Venous exercises

 

Venous exercises are for everybody

- Don't exercise in vain - Fitness for your veins

 

Although venous insufficiency is largely hereditary it is important to keep your veins fit to avoid complications of varicose veins. And this is quite literally true: the walls of your veins remain elastic if the muscles surrounding them are exercised regularly. This does not mean that you have to be a professional sportsman or sportswoman. A few minutes of targeted venous exercises every day are enough to give your legs a good chance against pronounced venous weakness. If you already have diseased veins and wear compression stockings, it is important to wear them even while performing exercises.

Compression stockings support the affected veins and, by applying mechanical pressure, ensure the necessary return flow of blood in the veins from the legs back to the heart. And this is necessary not only for everyday living but also in sport. Particularly for women, it may be of interest to know that compressions tights exert a massage effect during sport on theproblem areas of the bottom and thighs, which leads to firming of the tissues. In addition, toning of the muscles in general is promoted by the fact that during sporting activity you are working againstthe resistance of the stocking.

Which sport is right for whom?

 

People with spider veins and mild to moderate varicose veins can in principle practice any type of sport. One exception is extreme body building, as this puts an additional strain on the veins. Particular suitable sports include hiking, power walking (also Nordic walking with poles),cycling,cross−country skiing, inline skating (here poles can be usedto simulate the skating technique fromcross−country skiing),aquajogging, swimming, dancing, golf, fitness training onenduranceequipment (e.g. stepper, cross trainer, bicycle ergometer) or specialvein exercises.

People with pronounced varicose veins, a history of thrombosis (venous occlusion) or phlebitis(inflammation of the veins)must be more cautious in choosing their sport. Sports that canbeconsidered particularly suitable are power walking, hiking, cycling,golf, dancing, swimming,aqua−aerobics or aquajogging and in the wintercross−country skiing. All kinds of sports involvingthe development ofhigh strength and abrupt stopping movements must be avoided. Theseincludebody building but also jogging, high−impact aerobics,badminton, handball or football. Skiing andsnowboarding are alsounsuitable.

Those who want to relax in the sauna after sporting activity shouldbear in mind that the feet shouldbe kept up in the sauna and restroom, and that the legs should be thoroughly showered with coldwaterafter each visit to the sauna. For patients with deep vein thrombosis,however, the sauna is to be avoided.

Exercise program

 

Standing position:

  1. Put on socks over your compression stocking or compression bandage and hold the loops o fthe rubber straps in both hands.
  2. Carry out all exercises in a comfortable position, making sure that your back is straight. Start with a low strap tension.
  3. Take the vein exerciser under the sole of your foot and stretch the straps.
  4. Point the toe downwards and then pull it back towards your body, creating a rockingmovement.
  5. After ten rocking movements for correct stretching of the tendons and muscles, you canincrease the strap tension continuously until you obtain a feeling of tension.

Exercises in the sitting position:

  1. Ten rocking movements for stretching, then increase the strap tension until you obtain afeeling of tension; hold this position for about ten seconds, then reduce the tension again.
  2. With your foot extended, circle several times. Assist the circular movement by pulling onthe right or left strap. Place the foot on the floor in front of the chair, then raise the heel andtoe alternately. Slowly increase the tension on the straps in the course of the exercise.
  3. Place the foot about 30 cm in front of the chair, on the heel. Raise the forefoot, then bendand stretch the toes alternately.
  4. Sitting on the chair, flex and extend the knee joint against the tension of the straps.

Exercises lying down:

  1. Lie on your back and raise your extended leg; rock the foot against the strap tension in this position.
  2. Lie on your back, raise your leg and flex and extend your knee joint against the strap tensionin this position.
  3. Push down your toes and heels alternately against the tension of the straps. The effect of thisexercise can be increased by resting on a base (newspaper, book).
  4. Stretch and bend the leg against the tension of the straps.
  5. Move the foot out to the side against the strap tension, down to the floor, pull it in towardsthe body, down to the floor again, gradually increasing the tension on the straps.