Varicose veins are a relatively common issue among men and women alike, impacting an estimated 30 percent of the population. When vein walls break down due to genetics, an unhealthy weight, or other related medical conditions, the veins are unable to help blood flow in the correct direction. This ultimately leads to pooling of the blood in affected veins, resulting in bulging, twisting veins that look dark purple or blue in color. Aside from the cosmetic woes that come with varicose veins, many people experience ongoing swelling, pain, itchiness, and an overall heaviness to the legs that can be challenging to overcome.
Vein specialists with a leading varicose veins clinic share that the good news for many patients is that several treatment options exist. However, because there is some recovery required for surgical procedures for varicose veins, many opt to wait to schedule treatment after the initial diagnosis and recommendation. During this period, pain and discomfort from varicose veins can be grueling. Here are a handful of ways to manage the challenges that come with varicose veins while you await your treatment procedure.
To help eliminate the heaviness that comes with varicose vein sufferers, water therapy can be beneficial. Soaking the legs in cold water reduces the painful, uncomfortable feeling for a period of time. This is due to the fact that cold temperatures minimise the size of blood vessels. Avoiding hot soaks is helpful because it can lead to increased pain as the blood vessels expand.
Staying adequately hydrated throughout the day is an advantage to anyone, whether varicose veins are an issue or not. However, those who live with varicose veins may find some relief from pain and swelling by focusing on water consumption. Hydration supports healthy blood flow and circulation throughout the body, which helps with varicose vein issues.
Another course of action for relieving the pain that comes with varicose veins is leg elevation throughout the day. Bringing the legs above the level of the heart can immediately reduce discomfort. Leg elevation allows the blood to flow back to the heart, giving way to better functioning veins. Experts suggest elevating the legs for 15-minute intervals to help with both pain and swelling due to varicose veins.
Exercise and Stretching
Some individuals with varicose veins may find it challenging to exercise on a regular basis. However, movement can help improve the circulation of blood throughout the body, easing pain and swelling for periods of time. If extensive exercising is not an option, stretching is often a sound alternative. Focus on stretching of the legs and lower body, including flexing the feet or performing calve raises. Taking a short walk around the office or at home can also improve blood flow.
Finally, using some form of compression therapy can be incredibly beneficial for individuals living with the pain of varicose veins. Compression stockings or socks can help at work or while relaxing at home, as the tightness helps improve circulation of the blood. Compression therapy begins first thing in the morning for most varicose veins patients, before the feet touch the ground. This is because when most people sleep, blood flow can be compromised when the body moves from a horizontal position to vertical. Wearing compression stockings from the start of the day helps maintain the right valve position so blood can flow smoothly back to the heart.
Although living with varicose veins is not a comfortable experience for most, there are plenty of remedies that can help alleviate pain and discomfort throughout the day. Vein specialists recommend talking to a professional about long-term treatment, however, so that the problems associated with varicose veins are eventually corrected.