Varicose veins

Varicose veins

Now days varicose vein is the term most commonly heard among ladies as a cause of leg pain and discomfort. Lets see what exactly varicose vein is.

Varicose veins are twisted, enlarged veins. Varicose veins, also known as varicose or varicosities, occur when your veins become enlarged, dilated, and overfilled with blood. They are gnarled, enlarged veins, most commonly appearing in the legs and feet. This condition is more common in women.

Cause of varicose vein –

Varicose veins may be caused by weakened valves (incompetent valves) within the veins that allow blood to pool in the veins instead of traveling to the heart. Other risk factors include –

1. aging – aging causes wear and tear on the valves in the veins that help control blood flow.
2. Sex – women are more likely to develop varicose veins than men.
3. Pregnancy – during pregnancy, the blood volume increases.
4. Family history
5. Obesity
6. People who stand or sit for longer period of time.

Signs and symptoms of varicose veins Sign – we can see enlarged, blue or purple vein just under your skin’s surface.

Symptoms –

• Bulging veins: Twisted, swollen, rope-like veins are often blue or purple. They appear just below the surface of the skin on your legs, ankles and feet. They can develop in clusters. Tiny red or blue lines (spider veins) may appear nearby.

• Heavy legs: Muscles in your legs may feel tired, heavy or sluggish, especially after physical activity.

• Itching: The area around varicose veins may itch.
• Pain: Legs may be painful, achy or sore, especially behind your knees. You might have muscle cramps.
• Swelling: Your legs, ankles and feet can swell and throb.
• Skin discolorations and ulcers: If left untreated, varicose veins can cause brown discolorations on your skin.

Severe varicose veins can cause venous ulcers (sores) on your skin. How to prevent varicose veins?

• Avoid long periods of standing: To encourage blood flow, take regular breaks to stretch and walk around, especially if you have a job that requires you to be on your feet.
• Elevate your legs: Raising your feet above your waist helps blood flow to your heart.
• Maintain a healthy weight: Getting rid of excess pounds reduces pressure inside your blood vessels.
• Quit tobacco use: Smoking damages blood vessels, decreases blood flow and causes a wide range of health problems.
• Stay active: To improve circulation, move frequently and avoid sitting still for prolonged periods.
• Try compression stockings: Support socks and pantyhose compress your veins and help blood circulate, which can prevent varicose veins from getting worse.
• Wear clothes that fit properly: To encourage blood flow, make sure your waistband isn’t too tight.

Treatment of varicose veins 1. Limb elevation – to decrease pressure on veins
2. Physiotherapy – exercises to reduce swelling in legs
- Mobility exercises of lower limb
- Strengthening exercises of lower limb.
-Compression with elevation leg machine
3. Elastic stockings: Supportive stockings or socks compress your veins and reduce discomfort. The compression stops your veins from stretching and helps blood flow.
4. Injection therapy (sclerotherapy): During sclerotherapy, a healthcare provider injects a solution into your vein. The solution causes the vein walls to stick together. Eventually, your vein turns into scar tissue and fades away.
5. Laser therapy: In a minimally invasive procedure called endovenous thermal ablation, healthcare providers use a catheter (a long, thin tube) and laser to close off a damaged vein.
6. Vein surgery: During these procedures, also called ligation and stripping, the surgeon ties off your affected vein (ligation) to stop blood from pooling. The surgeon may remove (strip) the vein to prevent varicose veins from reappearing.

Varicose veins now a days getting very common due to lifestyle changes and workload.

So its better to take precautions. For more details about exercises, when to do?
Which exercises we should do?
Contact your physiotherapist.

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