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Some Self-Care Techniques Help prevent Varicose Veins

Feb 24

Venous disease can cause pain, swelling and sores in the legs, ankles and feet. Symptoms of the condition, also known as varicose veins, are caused by damaged blood vessels that allow blood to pool in the lower body. Some patients suffer from chronic pain that interferes with their daily activities, while others have sores in the skin and elsewhere on the body. Center For Advanced Vein Care vein specialists have a range of treatments available that can relieve symptoms and help prevent further damage.

Vein Care

Vein Care Center specialized team at the Center For Advanced Vein Care campuses offers comprehensive vein care for a wide range of conditions, including varicose veins. The team includes doctors and advanced practice providers who specialize in vascular medicine, vascular surgery, endovascular surgery, interventional radiology and dermatology. This collaboration allows them to provide a complete diagnosis and treatment plan for their patients.

A common cause of varicose veins is venous insufficiency, which causes one-way valves in the veins to malfunction and allow blood to flow backward into the vein (A). This can stretch and enlarge the vein, leading to the appearance of varicose veins. Over time, this ongoing pressure can damage the walls of the veins and surrounding tissues.

Some self-care techniques can reduce vein pain and help prevent varicose veins. One of the simplest is to elevate the legs, such as by lying on pillows or a higher piece of furniture several times during the day. It can help blood flow more easily out of unhealthy veins and back to the heart, relieving some of the pressure on the legs and ankles. Another option is to avoid tight clothing, especially high heels, and wear comfortable shoes. Soaking or showering the legs and feet in cool water can be soothing and also helps with circulation.

Other self-care options include avoiding long periods of sitting or standing. Walking and stretching the legs or feet 10 to 20 times an hour can keep blood moving in the lower extremities. Some dietary supplements, such as horse chestnut and grape seed extract, can also be beneficial. However, check with your physician before starting any new supplement or medication.

To confirm the diagnosis of venous insufficiency, your doctor will probably recommend an ultrasound test. The safe, painless test uses sound waves to produce pictures of your blood vessels and the valves inside your veins. It can show whether you have a blood clot or if the veins are working normally.

If you have smaller varicose or spider veins that are too small or twisted for a catheter-based treatment, your doctor may inject a liquid or foam solution into the affected vein to shrink it until it disappears. This procedure, called sclerotherapy, is performed in your doctor's office and doesn't require anesthesia. You may experience some stinging or bruising at the injection site, but it is typically very tolerable.

More serious varicose and spider veins can be treated surgically. In these procedures, the doctor makes a small incision in your leg and inserts a narrow tube, called a catheter. This is then used to deliver short bursts of energy to the affected vein, which causes the walls of the vein to close and seal shut (B).