If you need a recap from high school anatomy, your arteries move blood away from your heart while your veins bring it back for reoxygenation. Varicose veins – those knotty blue and purple veins that bulge beneath the skin – occur when the body struggles to return blood from your body’s extremities.
Varicose veins are regularly found in the legs, where blood must fight against the pressure of gravity, straining the valves of your veins. When these one-way valves succumb to pressure, they can allow some blood to slip backward, where it pools in the body.
The Causes and Symptoms of Varicose Veins
Varicose veins affect about 25% of all adults, and they occur most often in women. High levels of stress, an unhealthy diet, smoking, hormonal therapies, birth control, and too much standing or sitting are all causes of varicose veins.
People with varicose veins often experience:
- “Heavy” or achy legs
- Pain after long periods of sitting or standing
- Throbbing and swelling in the legs
- Itchy veins
- Skin discoloration
- Visible blue and black veins
To ward off this condition or to keep it from growing worse, you can use compression socks, avoid standing or sitting for long periods, and incorporate more exercise into your routine.
Yoga for Varicose Veins
While yoga cannot reverse the visibility of varicose veins, it can greatly diminish the pain they cause and help ward off continued development.
While a full yoga session will take you through a series of different poses, there are a few that are known to help alleviate the pain caused by varicose veins. These include:
The Mountain Pose
By focusing on your body’s alignment, you engage your back, core, and leg muscles. This relieves overworked varicose veins.
The Supported Shoulder Stand
Use gravity to your advantage and allow stagnant blood to drain out of your legs. This will provide a sense of immediate relief.
Legs on the Wall
Particularly effective for those who struggle with a shoulder stand, laying your back on the ground and walking your feet up the wall is a great way to work with gravity to take the pressure off of your legs.
The Wind-Relieving Pose
Curling yourself up into a ball position gently loosens tension-filled legs and hip joints. This relaxing pose promotes healthy blood flow, especially for those who spend a lot of time at a desk.
A great core strengthener, this pose asks you to keep your legs elevated while focusing on a straight back. The boat pose strengthens your muscles and encourages pooled blood to move out of your legs.
The Standing Forward Fold
The deep stretch you get in your legs from this posture will improve circulation and combat pain. Remember to fold in at your hips and not at your back.
The Fish Pose
This pose relaxes your legs and stretches your torso, regulating blood flow throughout the body.
Everyone deserves to look and feel their best. If you’re feeling pain or want to hide the visual effects of varicose veins, the Metropolitan Vein & Aesthetic Center has the treatments you need. Schedule a consultation with our vein specialists to discover which varicose vein treatments might be right for you.