Varicose veins are an unsightly, unhealthful problem that affect millions of people of all ages and body types. Although they typically appear as swollen, bulbous or discolored veins on the upper or lower legs, varicose veins are much more than merely a cosmetic problem.
The appearance of varicose veins can cause symptoms such as moderate to severe pain, fatigue, numbness or cramps to manifest. It is imperative to seek treatment for varicose veins as soon as possible. Without prompt treatment, sores, blood clots or internal bleeding may result.
Fortunately, familiarizing yourself with some basic information about the causes, preventive measures and various treatments for varicose veins can help you to find the help you need. Many knowledgeable doctors and specialists can provide a wide range of the latest, state of the art treatments to alleviate the symptoms of varicose veins, as well as treat the root cause of this painful, unsightly condition.
Varicose veins start out as regular veins. That is to say, they are simply vessels which transport “used” or “de-oxygenated” back through the body to re-enter the cardiovascular system. This is a completely normal and healthful function of blood flow activity in the human body.
However, problems arise when the veins that force de-oxygenated blood back up from your extremities begin to be overworked. Because these veins must force blood upwards against the force of gravity, there are special valves within the veins that close to prevent blood from spilling back down into the lower extremities.
Over time, and with physical stress and exertion, these valves begin to break down. As a result, blood that should be pumped upward and outward collapses back in on itself where it pools and collects in the lower blood vessels. This greater volume of blood causes the veins to swell, bulge and appear large and discolored.
While there are no 100% effective methods to completely prevent varicose veins in each individual, there are several proven techniques that anyone can perform to reduce their risk of developing varicose veins. Also, in the event that a person develops varicose veins anyway, these techniques can be used to diminish their severity and alleviate the painful and cramping symptoms that accompany their appearance.
One of the most significant lifestyle habits that contributes to the development of varicose veins is a sedentary disposition. Frequent, sufficiently strenuous exercise has a demonstrated effect on reducing the severity of varicose veins. Exercise encourages blood flow to the extremities and develops healthier vein structure. Also, exercise will help to maintain a healthy weight and will encourage people to avoid standing for long periods of time. Both of these factors will help to prevent the formation of varicose veins.
There are a number of effective treatments for varicose veins. Although courses of treatment will vary depending upon the nature of each case, initial treatments will usually consist of increased prevention techniques and compression stockings. If the condition worsens or increases in severity, surgery may be necessary.
In the event of a surgical operation, a special process called EVLT will be used. This stands for EndoVenous Laser Treatment and it has a well-documented record of success. Other treatments include ultrasound sclerotherapy and radio frequency electrosurgery. Physical, surgical removal of the veins is usually avoided.