Varicose veins that occur at some point in almost 20% of adults can be treated based on the symptoms of concern. The appearance of swollen and enlarged veins along the skin surface of legs and feet is more of a cosmetic concern in women. Treatment options range from self-care to minor surgery. There are ways one can adopt to reduce the undesired ugly appearance of distorted veins. First and foremost simple measures to achieve better appealing legs and get rid of unwanted body art with varicose veins are a combination of lifestyle modifications. Self-care methods can help prevent new varicose and spider veins and help subside but cannot get rid of existing dysfunctional veins.
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Regular exercise enhances blood circulation in the legs which help to push along the blood that has collected in the veins. Exercise also helps to lower blood pressure which is a common contributing factor to varicose veins. Even something as simple as walking boasts some seriously incredible benefits in controlling varicose veins. As walking is a very low-impact workout, it is especially good for people who suffer from varicose veins. Walking is a simple movement that helps strengthen calf muscles without much jarring or pounding that may cause strain. By strengthening calf muscles, improved circulation benefits those with varicose veins thus minimizing the appearance of bulging veins.
Pedaling on a static cycle or an elliptical is another great option for reducing symptoms of varicose veins. These exercise machines are low-impact like walking and aid even more in working calf muscles that help with the blood flow through the legs. Swimming and yoga are similar exercises that have an advantage without the risk of placing additional stress on circulation. Leg exercises that are easy to do at home and don’t require any equipment are also highly beneficial in subsiding the swelling of veins. Bicycle legs, calf rises, side leg lifts, and rocking are some of the simple exercises that can be started with just a few reps at a time and slowly build up strength and increase the number of repetitions. Depending on the severity of varicose veins, it is better to stay on the safe side and refrain from certain exercises such as running and weight lifting that may have a great deal of strain and pressure on the veins.
Exercising with varicose veins benefits the symptoms of varicose veins. By carefully choosing suitable workouts and not pushing too far, the benefits of exercising can be highly relieving but it is suggested to consult with a vein specialist to ensure that exercising does not cause additional damage to the diseased veins.
Compression stockings help to reduce the ugly appearance and painful symptoms associated with varicose veins. Elastic compression wear works its way by applying pressure to the legs. The simple principle behind these compression garments is that they compress swollen veins, increasing the velocity of venous blood flow to aid the muscles and veins to push blood upwards towards the heart and thus prevent the pooling of blood in the veins of the leg. Stockings are typically knee or thigh-high. Prescription compression stockings exert the greatest amount of pressure and are fitted by a specialist to ensure that they are effective. Compression stockings are recommended to be worn during the day because sitting upright and standing are more likely to cause circulation problems.
Certain circumstances like a job that demands long-standing time can lead to the worsening of varicosity. Sitting in one position for a prolonged period of time seems to be the present trend of workstation requirements. Organization of the workspace is an important aspect. There should be enough room to move around and change body position. Changing body positions improves blood supply to the working muscles and contribute to the reduction of muscle fatigue and swelling of veins. Sitting cross-legged and having poor posture are other common mistakes that cause the pooling of blood giving the leg an out-of-shape appearance. Elevating the legs whenever possible makes it easier for the blood to return.
Other possible changes that can be easily carried out in everyday life to avoid the unpleasant appearance of varicose veins are:
- Wear non-restrictive loose-fitting clothes. Waist-constricting garments can bottleneck surface blood flow making varicose veins bulge and appear shapeless.
- Avoid wearing heeled footwear as the raised posture weakens calf muscles, leading to blood pooling and swollen veins.
- Foods that are salty or rich in sodium can cause the body to retain water, so cutting down on salt and sodium intake can lessen the swelling. Foods such as almonds, lentils, and leafy greens which are high in potassium can help to reduce water retention. Dietary changes with more foods rich in fiber and flavonoids improve blood circulation and are known to help shrink varicose veins.
Surgical advancements have made it easy to get rid of the “purple snake effect” that varicose veins can give the leg. With minimally invasive procedures, one can, not only get rid of repulsive varicose veins permanently but also find a solution for symptomatic varicose veins. An added advantage is that these are performed by surgeons as simple out-patient procedures requiring no hospital stay and the convenience of an immediate return to everyday activities.
Sclerotherapy is a non-surgical procedure that involves only a direct injection of a sclerosant into the damaged vein. The benefit of Sclerotherapy for patients with varicose veins is that it makes damaged veins collapse so that venous blood flow gets redirected through healthy veins and thus prevents chronic swelling mainly for those with cosmetic complaints.
Endo Venous Laser therapy is done using energy from a Laser that creates intense local heat to destroy the walls of the vein. This procedure allows to close off the problem vein successfully but leaves it in place thus minimizing bleeding and bruising. This procedure offers less pain, faster healing, and a return to work with almost invisible cosmetic changes.
VenaSeal closure system procedure is the latest medical advent that allows utmost patient comfort and minimizes recovery time in the treatment of varicose veins. The VenaSeal system is the only non-thermal, non-tumescent, non-sclerosant procedure that uses a formulated medical adhesive to seal or close the diseased vein, thereby allowing blood to get rerouted through neighboring healthy veins. This procedure ensures utmost patient comfort and requires only a bandage to be placed at the access site after the procedure. The superior relief over other procedures in terms of patient compliance is that the VenaSeal Closure system does not require compression stockings during the recovery period after the procedure.