(HealthDay News) -- For many people, varicose veins are simply a cosmetic concern. For others, varicose veins can cause aching pain and discomfort. And the condition could signal a higher risk of circulatory problems.
Varicose veins affect up to 60 percent of all Americans, women more than men; older women more than younger. Treatment may involve self-help measures, or procedures by your doctor to close or remove these veins.
The American Institute of Preventive Medicine offers these suggestions to help prevent them from forming:
- Don't cross your legs when sitting.
- Exercise regularly. Walking is a good choice. It improves leg and vein strength.
- Keep your weight down.
- Avoid standing for prolonged periods. If your job or hobby requires you to stand, shift your weight from one leg to the other every few minutes.
- Wear elastic support stockings.
- Don't wear clothing or undergarments that are tight or constrict your waist, groin or legs.
- Eat high-fiber foods such as bran cereals, whole grain breads and fresh fruits and vegetables to promote regularity. Constipation contributes to varicose veins.
- Elevate your legs when resting.
- Stop and take short walks at least every 45 minutes when taking long car rides.