Massage Varicose Veins? Be Careful!

Does massage help varicose veins?

You might be thinking that massage is a great way to deal with the ache and pain of varicose veins. It seems like it would make sense. Massage therapy is great for improving muscle tone, blood circulation, general relaxation, and overall tissue health. All of these things are important for preventing and treating pain.

Keep in mind, however, that registered massage therapists are going to avoid working on and around varicose veins. Varicose veins and massage do not go well together.

This does not mean that if you have varicose veins that you cannot receive a massage. But great care should and will be taken. There are a number of indirect techniques that can be quite effective in treating the muscles and tissue of the leg. But you should know that your massage therapist will hesitate to apply any real pressure in the area around your compromised veins, or in the area served by those veins. They certainly won’t massage varicose veins. There are a couple of reasons for this.

Visible varicose veins are a sign that blood vessels are compromised.

Varicose veins form when valves in the veins weaken and fail. Blood is then able to travel backward in the vessel and pool wherever gravity takes it. Veins stretch and bulge. This means that they are more susceptible to tearing and bleeding—nobody wants to do that to you.


Varicose veins are a sign that vascular health could be compromised.

This is not always the case; your vascular health could be fine. But massage therapists are particularly concerned about dislodging any blood clots that might be in the area. And if you really want peace of mind while you enjoy your massage, you will want to check with a qualified vein specialist first to see what is happening beneath the surface.

massage varicose veins

The good news is that there are things you can do to improve your venous health, help with varicose veins, or avoid varicose veins.

  • The first, second and last step for vascular (and any other kind of) health is always to take care of yourself. Eating nutritious food will help strengthen your venous walls, and help to prevent further damage to blood vessels and tissue. Deliberate breathing and exercise will improve circulation and muscle tone, and provide oxygen that is important for tissue health. Stretching will elongate leg muscles and ensure blood is able to reach all areas of your body.
  • Book an appointment with a qualified vein specialist. Using high tech imaging techniques like duplex ultrasound, vein mapping, and a thorough examination, an experienced vein specialist will be able to tell you whether there is anything that can be done to improve your vascular health—and, potentially, the enjoyment of your leg massage treatment—and they will be able to tailor a treatment plan specifically for you.

If you are interested in reading more about massage for varicose veins, has a great article about what is going on in the minds of massage therapists when it comes to varicose veins massage treatment.

About Jilanne Rose, DNP ANP-BC

Jilanne is Phoenix Metros only Doctorate Nurse Practitioner that has been trained extensively by a Cardiothoracic & Vascular Surgeon, an Interventional Radiologist, and an Interventional Cardiologist. Dr. Rose is highly regarded by patients and physicians who seek her out because of her expertise in vein disease, her commitment to compassionate care, and her excellent success rates. As a peripheral vascular specialist that has performed well over 10,000 vascular interventions, Dr. Rose is dedicated to helping patients achieve a pain free, healthy and happy life.