Varicose veins pain
Varicose veins typically are a cosmetic concern among people who have it. However, the condition can turn worse, and cause pain or more serious problems. Any vein in the body may become varicose, but the veins in the legs are the most affected due to its location. Veins in the legs can become twisted, gnarled, and enlarged due to increased pressure because of standing or sitting for long hours. Although, varicose veins are typically harmless, some people may experience pain along with varicose veins. In this chapter, we’ll discuss about varicose veins pain.
Symptoms of Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are a common condition among aging individuals. Signs that confirm you have varicose veins are the following:
- Bulging veins that are color purple or blue
- Twisted veins seen on the back of the legs like cords on the leg
Varicose veins can sometimes cause pain. Painful symptoms of the condition may include:
- Painful or heavy feelings on the leg
- Throbbing, swelling, or burning sensation in the legs
- Muscle cramping
- Increased pain in the legs after prolonged sitting or standing
- Itch around the area of the varicose veins
- Pain in the area of varicose veins and bruising-like color (red discoloration of the skin)
- Hardened veins
- Inflamed skin
- Skin ulcers near the ankle area that implies a serious varicose problem, which means the need for urgent medical attention.
When to see a doctor
When self-care, such as exercise, wearing leg compressions or elevating the legs, doesn’t help improve the condition or when varicose veins continues to get worse, seeking for a professional help might be the next step. If the appearance of the legs also concerns you, seeing a doctor will help you to get the right treatment.
Treatments for painful varicose veins
Sclerotherapy is the most common approach for varicose veins. Because this procedure is minimally invasive, the client is allowed to go home right after the treatment. This procedure involves injection of a solution to small or medium varicose veins, which scars and closes the veins. In a few weeks, the veins will eventually fade.
Foam sclerotherapy is applied to larger varicose veins. A foam solution is injected into the veins, which closes and seals it.
Laser devices can also be used to treat small varicose veins or spider veins. The laser sends strong bursts of light into the vein, which makes the veins fade and disappear. This is a non-invasive procedure that doesn’t require any incision or use of injection.
Varicose veins can also be treated using catheter-assisted procedures in combination with radiofrequency or laser energy. The procedure begins with the doctor inserting a catheter into the veins, where the tip of the catheter is heated using either radiofrequency or laser energy. As the catheter is pulled out, the veins collapse and sealed shut by heat. This approach is usually performed for larger veins.
High ligation and vein stripping
In this procedure, the veins are tied off before it joins a deep vein. The vein is then removed through small incisions. This approach is typically performed for clients who have severe varicose veins. However, for most people it’s an outpatient surgery, as it doesn’t affect the circulation of blood in the legs.
This procedure is performed for clients with small varicose veins. It involves removing of the veins through a series of tiny skin punctures. Ambulatory phlebectomy is an outpatient procedure, where only some parts of the leg that are punctured are numbed.
Endoscopic vein surgery
This operation is the last option if all else fail for treatment of the varicose veins. Endoscopic vein surgery is performed to clients with advanced case that involves leg ulcer. In this procedure, the doctor inserts a miniscule video camera into the legs to be able to see the veins when closing and removing it. The veins are removed through small incisions. Despite its intricate procedure, this treatment can be done in an outpatient basis.
Self-care for painful varicose veins
- Use a pantyhose or compression stockings
Wearing pantyhose or leg compressions helps the veins and leg muscles deliver blood easier and more efficiently. Wearing a leg compression is the first approach when treating varicose veins, as the compression squeezes the legs, which can ease or prevent the varicose veins from getting worse.
- Take Horse Chestnut Seed Extract
This natural extract can reduce the dilation of veins. You can buy products like these online.
- Apply Witch Hazel
Witch Hazel is widely available, which you can also find in drugstores near you. It has a "hose effect with the little film of chemical to squeeze the skin and relieve pain," according to Dr. Martin
- Gingko Biloba
This herb strengthens the tissues that form the vein walls. It also enhances tissue oxidation, as well as supports good blood circulation. To treat varicose veins, gingko biloba extract is taken orally three times a day until the veins fade.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a popular treatment for varicose veins. By applying apple cider to the veins as a compress, it increases the circulation of blood in the veins.
Difference between varicose veins and spider veins
Varicose veins are veins that have stretched with blood pooled. It usually occurs when the other valve isn’t working properly. Varicose veins are highly noticeable due to its thick appearance that bulge on the legs. Compared to spider veins that are just thin veins under the skin that usually has a blue color. Although spider veins can be a symptom of poor blood circulation, it’s typically harmless.
Preventing Varicose Veins
Prevention is always better than cure. You don’t have to wait for the varicose veins to appear before you do something about it. You can already perform ways before the veins even appear. You can reduce your chances of developing varicose veins even if it runs in your genes. Here are what you can to prevent formation of spider veins in the future:
Regular exercise is the best way to prevent varicose veins from forming. Workout can improve blood circulation, which helps the veins work properly and keeps it healthy.
Maintain a healthy weight
Gaining weight can cause an increased pressure on the legs.
Do not sit or stand for a long time
Make sure not to sit or stand for a long time, as it can put pressure in the legs and veins.
Elevate your legs
Elevate your legs every time you get a chance such as, as soon as you get home or during your break. It reduces the weight and pressure on the legs, preventing varicose vein formation.
Avoid wearing clothes that are too tight
Avoid wearing leggings, jeans, or any clothing that is too tight-fitting around the waist, groin or legs.