Dr. Cindy Asbjornsen of the Vein Healthcare Center Suggests Elevation Tips for the Relief of Venous Disease Symptoms

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Dr. Cindy Asbjornsen, vein specialist and founder of the Vein Healthcare Center, discusses elevation as a conservative treatment for varicose veins and other vein issues.

Dr. Cindy Asbjornsen, founder of the Vein Healthcare Center

Elevation is a simple, yet powerful, tool that can provide some relief to venous symptoms.

There are a variety of vein treatments for varicose veins and other venous diseases. Dr. Cindy Asbjornsen, vein specialist and founder of the Vein Healthcare Center in Maine, supports the minimum intervention that will meet each patient's goals for treatment. In some cases, elevation of the legs can alleviate the pain or swelling that is the result of early stage vein disease.

Leg elevation means raising the legs above heart level. The ideal position is to lie on a couch with the back on the cushions and feet up on the armrest, so feet are at a slight angle higher than the heart. Lying down with the legs resting on three or four pillows also works well.

Elevation is a simple, yet powerful, tool that can help improve blood circulation in the veins and provide some relief to venous symptoms. Here are more tips on how to get the most out of this accessible therapy:

  •     Elevating at intervals throughout the day can encourage blood flow from the legs and decrease the pooling of blood.
  •     Legs should be elevated as often as possible, for as long as 30 minutes or as briefly as three minutes.
  •     The morning is a good time to elevate.
  •     The best time to elevate is after a hot shower, or after standing for a long time.
  •     A good way to remember to elevate is to pair it with your meals or snacks.
  •     A vein specialist can guide patients on the most effective elevation techniques.

“For someone with venous disease, elevation is so important that at the Vein Healthcare Center we have recliners and ottomans in the reception area, so patients can elevate while they wait,” said Dr. Asbjornsen.

To understand how elevation provides relief, here is a brief review of how veins work. Veins carry blood from the legs and arms back to the heart. The blood in the legs travels up against gravity, so when the valves in the veins become damaged, blood “leaks” back into the legs and creates a “pooling” effect.

Effective treatment begins with a thorough evaluation from a qualified phlebologist who will look for the source of the problem: the leaky valve or valves. Once that is identified, the physician can recommend the appropriate procedure or therapy.

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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