High Heels and Varicose Veins

‘Tis the season of parties and occasions to dress up. Your favorite cocktail dress goes great with a nice pair of pumps, but there’s a rumor that high heels cause varicose veins. Is it true?

Veins are like pipes that carry blood. Walking causes veins from the foot and calf to pump blood up the legs to the heart. This whole process is working against gravity. When wearing heels, the natural motion of walking is changed. Your weight has shifted to the forefoot and toes rather than your heel and arch. This new balance causes your calf muscle to stay in a contracted state when it would typically relax. Because your calf isn’t pumping as hard, blood can start to pool within the veins in the legs after some time.

The result of pooling blood in the veins can, in fact, lead to varicose veins after long wear. According to a study from the National Institute of Health: “The continuous use of high heels tends to provoke venous hypertension in the lower limbs and may represent a causal factor of venous disease symptoms.”

So no more heels?

You can still wear heels sparingly. Basically, avoid wearing high heels for 9 hours every day. Stilettos can still be worn for special occasions, but try to only wear them a few hours at a time.

In order to restore blood circulation, keep your legs lifted for a bit after taking heels off. Simply putting a pillow under your legs will be enough. Giving your calves and feet a good stretch before putting heels on and after removal will also help increase blood flow.

How will I know if I’ve developed Varicose Veins?

Symptoms of varicose veins include

  • Aching, throbbing, or tired feeling in the legs
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Leg cramps
  • Rashes and itching on the skin
  • Poor wound healing and open sores
  • Discoloration of the skin

If you recognize any of these symptoms, come into Summit Skin and Vein Care immediately. Our state-of-the-art facility provides multiple varicose treatments that have proven effective in many individuals. At the first sign of venous disease, come in for your free vein screening.

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