If you are unfamiliar with varicose veins, they are a type of malformed, malfunctioning vein that usually appears in the legs. If you are familiar with them, then you probably know all about the issues that come with them. Generally speaking, varicose veins are the result of too much pressure on the veins, especially when standing and sitting. Though the veins are superficial, this sort of pressure can lead to pain and discomfort. That being said, pressure is not always responsible for varicose veins. Sometimes it’s just a matter of heredity.
Given the distance of the legs from the heart, it takes significant effort for the heart to pump blood that far- especially against the pull of gravity. This is where the calf muscles come into play. They are specifically structured to prevent the backflow of blood. However, if the veins lose elasticity(something that happens naturally, with age, or is caused by various illnesses) then this structure can become ineffective, which leads to blood pooling. When blood pools in the veins, it can cause them to lose their natural shape and become clumpy, bulging, and swollen.
The nature of varicose veins makes them more prevalent in those who spend a significant portion of their time standing, as well as women. Unfortunately, pregnancy can also play a role, as well as obesity; both of these put more strain on the legs, which can cause varicose veins to worsen over time. Fortunately, however, varicose veins are rarely a serious problem- just an unsightly one. However, if varicose veins cause itching, ulceration, eczema, or pain, they may be concurrent with deep vein thrombosis, which is a serious issue that should be handled by medical professionals.
Generally, there are two schools of thought when it comes to dealing with varicose veins: invasive or surgical procedures, or natural home remedies. In the case of the former, there may be some cost and discomfort for the procedures. In the case of the latter, mileage may vary among individuals and specific treatment options- some treatments merely alleviate symptoms. In general, things that strengthen blood circulation are thought to help.
Because pooled blood is the main cause of varicose veins, massaging the affected area can help. Generally, elevate the legs, so gravity contributes positively to draw venous blood in the legs back to the heart. A gentle leg massage may help to guide the pooled blood along its path. A proper massage may smooth out twisted or bulging veins and help with the blood flow. Keep in mind that varicose veins could be associated with dangerous conditions; check with a doctor before getting a massage, and respect the decision of your masseuse if they decline to work the affected area.
If they are applied early enough in the development of varicose veins compression stockings can limit the progress of the condition. There are many types of compression garments available; generally, class II or III are the best. Keep in mind, however, that certain arterial problems may be worsened by the use of compression garments, so speak to a medical professional about what to use. Compression garments essentially force the veins to do their job, keeping them slimmed down so that they don’t bulge, and the blood flows to where it needs to go. This helps reduce pooling and blood clots.