Varicose Veins: Causes, Treatment, Diagnosis and Prevention
Varicose veins are large, swollen veins that arise when faulty valves cause blood to pool or flow in the wrong direction, often appearing in the legs and feet. Varicose veins are not just a cosmetic concern, they can be painful with symptoms such as swelling, aching, cramping, tingling, heaviness and a number of other conditions affecting the legs.
Causes and Risk Factors
Varicose veins most often occurs in the legs, because the blood flow is working against gravity and when the valves weaken it is difficult for the legs to pump blood properly. There are certain risk factors that contribute to developing these issues. Examples include:
- Pregnant women
- People with a family history of the condition
- People with BMI >25
- People who stand for prolonged periods at work
- People who’ve had blood clots
- People who’ve had a leg injury
- Women going through menopause
The best way to diagnose whether varicose veins should be a concern is to see you’re a board-certified doctor who specializes in vein conditions. During an evaluation, they will discuss any symptoms or concerns you have and do a physical examination of your legs. To properly diagnose the condition, they will perform an ultrasound to see the blood flow in your legs to determine the best treatment or prevention options. This is so that they can have a better understanding of how the veins work and check for blood clots. It is always recommended that you see someone who specializes in vein conditions, as a primary care doctor may not know how vein conditions and circulation can contribute to the symptoms highlighted above.
There are a number of treatment services for varicose veins; however, given each patient has unique symptoms and needs, your doctor is the best person to determine the appropriate treatment options. Sometimes at home treatments such as compression stockings may temporarily relieve symptoms, however, vein conditions are progressive and do worsen overtime, so it is best to treat the underlying condition if the varicose veins are bothersome.
Treatment options are minimally-invasive and can include a combination of laser or radiofrequency ablations or injections. All treatments are FDA approved and done in the doctors office with only local numbing. Treatments are done in less than one hour and patients can go home the same day.
Some of the treatments available that could help are:
One of the best ways to prevent varicose veins is by leading a healthy lifestyle. Knowing that obesity and low levels of mobility can increase the likelihood of varicose veins, you should make sure that you are exercise regularly to keep your weight down. Eating healthily will also help with this. Other ways to prevent the condition include:
- Exercising: helps with blood flow. Ask your doctor if there are any limits to your physical activity.
- Losing weight: less weight means less strain on your body, but make sure to maintain good health
- Not sitting or standing for too long: helps with blood flow
- Elevating legs: keeps blood circulating—ensure your legs are elevated higher than your heart
- Compression stockings:helps to improve circulation in the legs by aiding the veins in pushing blood flow up the leg
Are you ready for healthy legs?
If you are ready to take advantage of these benefits and begin your vein treatment journey towards healthy legs, give us a call today to speak to our team of vein doctors at Metro Vein Centers today and learn how we can resolve your varicose or spider veins quickly and effectively.
We offer no-risk complementary evaluations to patients with participating insurance plans and have a full range of treatments available for varicose and spider veins.
Since 2006, we have been national leaders in effective vein treatment and offer locations across New York, New Jersey, Michigan, and Texas.