Varicose veins can both cause immense pain and make you feel extremely uncomfortable in your own skin. Typically, varicose veins appear in the legs, are large and dark, and bulge out from the skin. They occur when large blood vessels become inflamed and twisted, commonly caused by venous insufficiency—when vein walls are weakened or valves are damaged. When you have venous insufficiency, your veins have trouble moving blood from your legs to your heart, causing the veins to fill up with blood.
Some people may not experience any pain from varicose veins. However, those who stand for long periods complain of pain, cramping, or a burning and tingling sensation in the legs. These symptoms shouldn’t be ignored; untreated varicose veins can lead to life-threatening health conditions. If you suffer from varicose veins, here are four facts that you should know.
The Risk Factors for Varicose Veins
Around 20 to 30 million Americans suffer from varicose veins. As with any health condition, several risk factors contribute to developing varicose veins, both controlled and uncontrolled. The following factors increase your risk of developing varicose veins:
● Genetics: The risk of developing varicose veins is higher if a family member has the condition
● Age: Older people have an increased risk of vein problems due to the weakening of veins
● Sex/gender: Women have more vein problems than men due to frequent hormonal changes
● Pregnancy: Pregnant women tend to develop varicose veins due to the extra weight
● Weight: Overweight or obese individuals usually develop varicose veins due to excess body fat straining the veins
Also, if you’ve endured any type of leg trauma from a prior accident, the incident may have caused blood clots or valve damage, affecting the flow of blood. Although some of these risk factors are modifiable, others are not. The combination of these factors along with your lifestyle can exert a strong influence on your health, making you more prone to having varicose veins.
How You Can Prevent Varicose Veins
Unfortunately, there is simply no way to prevent varicose veins from forming. However, you can prevent them from worsening. Here are some lifestyle changes you can implement:
● Avoid or reduce the amount of time you sit or stand
● Wear compression socks or stockings
● Lose weight
● Engage in physical activity
● Improve your sleep position
● Elevate your legs
Although you can’t control your age or family history, adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle can reduce the effects of varicose veins and the chance of other medical complications from occurring.
Medical Complications of Varicose Veins
Generally, most people with varicose veins feel an achy or heavy feeling in their legs and tend to itch around the veins. However, some people develop serious complications, such as:
● Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
These types of complications are severe enough to require immediate medical attention. Blood clots, ulcers, or prolonged bleeding can result in a painful inflammatory reaction and, if left untreated, can result in permanent complications or death.
Options for Treating Varicose Veins
People with varicose veins can try at-home remedies to help manage the condition and alleviate symptoms, although there is little research showing the benefits of this. Some websites claim that you can treat varicose veins by either consuming or applying apple cider vinegar, cayenne pepper, olive oil, butcher’s broom, lemon, or witch hazel to the affected area. While these remedies may not cause harm, you should always consult a doctor before trying them.
The most effective way to treat varicose veins and alleviate pain is through minimally invasive surgical procedures. Some treatments you may benefit from include:
● Radiofrequency ablation: Your doctor will use a catheter to apply radiofrequency ablation to shrink and close the vein. Usually, you can resume normal activity the next day.
● Phlebectomy: Your doctor makes a small incision and removes veins closest to the skin.
● Sclerotherapy: Your doctor performs chemical injections to close off the vein.
Minimally Invasive Treatment for Varicose Veins in NYC
Are you suffering from varicose veins? Do you feel uncomfortable showing your legs? NJ Spine & Orthopedics offers cutting edge solutions for your persistent issues. Our award-winning team of surgeons understands the discomfort of varicose veins, both medically and cosmetically. Our commitment to whole health is the reason why we’re leaders in helping patients reduce or eliminate pain resulting from numerous conditions in the body.
At NJ Spine & Orthopedics, we offer the latest minimally invasive procedures and state-of-the-art technologies to prompt faster recovery time and minimal scarring. Our board-certified medical team combines a patient-centered approach with advanced technology to ensure our patients receive quality care. To learn more about the conditions we treat and the treatments we offer, call (866) 272-9271 or complete a contact form to schedule a consultation in a location near you.