5 Exercises to Try for Varicose Vein Pain Relief

photo of woman in yoga pose

Table of Contents

  • Safety First 
  • 5 Varicose Veins Pain Relief Exercises 
  • Still, Suffering Varicose Vein Pain? Consult a Vein Specialist 

If you suffer from varicose veins, you may be aware of the pain and discomfort they can sometimes cause. Symptoms of this condition often experienced may include: 

  • Legs and feet that ache and feel heavy 
  • Areas that itch, burn, or throb 
  • Muscle cramps 
  • Swelling of your ankles and feet.1 

You might not know some exercises may alleviate the worst of the discomfort and pain associated with varicose veins. 

Safety First 

Before you learn about the various exercises you can use to deal with pain, you need to know how to exercise safely with varicose veins.  

As with any exercise routine, if you haven’t exercised in a while, it is best to start slow and build up progressively as your body adjusts to the more vigorous lifestyle. If you have any questions about your ability to start an exercise routine safely, talk to your doctor first. 

If your veins are painful or you experience swelling in your legs or feet, you should avoid high-impact exercises like running, weight lifting, or jumping rope. These types of exercise can increase blood pressure in the legs and may make your symptoms worse.2 

5 Varicose Veins Pain Relief Exercises 

Getting into shape and maintaining a healthy weight helps your body in so many ways. As far as your varicose veins are concerned, slimming down will reduce the pressure on your legs and your circulatory system. Exercise of any type keeps the blood circulating freely, so there’s less pooling, may prevent the formation of varicose veins, and reduce any associated pain. 

The following exercises are particularly good for helping to alleviate the pain and discomfort of varicose veins. 

1. Yoga 

Yoga is very low impact, can be safely done by people of almost any fitness level, and helps relieve tension.3 The stretching involved helps keep your muscles limber and your blood flowing freely. Poses that involve raising your feet above your head and holding them there are particularly helpful to those suffering from varicose veins.4 

2. Walking 

Walking is a great all-around exercise, but it is particularly helpful for the circulation in your legs.5 Walking is a low-impact exercise that won’t pound or put pressure on your legs. The gentle, constant movement of the muscles in your legs encourages blood to flow out of the veins and up towards your heart and builds muscle. These things have been shown to reduce the heavy feeling and pain of varicose veins.6 

3. Cycling 

Riding a bicycle or stationary bike offers the same advantages as walking.7 The legs are in continuous but gentle movement. This increases blood flow without doing any damage to your joints or veins. Unlike walking, cycling can be done at higher speeds to raise your heart rate and burn more calories. The more rigorous exercise will get your heart in better shape and speed up blood flow, particularly to the legs and feet.

4. Swimming 

Swimming is a great whole-body exercise that’s low impact and highly effective. While swimming, you use almost all of the muscles in your arms, legs, back, neck, and torso. It is also a great cardio workout, as the blood flow must increase in volume to meet the demands of so many muscles at once. 

The movement of the legs, free from the pull of gravity, enables the easy flow of blood out of the veins and back to the heart. While this isn’t likely to affect blood that has already pooled in your varicose veins, it may remove the swelling from the areas around, reducing pain and discomfort. 

5. Ankle Rotations 

Ankle rotations are an excellent exercise for those who must remain seated during their workday. They are simple and can be done with your feet under your desk while you go about your other daily tasks. All you have to do is rotate your ankles several times in one direction and then several in the other. Then flex your ankles back and forth as if hitting the gas pedal in your car. Repeat these steps as frequently as you can.8 

Ankle rotations will not help you lose weight or build muscle mass, but they will encourage the flow of blood both to and away from your feet and ankles. 

chart of 5 exercises for varicose veins pain relief

Still, Suffering Varicose Vein Pain? Consult a Vein Specialist 

If you have tried these and other exercises and still suffer pain from your varicose veins, it may be time to consult a vein specialist. They may be able to suggest additional measures you can take, like wearing gradient compression stockings or elevating your legs above your head. 

If your pain doesn’t abate or you want to remove your varicose veins for cosmetic reasons, they can suggest the treatment that best suits your needs and specific conditions. 

To find a vein specialist located near you or to find more information about varicose veins, visit MyVeinTreatment.com 


  1. Healthline.com: “ Can Varicose Veins Cause Pain and Discomfort?” 
  2. WebMD: “ Best Exercises for Varicose Veins” 
  3. WebMD: “ Best Exercises for Varicose Veins” 
  4. MyVeinTreatment.com: “ 6 Yoga Poses for Varicose Vein Pain” 
  5. WebMD: “ Best Exercises for Varicose Veins” 
  6. MyVeinTreatment.com: “ How to Get Relief from the Pain of Varicose Veins” 
  7. WebMD: “ Best Exercises for Varicose Veins” 
  8. WebMD: “ Best Exercises for Varicose Veins” 

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