It’s no surprise that exercise and physical activity has a direct positive effect on your overall health and wellbeing. In addition to providing physical health, regular exercise can also help improve your mood and emotional wellbeing.

But what exercises are easy to do at home and can help alleviate some symptoms associated with varicose veins? Here are 5 easy exercises to help combat vein disease and improve vein health. Here are easy exercises for varicose veins:

Easy Exercises for Varicose Veins

  • Walking: Walking is one of the easiest and simplest forms of exercise to help improve your health. If you are new to walking as a form of exercise, start by walking around your neighborhood or at a local park. You can even start with small increments – try to do 5-10 minutes of walking a few times a day and work up to 30 minutes of walking at a time.Walking can help you lose weight, control blood pressure, and strengthen your muscles, all of which help lower your risk of varicose veins.
  • Leg Lifts: Leg exercises like leg lifts are easy to do and do not require any special equipment. Start by lying flat on your back. Keep your legs straight as much as possible and lift each leg one at a time up towards the ceiling. Hold your leg in the air for a few seconds before returning to the beginning position and then alternate legs.If you have problems lying on the floor, you can do leg lifts from a standing position. Stand near a wall or a chair so you can balance yourself, and slowly lift each leg in front of you. Hold for a few seconds and then alternate legs. Leg lifts help stretch your leg muscles and when done properly can improve blood circulation.
  • Lunges: Lunges can improve the strength of your leg and calf muscles. Healthy legs and calves can help keep your blood pumping while unhealthy leg muscles can cause blood to pool and lead to varicose veins. To do lunges, start by standing upright with your feet slightly apart. Step forward with one leg and bend forward so your knee is above your ankle. Hold for a few seconds and return to the starting position. Repeat with the other leg. 
  • Calf Raises: Strong calf muscles are key to overall leg health and can improve circulation. These are very easy to do and you can even do them while watching TV or waiting in line at the store! Simply raise your heel off of the floor and go on your “tippy toes” and return to resting position. Repeat this motion several times over the course of 30 seconds to a minute. 
  • Bicycling: If you have a bicycle, you have a great tool to improve not only your vein health but your overall health! Bicycling helps improve the strength of your calves and legs. Stationary bikes and elliptical machines also provide the same benefits as a bicycle. If you do not have a bicycle or access to a gym, you can still mimic the bicycling motion by laying on your back and pedaling your legs in a circular motion, just as if you were riding a bike. 

These easy exercises for varicose veins may help alleviate some symptoms. 

What Exercises Should I Avoid with Varicose Veins? 

If you suffer from varicose veins and spider veins, not all exercise can be helpful. Strenuous, high-impact exercises like running can make varicose veins worse. Weightlifting is also not recommended for varicose veins, as it strains venous circulation. When you lift heavy weights, it causes pressure on your abdomen which can impede blood flowing to your heart.

Varicose Vein Treatments

Even if you work to prevent varicose veins including regular exercise, you still may need to explore other varicose vein treatments. It’s important to talk to your doctor about varicose and spider veins and understand how exercise and other treatment methods can alleviate your symptoms.

At Premier Vein Specialists, Dr. Mathai can listen to your concerns and offer a treatment plan that makes sense for you. After a free, confidential vein health screening, Dr. Mathai will explain the best way for you to realize optimal vein health. With more than three decades of experience, he is ready to help you love your legs again.

Complete our free screening form or call 717-412-7226 to be on your way to healthy legs!

At Premier Vein Specialists, your health is our priority. Our offices in York and Hanover only admit one patient at a time, and we follow all health and safety guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.



compression stockings

Compression stockings are widely used by people for comfort, sports performance and to help alleviate symptoms associated with medical conditions such as varicose veins and spider veins. With many options available to consumers, how do you know which type is best for you?

Before choosing compression stockings, it’s important to understand how they work, the different types of stockings, and what benefits compression stockings have when used correctly.

How Compression Stockings Work

Compression stockings improve blood circulation by applying pressure to your legs and ankles. This pressure helps the blood vessels in your legs work better. Blood flows more freely and your veins get a boost sending blood back to your heart.


Types of Compression Stockings



There are three main types of compression stockings designed for different uses and benefits. The types are:

  • Graduated compression
  • Anti-embolism
  • Nonmedical-support hosiery


Graduated compression stockings provide a stronger compression level at the ankle and then decreases up the stocking toward the knee. Graduated compression therapy is routinely prescribed to address minor to moderate venous insufficiency. Graduated compression stockings usually require a professional fitting by a vein specialist.

Anti-embolism stockings help reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis or can be used as part of a therapy plan for post-thrombotic syndrome. Like graduated compression stockings, the compression level is gradient and changes from the ankle to the knee.

Nonmedical-support hosiery can be purchased at most pharmacies or big-box stores like Wal-Mart and Target. This type of stocking has similar features to prescription stockings and improve circulation in your legs. Athletes tend to use non-medical support hosiery as well as people who stand for long periods of time throughout the day.





Benefits of Compression Stockings

There are many benefits associated with wearing compression socks including:

  • Help keep your legs from feeling tired and achy
  • Reduce the risk of DVT or blood clot
  • Address symptoms associated with varicose veins and other venous insufficiencies
  • Boost circulation and improve blood pressure in the legs



Choosing the Right Compression Stockings

Choosing the right type of compression stockings can feel overwhelming. Talk to your doctor about which type is best for you. You first need to find out which compression level is right for your needs and then determine which size will help you meet your health goals.

Compression stockings range in the amount of pressure on your legs using a scale from mild to extra firm and measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg).

Compression Levels


  • Mild: Mild compression stockings exert 8-15 mmHg and are used for light swelling of the feet or for people who feel fatigued from standing. These are readily available as over-the-counter at your local pharmacy.
  • Medium: Medium compression ranges from 15-20 mmHg. This may be recommended if you have never worn compression stockings before.
  • Firm: Firm stockings are categorized as 20-30 mmHg. Pregnant women sometimes use firm stockings to reduce the risk of varicose veins.
  • Extra-firm: Extra firm compression stockings, which use 30-40 mmHg, are used to treat moderate to severe leg health symptoms. Doctors may prescribe this type of stocking for patients at risk for DVT or blood clots.

Compression stockings are available with compression at greater than 40 mmHg and are used for severe venous stasis, wound management, and lymphedema. These stockings should not be used without consulting a doctor prior to use.

Compression Sock Sizes


Compression socks come in different heights and sizes including full-length pantyhose, thigh-high and knee-length. The choice of length depends on the reason you are wearing compression socks and your personal preference.

Proper fit is important for comfort and benefits. To make sure you have the proper size, ask your doctor to fit you for stockings. This will include measuring your legs, typically the circumference of your ankle and your calf. For over-the-counter stockings or stockings used primarily for athletes, sizing may be based on shoe size.

Do I Need to Talk to a Doctor About Compression Stockings?


If you suffer from leg fatigue, varicose veins, or at risk for other medical conditions, it’s important to talk to your doctor before starting compression therapy. Your doctor can help you understand how to choose compression stockings to optimize your leg health.

At Premier Vein Specialists, we can help you determine if compression therapy is right for you. Dr. Mathai, Director and Leading Physician of Premier Vein Specialists, offers free vein health screenings at both the York and Hanover offices. After the consultation, Dr. Mathai will review your treatment options and recommend a path to health.


Complete our vein health screening form, or call 717-412-7226, to get scheduled today.

At Premier Vein Specialists, your health is our priority. Our offices in York and Hanover only admit one patient at a time, and we follow all health and safety guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.


image of woman with painful legs

Nearly everyone will experience leg pain at some point in their lives. Leg pain can be caused by many reasons including exercise fatigue, arthritis, muscle cramps, tendon or ligament injury, and even growing pains. But did you know that leg pain is also a symptom of varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency?

What Do Varicose Veins Feel Like?

Varicose veins may not cause any pain, however, most patients experience at least a few symptoms that indicate a problem with blood flow in their legs. Painful signs of an issue include:


  • Achy or heavy feeling in your legs: Your legs and leg muscles may feel “hefty” or “dense.” This is an indication of poor circulation. When you have varicose veins, your body has to work harder to pump blood from your legs to your heart and other parts of the body.
  • Burning or throbbing in your lower legs: This sensation is also a symptom of varicose and spider veins. The burning is caused when damaged veins allow blood to pool within the legs. The burning sensation is caused by a leak of fluid into the tissue surrounding the vein.
  • Increase in pain after sitting or standing for long periods of time: When you sit or stand for long periods of time, gravity can cause blood to pool in your veins and increase the discomfort of varicose veins.


How To Relieve Pain Caused By Varicose Veins 

You can relieve some pain and discomfort of varicose veins at home, prior to seeing a doctor. To relieve pain, you can:


  • Elevate your legs: This is one of the quickest and easiest ways to relieve pain. When you elevate your legs above your heart, it makes it easier for blood to flow normally to your lower body.
  • Exercise and stretch: Short stretches of your calf muscles throughout the day can relieve discomfort. If you sit or stand for long periods of time during the day, this is especially important. Longer-term, an exercise regimen can improve your overall health as well as help alleviate the discomfort of varicose veins.
  • Take a cool shower or bath: Cooler temperatures cause blood vessels to shrink and should help address swelling in your legs.

When Should I Seek Medical Advice?

While some causes of painful legs are not a health risk, painful legs could indicate a more serious medical condition like peripheral artery disease, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), diabetic neuropathy, blood clots, or an early sign of a pulmonary embolism.

Always seek out the advice of your primary care physician when you experience pain and discomfort in your legs.

Varicose Veins Treatment Options

If you are experiencing varicose veins, there are treatments available to help you love your legs again. At Premier Vein Specialists, varicose vein treatment options include compression therapy, sclerotherapy, ligation, ambulatory microphlebectomy, and Venefit, a vein closure procedure.


Treatments for varicose and spider veins are do not require a hospital visit and are minimally invasive. As part of your treatment plan, Dr. Mathai will also help you understand how to prevent varicose veins afterward, so you can enjoy vein health long after your treatment is complete.


To schedule your free vein health screening, call us at 717-412-7226 to schedule an appointment at either our York or Hanover offices, or fill out our free health screening form. We are here to help you love your legs again!

At Premier Vein Specialists, your health is our priority. Our offices in York and Hanover only admit one patient at a time, and we follow all health and safety guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.


woman at standing desk

Over the last decade, more and more office workers with desk jobs are choosing standing desks for their office or home office. The popularity of standing desks should come as no surprise, as they help decrease the amount of time someone is sedentary during the workday.

But are there health risks with standing desks? If you are at risk for varicose veins and spider veins, it’s important to understand both the benefits and risks before deciding if a standing desk is right for you.

Dangers of Sitting All Day

Many office workers in a traditional 9-to-5 job will sit for most of their workday. Sitting all day long can be dangerous. When you are inactive, you are at an increased risk for health problems such as weight gain, Type 2 diabetes, and even heart disease. In fact, research from the Annals of Internal Medicine estimates that each hour of sitting may increase your risk of heart disease and other health issues.

Sitting for long periods of time can also affect your vein health. If you sit for hours a day, your blood doesn’t flow as well from your legs back to your heart. This can cause blood to pool up in your legs and can increase your risk of varicose veins.

With the dangers and risks associated with sitting all day, should you invest in a standing desk? The answer isn’t a simple yes or no, as there are also risks with standing all day.

Risks of Long Periods of Standing

Even though sitting all day can contribute to health problems, the solution isn’t necessarily to stay on your feet all day long. Long periods of standing can also cause health problems and increase your risk for varicose and spider veins.

When you stand all day, your veins in your lower legs have to work harder to circulate blood back throughout your body. This can cause blood to pool in the veins in your legs, leading to spider veins and varicose veins.

Prolonged standing also contributes to fatigue, cramps in your calf muscles, lower back pain, and even headaches.

Is a Standing Desk Right for Me?

With risks for both sitting and standing, should you invest in a standing desk? While there are risks associated with standing all day, a standing desk can help you with your vein health if you have a desk that is adjustable throughout the day. Many newer desks can be raised or lowered, allowing you flexible options throughout the day. Alternating between sitting and standing can help improve circulation and overall health and reduce fatigue.

Worried About Varicose Veins and Spider Veins?

If you are experiencing symptoms like leg swelling, leg pain, bulging veins, itching, or feeling like your legs are “heavy,” you may be at risk for varicose veins. The good news is there are treatments available to help address your symptoms. Therapies like compression stockings may help, as well as sclerotherapy and ligation.

Dr. Mathai and his team at Premier Vein Specialists can help you assess your vein health with a free screening at both the York and Hanover offices. Vein health screenings are easy and non-invasive. After your screening, Dr. Mathai will provide a recommended treatment program to get you on a path to a healthier you! Reach out today to schedule your screening.

At Premier Vein Specialists, your health is our priority. Our offices in York and Hanover only admit one patient at a time, and we follow all health and safety guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.