Varicose veins are a very common condition that affects one or more of the large veins in the legs. For reasons that are poorly understood, the veins become distended, either because of an inherent weakness in the walls or a malfunction of some of the one-way valves, permitting a backflow and pooling of the blood.
Obesity, pregnancy, constriction of the veins with garters or tight clothing and an inherited tendency are among the contributing causes of varicose veins. Contrary to popular belief, sedentary jobs or jobs that involve standing do not, in themselves, seem to cause varicose veins although they may aggravate a pre-existing varicosity.
Most varicose veins do not require medical treatment. In some cases, however, the circulation may be hindered enough to cause swelling of the foot and ankle, discomfort, or a feeling of heaviness. Itching and scaling may develop in the skin in the affected area; if untreated, this may eventually develop into a skin ulcer.
For most people with varicose veins, wearing specially fitted compression stockings is all that is needed. A 2018 study, which found that wearing compression stockings with pressures of 18 to 21 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) for 1 week helped to reduce aches and pain associated with varicose veins, compared to normal stockings.
Knee-length socks are preferred over thigh-high options because they target the most common areas affected. These stockings work by gradually tightening as they reach the feet, improving circulation and preventing blood from collecting in one place.
The compression stocking should be put on when first arising in the morning, preferably before getting out of bed. They must be removed at night. Throughout the day the compression socks/stockings are made to prevent blood from pooling in leg veins, thereby helping overall circulation and diminishing any leg swelling you may have.SHOP COMPRESSION SOCKS
HOW TO PUT THEM ON
If you’re new to putting on compression socks, it takes a little practice. The best way to put them on is to grab the toe and fold the rest of the stock inside out. Place your foot into the toe area and roll the rest of the stocking over your ankle and leg.
Remember: If they feel too tight or painful, you got the wrong size. Compression socks should feel like your calves are getting a gentle hug, not being strangled.
There are some cases in which removal may be desired. Even when there are no symptoms, some people may be bothered by the cosmetic appearance of the bulging, discolored veins and want them removed. Pain and development of chronic ulcers also may be an indication for removal. In these cases, the varicosities may be removed surgically, or, alternatively, injected with a sclerosing agent and wrapped firmly for a few days until the inflammation subsides. Doctors are frequently inventing new treatments to treat varicose veins.
Varicose veins can be prevented and treated simply by maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle.
Exercise, such as walking, cycling, swimming, running or stair climbing, also helps promote better circulation from the lower part of the body. Resting with legs elevated will help promote circulation; in contrast, sitting with the legs crossed cand aggravate the condition.
Exercises that keep your legs moving and your blood flowing are crucial to preventing these veins.
Cycling, swimming, running, stair climbing and using elliptical machines are key activities that are highly recommended to prevent these often-painful veins.
Wear compression socks/stockings. Compression stockings may not eliminate varicose veins, but they are a main treatment for varicose veins that are causing symptoms. They improve circulation and help relieve symptoms.
However, varicose veins are normal, and if they are not causing a person significant symptom and have no side effects, they usually do not require medical or invasive treatment. Armed with this newfound knowledge, you can now better navigate the sometimes-misunderstood world of these strange blue webs that cause more than cosmetic trouble.
European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, January 2018 / MedicalNewsToday.com
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