Most people who have varicose veins suffer with edema. This is a condition where excess fluid accumulates in the tissues causing them to swell and become painful. This also causes a concentration of toxins when this happens. If someone elects to have varicose vein treatment, like EVLT or sclerotherapy, this edema problem may go away, or at least improve. However, for many people, edema continues to be a problem that lowers their quality of life even after varicose vein treatment in a clinic.
There are two primary reasons that edema often continues, at least to some degree, after clinical varicose vein treatment. First, veins that were not targeted in the varicose vein treatment may be weakened as well. Second, many people who suffer from varicose vein disease also have problems with their lymphatic system. If you fall into one or both of these categories, or you’re trying to avoid or delay additional varicose vein treatment, here are two very effective and fun ways you can reduce edema at home.
1. Mini Trampoline (Rebounder)
The lymphatic system has one way valves throughout, just like veins. When you rebound on a mini trampoline, these valves open and close which gets your lymph flowing better. Some therapists believe that rebounding can actually improve this flow by more than a factor of ten! Rebounding also gets any stagnant blood in your veins flowing again. It’s the quick and rapid alternating gravitational and anti-gravitational forces on the entire body which improves the circulation of both lymph and blood.
You can achieve this therapeutic effect on a rebounder just by bouncing, i.e. without your feet even leaving the trampoline surface! This is sometimes referred to as a “health bounce.” To do this simple motion, you stand on the mini trampoline with your feet apart about the same width as your shoulders. Bend your knees slightly and then bounce without actually lifting your feet from the surface.
A high percentage of people that have had varicose vein treatment are overweight and or out of shape. They also tend to be older and may not have the balance they once had. If you fall into one or both of these categories, you may worry about falling off the the mini trampoline. Please note, however, that many mini trampolines now come with a stabilizer bar that you can hold on to while you jump. This makes it much easier to jump one to twelve inches in the air, even if you are not in any way athletic.
You can buy rebounders for less than $30-$60 dollars online or at most department stores, including the ones with a stabilizer bar. Most therapists recommend the style that uses supple bungee cords instead of metal springs. This style is easier for people who are somewhat limited physically and they are very kind to the joints.
2. Mini Elliptical Trainer
A mini elliptical trainer allows you to pedal your feet and legs like a bicycle, except you go in an elliptical motion rather than a circular one. It’s a push and pull stride and you can use it with any chair you find comfortable. It provides a circulation boost by getting the calf pump going without the harmful impact on the joints that so many other calf pumping exercises have. In fact, a mini elliptical trainer has less impact on the joints than simple walking!
You can stand or sit while using a mini elliptical trainer. There’s an adjustment you can use to switch between positions. In the sitting position, some people call this equipment an “under the desk elliptical trainer” because you can literally place it under the desk and pedal while you work! You can also easily pedal in this position while watching TV, reading, or surfing the internet.
Much ado has made about the difference in calories burned if you’re using a mini elliptical versus a full scale version with arm handles you move back and forth (a “cross trainer). However, if you increase the time on the mini version by about one-third the time, you’ll burn about the same amount of calories on average and you can do so while multi-tasking! Please note too that you can adjust the resistance on most mini elliptical trainers, which works the calf pump even more and burns more calories.
The mini elliptical trainer is an excellent choice if you are a really busy person or just don’t like going outside for a walk, especially during inclement weather. If you are planning on having varicose vein treatment, you may want purchase this equipment before hand and get used to using it, so you have a good calf pumping exercise to do besides simply walking after your treatment.
If you want to sit and use an elliptical trainer, while getting the arm and upper body workout, you may want to go to a gym and try out a recumbent elliptical cross trainer (“cross trainer” because it has the arm handles). Even if you don’t belong to a gym, some gyms will allow you to buy a day pass to try out their facilities out. Since recumbent elliptical cross trainers cost several hundreds of dollars minimum, this is a good way to determine if you’ll actually use it on a regular basis.
One model of mini style elliptical trainer that gets high praise from physical therapists is the Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer. In fact, two of the most famous physical therapists, Bob Schrupp and Brad Heineck, highly recommend this specific machine. They use it in their practice and find that their patients really like it and are willing to use it more as a result. It sells for about $90 on Amazon so it’s not too rough on the pocketbook, especially when compared to the full size elliptical machines, especially the cross trainers (with handles) that run several hundred dollars.
Get a Free Evaluation of Your Veins At Metro Vein Centers
Metro Vein Centers is a highly reputable varicose vein treatment centers. You can get a free initial evaluation at Metro that may include a duplex ultrasound, a diagnostic test that allows a three dimensional view of the inside of the veins. Metro Vein Centers is well known to the medical community and gets many referrals from other doctors. However, you do not need a referral to set up a free evaluation. Simply call one of their many locations. They provide a wide variety of varicose vein treatment procedures and they’ll be able to recommend the best treatment if they determine you need treatment. While you are there, you can also ask them about rebounders and mini elliptical machines.