Healthy Veins in the Winter: Compression, Prevention and Mall Walking

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Winter is actually an ideal time to treat vein problems, according to vein specialist Dr. Asbjornsen of the Vein Healthcare Center.

Dr. Cindy Asbjornsen, founder of the Vein Healthcare Center in Maine

...people are more likely to pursue vein treatments in the winter months...

The winter tends to be a good time for people with vein issues, like varicose veins or venous ulcers. According to Dr. Cindy Asbjornsen of the Vein Healthcare Center, the heat of summer actually causes veins to dilate or stretch, and symptoms often become worse.

“I've found that people are more likely to pursue vein treatments in the winter months because of the need for compression stockings post treatment,” said Dr. Asbjornsen, a Board-certified phlebologist.

Compression stockings or socks are therapeutic hosiery designed to increase blood circulation by placing pressure on the lower leg, foot and, in some cases, the thigh. Graduated compression stockings have strong elastics that are tightest at the ankles and then gradually become less constrictive toward the knees and thighs. They can be used after vein treatment or, in some cases, as a supplement to treatment.

During wintertime, patients with vein problems are much more likely to wear their compression stockings, treating them like a welcome layer of insulation, like longjohns. Though compression stockings won't completely cure a vein problem, they can dramatically improve the symptoms and keep an existing issue from escalating.

One drawback of winter is that many people prefer to stay indoors to avoid the cold. But less walking and more sitting is the worst thing one can do to keep legs healthy— or to keep bad legs from getting worse. So what’s the answer?

“I have one dedicated patient who walks for two minutes, 15 times a day,” said Dr. Asbjornsen. “She takes a stroll around her house every half-hour.”

Another option: the mall. Walking around inside a mall, or even a large department store, can go a long way toward venous disease recovery and prevention. Walking just thirty minutes every day keeps the muscles of the lower legs healthy.

To learn more about how to identify, prevent and treat venous disease, visit

Dr. Cindy Asbjornsen is the founder of the Maine Phlebology Association and the Vein Healthcare Center in Maine. Dr. Asbjornsen is certified by the American Board of Phlebology and cares for all levels of venous disease, including spider veins, varicose veins and venous stasis ulcers.


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Jen Boggs
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