydrated is one of the most important things you can do to remain healthy in the summer heat.

Do you know the recommended amount to drink?  Divide your weight in pounds by 2. The answer is the number of ounces you should be drinking daily.

For example, a 150-pound woman should drink 75 ounces of water per day. Though water is the best for hydration, consider supplementing with herbal teas, electrolyte drinks, or fruit-infused water for variety. Just make sure it doesn’t include added sugar or caffeine.

Hydration is key to blood flow. If you aren’t drinking enough water, you may want to start bringing some with you wherever you go.

Remember, by the time you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.

Wear Loose Pants

Wearing loose pants allows the blood to flow properly with no added resistance.

Try wearing loose-fitting pants if you are going to be out for an extended time. Lightweight, natural fabrics will still allow you to be cool, and can cover your skin from the sun’s direct rays.

Leg Room When Traveling

When traveling in a car, plane, or even sitting at work, giving yourself the appropriate legroom helps with circulation.

Extended plane or automobile trips can result in lengthy periods of sitting in one position. It’s important during these prolonged periods of inactivity to use specific exercises while-on the go.

Get up from your seat on the plane and walk up and down the aisle. Pull into rest areas so that you can get out of the car and move around. Your veins will thank you.

Wear Compression Socks or Stockings

Compression socks and stockings use pressure to help push blood through your lower legs. They are an amazing way to help counter the effects of gravity. It’s really important to wear them if you sit or stand for prolonged periods of time.

Wearing compression stockings or leggings can help your legs feel better and assist your veins in working at an optimal level.

Compression garments are readily available at drug stores, sporting goods stores, and online. They are more comfortable than in the past and are designed to breathe better.

Wear them while working out, being active, or most importantly while traveling.

Put Your Feet Up

Gravity is the main cause of varicose veins, but it can also be a factor that prevents them. By elevating your legs, you are causing the blood to flow to other parts of your body.

Even if there is no place to put your feet up on that plane or in the car, elevate your legs whenever possible. At the beach, try putting your feet up on your bag, a towel, or even a beach ball.

If you are at the park, don’t be afraid to use a bench to elevate your legs.  Even a slight elevation will help get your blood pumping back towards your heart and out of your legs.

Cool Down

Beat the heat and cool off. Try to sit in the shade. Wear a hat. Take a dip in the pool. Sip on a cool drink. Go inside occasionally to cool yourself down. And always, always, always wear sunscreen!

Exercising and other activities are best done early in the morning or later in the evening so that the midday sun isn’t bearing down on you.


Help is Available

Summer is a great time of year to enjoy the outdoors. Staying active, traveling, going on vacation, and soaking up the sun are all ways to enjoy the season.

However, over-exposure to hot temperatures for extended periods of time can cause pain and discomfort for those who suffer from varicose veins.

In addition, your lifestyle, including an unhealthy diet, inactivity, or not staying sufficiently hydrated, can cause pain and swelling. By employing compression, heat management, activity breaks, and hydration you can reduce your symptoms.

But if you would like to eliminate discomfort quickly, make an appointment with a vein specialist about medical treatment options.

Suffering from venous issues doesn’t mean you have to forgo the outdoors this summer. Keeping a healthy weight and limiting strenuous activity in the heat are important.

Knowledge and preparation will allow you to enjoy the outdoors while minimizing discomfort.

The New Jersey Vein and Vascular Center is here to help, please contact us today to learn more.

This blog has been updated and republished in August 2021.

How Exercise Promotes Healthy Veins

How Exercise Promotes Healthy Veins

In this blog we break down the connection between exercise and healthy veins. We’ll cover everything you need to know, including which exercises are best for you.

Exercise promotes a healthy body. It aids in strengthening your immune system, increases weight loss, and even improves mental health. But did you know exercising also promotes healthy veins?

Healthy veins have good blood flow. They provide proper circulation throughout the body.

The best way to promote quality blood flow is to move your muscles with exercise.

what do veins do, vascular system with veins full of blood

What Exactly Do your Veins Do?

Knowing about the anatomy of your veins is a vital part of staying healthy.

Going back to basic biology, blood flows through our bodies using veins and arteries. Your veins are vessels that transport blood to your heart, while your arteries carry blood away from it to your extremities.

Veins carry nutrients and water needed for your body to function. They also carry blood to the heart, where “old” blood receives a fresh supply of oxygen.

Healthy veins are able to keep the body infused with enough oxygenated blood. Unhealthy veins do not function as well and allow blood to pool.

When blood does not flow properly, it causes a backup of blood in veins. This pooling enlarges veins and pushes them near the surface of the skin.

Learn more about varicose veins causes, symptoms, and treatments.

how to recognize unhealthy veins, varicose vein enlarged and twisted versus normal vein

How to Recognize Unhealthy Veins

Varicose veins, or bulging veins, are common in both men and women. In fact, around 23% of the American population has bulging veins.

Varicose veins alone are not life-threatening but can be extremely uncomfortable. Common causes of varicose veins include heredity, lack of activity, and age.

Women who are menopausal can also have an increased risk of varicose veins due to hormonal changes.

Symptoms of vein issues can include leg fatigue, cramps or aches, and swollen feet or ankles. If you have any of these symptoms, it could be an indicator of poor vein health or a vein condition.

The good news is you can manage these symptoms with daily exercise. But always talk to your physician before starting if you have underlying health issues.

How Does Exercising Promote Healthy Veins?

Regular exercise prevents obesity and harmful weight gain. Being overweight puts more stress on veins and valves in our bodies. This forces our veins to work harder to keep blood flowing.

Obesity also weakens the heart muscles and can reduce the flow of oxygenated blood. This all adds up to a poor circulatory system and can lead to more serious health issues.

Exercise promotes healthy veins by stimulating the flow of blood. As mentioned above, good blood flow is necessary for our bodies to perform – so get up and move!

exercises that are good for vein health, seniors riding bikes on the beach

What Kind of Exercises Are Good for Veins?

Exercises that involve your legs are the most effective for vein health. They stretch your muscles to make blood flow upward towards the heart.

Finding simple ways to improve circulation will benefits your whole body, not just your veins.

If you are one of the 23% who suffers from bulging veins, ditch the heavy lifting. You should avoid exercises that put too much pressure on your body and veins. Lifting weights can increase pressure on veins that are already stressed and bulging.

Instead, you should aim for moderate exercises that use the calf and thigh muscles. These are great for enhancing blood flow to and from the lower and upper half of your body.

Walking, bicycling, and swimming are the best physical activities to reduce vein pressure.

Here are a few other easy-to-do, vein-promoting exercises to try at home:

butt kick vein exercise, butt and leg exercises that can be done at home with chair


While standing in place, raise your heel to reach your buttocks. Try “kicking” your butt every few seconds while alternating between legs. Do this for 30 seconds to a minute a few times a day.

This exercise strengthens thigh and buttock muscles that support blood flow.

To increase the impact of this exercise, jog in place while completing repetitions.

calf stretch vein exercise, calf exercises that can be done at home with chair

Calf Stretch

Stand behind a kitchen table chair and grab onto the back to keep steady. Lift yourself using only your toes.

Hold that position for five seconds, and then lower yourself down. Try doing 15 to 20 raises in a row before taking a break.

Toe lifts

Start by sitting in a chair or on the floor, with your feet flat on the ground. Lift your toes up, just your toes not your whole foot.

As you’re lifting your toes, try to get them all to the same height if possible. Hold this position for 5 seconds, then lower your toes.

Repeat 10 times on each foot or do both feet together.

squat vein exercise, squat exercises that can be done at home with chair


From a standing position, lower your body like you are going to sit down. Once you have reached a seated position, use your leg muscles to resume standing.

If you have balance issues, you can do squats against a wall for added support.


Start in a standing position, with legs shoulder-width apart. Step forward with one foot until your leg reaches a 90-degree angle.

Then lift your front lunging leg to return to the starting position.

Repeat in this position for more reps, or change legs between each rep.

leg lift vein exercise, leg lift exercises that can be done at home with chair

Leg lifts

Leg lifts allow blood to move from your feet towards your hips.

Sit or lie on your back with your legs straight out. If you prefer to stay off the floor, sit in a chair with your feet flat. Slowly lift one leg and hold it in the air for at least five seconds before lowering back down. Repeat the exercise with your other leg.

Bicycle legs

Lie on your back and raise your feet in the air, bending your legs at your knees. Pedal your legs as if you were riding a bicycle.

You can also do this exercise one leg at a time, alternating legs between sets.

yoga stretch chair pose, Man doing yoga indoors - A Chair pose

Yoga Stretches

Yoga benefits the cardiovascular system. It is the perfect low-impact workout for our bodies. It doesn’t put pressure on our veins or joints which makes it ideal for all.

Stretches like downward-facing dog, chair pose, and warrior pose are great for veins.

NJVVC Vein Services

Your health and well-being rely on the health of your veins and arteries. At New Jersey Vein and Vascular Center, we commit ourselves to personalized patient care and good vein health. Our vein center maintains the highest standards and advances in the field of vein and vascular care.

Schedule a consultation appointment with a certified vein doctor. Learn more about varicose vein removal in NJ with our experts. Contact us today!

Understanding and Preventing Leg Blood Clots (DVT)

Understanding and Preventing Leg Blood Clots (DVT)

The body has a number of deep veins that circulate blood and return it back to the heart from both legs. However, this phenomenal system also makes legs vulnerable to deep vein thrombosis or DVT.

DVT is a blood clot in the leg. Suffering from a current or repeat blood clot in your leg is not always an instant life-threat, but it can be. In some cases, blood clots can cause the legs to swell or have chronic pain. In other cases, the clot can come loose and cause a lung blockage or cardiac arrest (heart attack).

Deep vein thrombosis isn’t something trivial to ignore, ever. It should be treated, reduced, monitored, and prevented from occurring again.


Where Do Blood Clots Come From?

Deep vein thrombosis occurs when the circulatory system is not able to move blood with enough pressure and regularity. Blood eventually begins to coagulate and clot if it is unable to move around.

A partial slug or clot can start to develop when the body hasn’t moved in a long time, such as in the case of a surgery, a bed-ridden condition, or a long trans-oceanic flight in a cramped seat. Blood clots can even occur in a few hours, as proven in the cases where they are seen in children spending hours playing video games cross-legged.

Where do Blood Clots Come From

Common Symptoms of a Blood Clot in the Leg

As blood flow gets blocked or limited, the affected area tends to swell. New blood continues to come in, pumped by the heart, but the returning amount to the heart is less. This creates a backflow or a large amount of pooling in the affected leg.


This pooling effect can be visually noticed by discoloration or an increased amount of heat, similar to an infection or impact location from trauma.

However, many patients have experienced a leg blood clot without any noticeable symptoms. A blood clot’s ability to hide makes them especially dangerous.

Any unusual swelling of the leg, pain, discoloring, or a combination of the above, along with chest pains, dizziness, or inability to breathe, are all signs to receive medical care. Symptoms tend to vary from person to person, so trying to guess if a symptom is serious or not can be a very risky gamble.

Are Blood Clots Genetic?

If a patient’s family has a history of blood-clotting, then it’s quite possible that the patient could be affected as well, studies have proved this. Interestingly, many blood clots are due to lifestyle or changes in mobility.

Obesity or being significantly sedentary for long periods of time will contribute to clotting. If a person is lying down for an extended period due to a surgery or pregnancy, can also be a factor.

Medications that reduce blood pressure have been known to be problematic for clots as well.


How To Prevent Leg Blood Clots or DVT

The easiest and most powerful method of prevention for deep vein thrombosis is to move. Stand up every hour and move your legs around. This will increase circulation and keep blood from pooling. Sitting for extended periods without moving occasionally, such as in an office setting, should be avoided.

Try a convertible desk where you can stand or sit. This will give you options throughout the day. Many companies are now providing them as a low-cost health improvement feature.

If you travel often, walk around the plane frequently or make lots of road stops to walk around and stretch your legs. Again, the hourly changing of position and moving your legs can make a huge difference in preventing leg blood clots or DVT.

Losing weight can significantly increase your internal circulatory power and take a load off your system. Extra weight and fat work against the body, making it harder to move blood through the circulatory network and back up the veins. Getting rid of that excess burden makes it easier for your heart to work and for your circulatory system to be more effective.

A routine of regular exercise is beneficial for your overall health. Optimize your workout and alternate between activities so you’re not bored and static. Move and stretch your body with weight-lifting or aerobic exercise. You don’t need to be the next Olympian; daily exercise with mild effort goes a long way towards improving your blood flow.

How to Prevent Leg Blood Clots


Don’t Let a Blood Clot Risk Control Your Life

Again, leg blood clots or DVT can occur for a variety of reasons, not just one thing, like heredity. A person’s lifestyle tends to be a significant contributor to risk. Exercise, a healthy diet, and getting regular doctor checkups all help in preventing DVT and allow for early warning sign detection.

Varicose veins can be an early warning sign of further vein complication and deep vein thrombosis. If you have concerns about the veins in your legs, contact NJVVC for the highest level of patient care.

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