Lots of people have varicose veins. In the US, it is believed that about a quarter of women and 15 percent of men have varicose veins, some of which are very symptomatic. They look like ropy, blue or purple veins just under the skin. Most occur in the legs and ankles and can be itchy, painful or achy.
The major symptoms of varicose veins include an achy feeling in the area of the veins, burning pain, throbbing pain, muscle cramping, itching near the veins, and ulcers of the skin near the ankle or on the lower leg from damage to tissue from the varicose veins. All of these symptoms are worse with prolonged sitting or standing. Look on the inside of your legs or thighs and look on the backs of your calves for the most obvious varicose veins.
The ultimate solution to how to get rid of varicose veins is often placed in the hands of cosmetic surgeons who have the equipment and skill to get rid of them. However there are also exercises for varicose veins that can prevent them from happening in the first place or can arrest their growth.
However it should come as no surprise that prevention of varicose veins is the best way to avoid expensive treatments. Exercise is probably one of the most effective natural remedies for varicose veins. But do exercises for varicose veins actually work? Well they help to prevent them by increasing the tone of the muscles so that the blood flows more freely and doesn’t pool in the veins. However it’s unlikely that these methods will help varicose veins once you have them as the damage has been done, but they can help prevent them from getting worse.
There are all sorts of things you can do to help prevent varicose veins particularly in the legs where they most often occur. Here is a short list most of which help reduce pressure on the vein system. Stand up straight, keep to your ideal body weight. Don’t cross your legs. Exercise regularly (opt for low-impact activities). Don’t stand in one place for too long (or wear compression hose). Stretch your legs if you sit for long periods. Rotate your ankles and flex your toes while you are sitting. Don’t wear tight clothes. Avoid high heels. If you are lying down lift your legs up 12 inches above your heart as this reduces pressure.
Varicose veins are very common in pregnancy due to the increased pressure of the uterus on the veins. They are also made worse by having excess estrogen in the system, which is known to make them worse. One preventative treatment for varicose veins in pregnancy is support hose as they add extra pressure to the tissues of the legs and help the circulation.
Doctors treat varicose veins and surgery is one of two key ways to clear them up. In surgery, the doctor makes small incisions on either end of the varicose vein and the surgeon pulls out the vein at one of the incisions. Long sections of varicose veins can be treated this way. You get quite a lot of bruising using this method but that will go away with rest and healing. The cut vein will naturally clot and close up. If your varicose veins have deteriorated and led to the formation of ulcers, the veins definitely need to be treated and routine wound care will help them heal. Once the varicose veins are treated you should get no more ulcers.
Sclerotherapy is the other major treatment option for varicose veins. A caustic substance that is known to clot blood is injected into the varicose vein at various intervals. It stops the flow and collapses the vein so that the vein becomes a white thread instead of a bluish or purplish cord. The size of the white line you get depends on how the vein scars down and on how big the varicose vein was to begin with. The procedure can take anywhere from five minutes to a half hour and is viewed as being pretty effective for a non surgical method.