How Long Should I Put My Feet Up To Prevent Varicose Veins

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Varicose veins are twisted and enlarged veins that appear on the skin in branch-like formations. While there are a number of reasons as to why varicose veins occur, essentially they’re caused by weak veins and blood vessels which cause blood to pool within your veins. Though it may sound scary, varicose veins are often harmless and can be prevented through different activities and regular exercise. In particular, by simply elevating and raising one’s legs and feet, studies have shown it to help improve blood circulation and prevent varicose veins. 

So how long should you leave your legs elevated to prevent varicose veins? In general, short elevation periods of 15 minutes should be done several times a day. to promote healthy veins. While you cannot be elevating your feet 24/7, short elevations throughout the day are meant to offset the amounts of pressure placed on your legs and feet for the majority of the day. By doing elevation exercises throughout the day, you’re able to promote blood flow which will help prevent weak vein walls and blood pooling particularly in your legs preventing varicose veins from appearing in that area.

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How to Elevate your Legs to Prevent Varicose and Spider Veins

For most people, elevating your feet for 15 minutes several times a day every day can drastically help reduce your chances of your leg veins becoming spider veins. With most people standing and sitting for most hours of the day, blood circulation can be affected and cause substandard blood flow, especially in your legs. Due to the constant strain put on your legs and blood circulation, it’s possible for your leg veins to wear and tear causing weaker valves and possibly varicose veins. 

This is why it has been suggested that people elevate their legs multiple times a day.  As elevation has been proven to aid in blood circulation, this simple activity could yield great results and prevent varicose veins. Though elevation seems simple enough, there are a few things to remember when doing this exercise yourself to get the best results:

1) Comfort and Elevation

A big factor in the formation of varicose veins in your legs is that you may be putting too much pressure on your leg muscles and joints throughout the day. Spending too much time standing or sitting can cause both superficial veins and deeper veins to experience extra pressure due to the fact that it could possibly be hindering proper blood flow. 

With most people standing or sitting the whole day, it’s no surprise that varicose veins are often found on your legs as they usually suffer the most from poor circulation throughout the day. This is where elevation exercises can come in. Elevations require you to take short breaks throughout the day to relieve your legs and veins from discomfort due to extended periods of standing and sitting. 

When doing these exercises, it’s important to find a place wherein you can lie down comfortably and properly while elevating your feet. This will proper blood flow and circulation and allow you to reap the preventative benefits the exercise may have against swollen veins. 

2) Proper Form



Like any physical activity, your form can be a big factor in whether or not you reap its benefits. While you may think that elevating your feet in any manner should help blood circulation, simply elevating your feet at your desk while working is not enough. The whole point of elevating your feet is to allow blood flow to your legs which can’t really be done comfortably or effectively on your desk. 

During elevation exercises, it’s best for you to take a completely flat or slightly inclined position anywhere you feel comfortable. Once in this position place your legs under a pillow or your feet on a slightly elevated surface so that your feet are just above your heart line. Not only does this ensure unobstructed blood flow for deep veins but it’s also a more comfortable position to be in for the duration of the exercise.

3) Duration, Timing, and Repetition

In addition to form, frequency is also an important factor that may contribute to preventing varicose veins. Elevating your feet once a day sadly does not provide enough blood flow and proper blood circulation to truly help prevent varicose veins. 

To fully reap the benefits of elevation, it’s recommended that you elevate your feet 3 to 4 times a day for 15 minutes every day. By elevating your legs and feet multiple times throughout the day, you’re able to allow more blood flow to the deep veins within your leg which in turn will keep your veins strong and healthy preventing them from pooling blood and causing varicose veins.  

Benefits of Elevating Your Feet Against Varicose Veins

whole family elevating their feet for joy and happiness

Some benefits of putting your feet up aside from preventing the formation of unwanted varicose veins are removing pressure from the feet and legs, better blood circulation, and reduction of inflammation and swelling. Squeezing these habits into your daily routine is a good way to improve your overall health aside from keeping your varicose veins at bay.

1) Removes Pressure From Feet and Legs


As stated earlier, the pressure caused by standing and sitting throughout the day can often place excessive strains on your body including your veins. With this happening day in and day out, your legs and feet are not only likely to develop weaker veins due to constant pressure but it can also cause physical pain and more severe health conditions. By elevating your legs and feet, you are able to relieve some of the pressure on your veins for periods of time throughout the day. This will not only prevent any discomfort to you but it will also help prevent your veins from being damaged under the pressure and prevent varicose veins.

2) Promotes Blood Circulation and Healthy Blood Flow

Did you know that your body has to work twice as hard to pump blood back to your heart when sitting or standing? It has been said that while standing every so often from your desk may be beneficial, standing for too long can cause conditions that include varicose veins. Due to extended periods of standing, your veins begin to have poor blood flow, which leads to the heightened possibility of varicose veins occurring. Elevating your feet just above your heart line is a common treatment that can improve blood flow and promote healthy veins

3) Reduces Inflammation and Swelling

By standing all day, gravity will play a natural role in pushing blood flow to your legs and feet. This could cause inflammation and swelling which places pressure on your legs, feet, and veins. By elevating your feet, gravity will help move blood flow back to your heart and reduce swelling and pressure on your veins preventing varicose vein symptoms. 

Read More: Can Varicose Veins Be A Sign Of Stroke Risk?

Should Everyone Elevate Their Feet To Prevent Varicose and Spider Veins?

Varicose veins can be a source of insecurity for many people once they start appearing on the skin surface. But as stated earlier, they’re harmless and rarely hazardous to your health. Exercises and procedures to remove them shouldn’t take precedence over your health. 

However, while elevating your feet and legs can have great benefits, having pre-existing medical conditions or physical therapy routines can be an issue. Over-elevation with a pre-existing condition may lead to injury and worsen your current condition even though it’s a very low-impact exercise. 

Likewise, if you have a sensitive spinal condition lying down flat or slightly reclined may have a negative effect. With this, it would be best to discuss this with your doctor before proceeding.

Read More: Rebounding to Treat Varicose Veins

Prevent Varicose Veins and Get Excellent Varicose Veins Treatments at Vein Center Doctor

professional vein doctor examines the varicose veins on a woman leg

However you want to prevent or minimize varicose veins, at the Vein Center Doctor, we’re here to make sure you do it safely. With our team of highly-skilled experts, we’re able to give you the best treatment options and medical treatments to prevent and treat your varicose veins and any other venous disease.

Whether it be elevations, compression stockings therapy, or laser treatments, we can offer you different forms of treatment best suited to your lifestyle. If you have concerns regarding varicose vein disease and what to know about preventing or treating them, contact us and book an appointment today.

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