Varicose Veins — What They Are And How To Deal With Them

Your veins have the very important job of transporting your deoxygenated blood from your organs to your heart. Most people likely don't give a whole lot of thought to their veins, but some people have a constant reminder. Varicose veins are unappealing to look at and can also cause pain. 

What are varicose veins?

Varicose veins usually appear on the legs. They are dark in color, appearing blue or purple. They also tend to look swollen or lumpy. These veins are typically found right under the surface of the skin. However, you may not be able to see your varicose veins. These veins may ache or burn and they may cause a heavy feeling. Your surrounding muscles may feel crampy and your feet and ankles might swell. 

Varicose veins are quite common. They tend to be caused by weak walls of the vein and form when the blood pressure increases in the vein. Age, weight, pregnancy and family history also contribute to your likelihood of having varicose veins.

How can you alleviate the pain?

There are several things you can do to lessen your leg pain from varicose veins.

  • Move around more. Don't sit or stand for extended periods of time. Try to get up and move about every half an hour or so.
  • Exercise! Exercising will help the circulation in your legs, which in turn will relieve some of the pain.
  • Don't wear high heels. These shoes will just add to the problem.
  • Elevate your legs. 
  • Wear compression stockings. These special stockings will prevent the blood from pooling in your legs by applying pressure. They will help with the swelling and the associated aches.

What if these things don't work?

There are medical procedures that can be done in order to help with your varicose vein problems. These range from minimally invasive to surgical. Vein clinics are located around the country and specialize in veins. They are equipped to help handle any vein issues you may have. 

Varicose veins can be treated in a variety of ways. Ablation uses a laser to heat and close off the vein.  Sclerotherapy uses a chemical to close off the vein. Outpatient surgery is also used to remove large and bothersome varicose veins. A doctor or specialist will determine the best course of action for your specific situation. 

Most vein clinics offer free consultations and procedures are likely to be covered by insurance. If you are tired of pain and discomfort from varicose veins, a vein clinic can help.