You may notice veins that bulge or look twisted (varicose veins) in your legs. Your legs may ache or swell. Sometimes they may also feel heavy and tired, or like they’re burning. You’re not too happy with the way they look either. What is a girl to do?
Don’t fret. There are options (for men too) to help lessen the pain, prevent swelling and even boost your confidence when heading out in your favorite shorts.
First things first. What are varicose veins? Veins have valves that stop blood from flowing backward. If the valves aren’t working, blood backs up, collects in the legs, and causes the veins to bulge and turn blue or purple. Blood is likely to collect in the legs when a person sits or stands for a long time without walking. You’re lucky if you don’t experience any pain; but many of you do and seek relief.
Reduce the Symptoms
What can you do to reduce the aching, swelling and general discomfort caused by varicose veins?
- Walk around. Try not to sit or stand in one place for a long time. A brief jaunt around your yard or taking the stairs at work are great ways to get moving.
- Try compression stockings. These special socks fit tightly over your ankle and leg and improve blood flow. And you can even find fashionable styles and colors that will match your outfits. Yay!
- Elevate your legs three to four times a day for 30 minutes each time. Put your comfy pillow under your legs while you lay on your couch catching up on Friends reruns.
- Point your toes and feet up and down a few times each day. Stretch those legs … feels good.
- Exercise and lose weight. You’ve heard it before so why not set an attainable goal for yourself to get started.
Hate Those Veins? Read on for Treatments.
There are a number of ways to get rid of damaged veins. Surgery is used less often. Procedures may include:
- Sclerotherapy: A special liquid is injected into the damaged vein. This will shrink the vein and stop the blood flow. You may need several treatments every six to eight weeks to fully shrink the veins.
- Radiofrequency or laser ablation: A special wire is inserted into the diseased vein. The wire heats up the vein from the inside and seals it closed.
- Surgery: This involves removing the vein surgically.
If you want to reduce pain, prevent swelling and skin ulcers, and improve the look of your legs, the specialists at the UMass Memorial Vein Center can help. Make the call and you will be “vari-cose” to relief. 855-UMASS-MD (855-862-7763).