Varicose veins are blue or purple twisted and swollen veins. They most commonly occur on legs and swollen feet and are the result of weak or damaged valves in the veins. The patches of flooded capillaries around them are called superficial spider varicose veins.
There are some misconceptions about varicose veins, their causes, and how to effectively manage them. This article will provide a well-rounded clarification of the topic.
Understanding Varicose Veins
To facilitate the circulation of oxygenated blood from the lungs throughout the entire body, the arteries feature a network of muscles and elastic tissues. The veins, however, primarily rely on surrounding muscles and a system of one-way valves. As the blood travels through the veins, the valves permit blood passage and promptly close back to avoid backflow.
Varicose veins form when these valves refuse to function effectively, allowing blood to accumulate in the vein. Further hindering the muscles from propelling blood against gravity. Instead of moving on to the next valve, the blood is trapped in the vein, causing venous pressure that has the potential for congestion.
The prolonged pressure leads to distortion and twisting of the veins. However, superficial veins are more susceptible to varicosity than deep veins because they possess less muscular support.
What Causes Varicose Veins?
Excessive pressure on the legs or abdomen can lead to the development of varicosity. Common factors that can exert this pressure include:
- Prolonged standing
- Aging – This is because veins weaken as one progresses with age.
- Genetics – There is simply no escape if it runs in your family.
- Previous leg injuries – So it is pertinent to engage in physiotherapy when healing.
- Chronic Constipation
- In rare cases, tumors
In addition, a sedentary lifestyle contributes greatly because poorly functioning muscles limit blood circulatory capacity. It is important to note that seating with crossed legs is not a direct cause of varicosity. Nevertheless, it can exacerbate an underlying condition.
Can One Prevent Varicose Veins?
This is a question that would haunt individuals with a genetic predisposition to the condition. There’s good news. Here are some ways one can effectively prevent varicose veins.
- Exercise: this is the best way to keep blood flowing and tone your leg muscles.
- Maintain a healthy weight: If obese, lose weight. Keeping a healthy weight increases blood flow.
- Avoid tight clothing.
- Avoid high-heeled shoes: Wearing them for prolonged periods of time restricts circulation. Low heels or flats are better for circulation because they increase calf muscle.
- Quit smoking: Studies show it contributes to varicose veins.
- If pregnant, sleep on your left rather than your back: Experts say it minimizes the pressure of the uterus on the veins in your pelvic area. It also improves the fetus’s blood flow.
- Be mobile: Do not sit for long hours; ensure your legs are on the move as often as possible.
- Request that your doctor prescribe you compression socks.
What Are Compression Socks?
These are specially made, snug socks or stockings that gently squeeze your legs. People wear compression socks for comfort, high performance in sports, and to help prevent serious medical conditions.
They improve blood flow and lessen pain and swelling in your legs. And greatly decreases one’s chances for deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a kind of blood clot, and other circulatory problems like varicosity. They come in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes. They can be bought over the counter at pharmacies, or your doctor can prescribe them.
Who Should Wear Compression Socks Or Stockings?
- People who’ve recently had surgeries
- Pregnant women
- People who’ve spent a long time sitting, perhaps as part of their occupation, like pilots
- Those who stand all day at work like factory workers
- Bedridden convalescents
- Those who run the risk of circulatory problems like varicosity, diabetes, and DVT
How Do They Work?
They keep the legs from getting tired and achy. They ease swelling in the feet and ankles and also treat and prevent spider and varicose veins. This is done by gently squeezing so the veins get a boost, pushing back the blood to the heart.
An additional feature is that they keep you from being dizzy when you stand up. Because blood keeps flowing, there is no opportunity for a clot to form. Clots are dangerous; they can travel to another site of the body and cause serious problems.
Sometimes a clot in the leg can form an embolism, transport itself to the lungs, and then form a pulmonary embolism, which is exceedingly deadly.