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5 Stages of Vein Disease

 

Like many health ailments, leg vein disease happens in phases, and gradually impacts a person’s quality of life and overall health. There are easy-to-miss early warning signs in the stages of varicose veins and vein disease and if left untreated, can lead to chronic venous insufficiency, or CVI.

Vein disease worsens over time and will not go away on its own. While every case and situation is different, there are generally five stages of varicose veins and vein disease that patients should be aware of. Vein disease starts with spider veins and if not addressed, ends with ulcers and open sores.

Stage One: Spider Veins and Reticular Veins

Spider veins are usually small, flat bluish-purple veins just beneath the surface of the skin. Since spider veins are typically not painful or bothersome and are fairly common, many people either ignore them or do not even notice them.

Reticular veins are slightly larger than spider veins and are considered “feeder veins.” They sometimes serve as an extra source of blood to spider veins and can increase the appearance and symptoms.

Spider veins and reticular veins do not always lead into the other stages of vein disease, but in some cases, they can. Seeking the advice of a medical professional in this early stage of vein disease can help prevent a more serious issue.

Stage Two: Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are similar to spider veins and reticular veins, however, their signs and symptoms are usually harder to ignore and are more obvious. Varicose veins occur when the valves in the veins aren’t working properly causing the blood to pool. The damaged valves cause the veins to become large, swollen, and bulging, usually in the legs and feet.

Risk factors for varicose veins include:

  • Increasing age
  • Genetics
  • Hormonal changes including pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Lack of movement
  • Sun exposure

There are several ways someone can reduce their risk of varicose veins including adopting a healthy diet, starting an exercise plan, taking breaks to avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time and wearing compression stockings. A vein specialist can help people with varicose veins develop a plan to address their symptoms.

Stage Three: Swelling of the Legs

When varicose veins go untreated, the next stage of vein disease occurs – swelling of the legs and ankles. Venous disease causes poor circulation or blood flow which makes it harder for the body to absorb excess water. While elevating the legs may help to reduce discomfort, this cannot cure the underlying condition. Other symptoms associated with stage three include:

  • Itchy legs
  • Pain or discomfort when walking
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Tight, leathery skin near the varicose veins

Individuals that experience symptoms in this stage should seek treatment from a medical professional.

Stage Four: Skin Discoloration (Lipodermatosclerosis)

As venous disease progresses in the legs, discoloration and a change of texture in the skin can occur. The skin will appear reddish-brown or white and feel more like leather than soft skin. At this stage in vein disease, people may experience leg pain and additional swelling of the legs and ankles. The skin may also start to crack and bleed leading to the next phase, ulcers.

Stage Five: Leg and Ankle Ulcers

By the time venous disease progresses to this phase, ulcers and open wounds or sores begin to appear on the legs and ankles resulting in extreme pain and discomfort. The skin tissue begins to break down because blood cannot circulate the nutrients needed to promote healing. Scarring is common, and some wounds may never heal completely.

How to Prevent Varicose Veins from Getting Worse

While it may be easy to ignore the early signs of vein disease, the best thing to do to prevent vein disease from getting worse is to talk to a medical professional as early as possible. Vein disease in stages one and two can be addressed and treated with minimally invasive procedures or even with modified behaviors such as adjusting diet and exercise.

Dr. John Mathai, M.D, F.A.C.S., F.A.C.C. is the leading physician and director at Premier Vein Specialists. Dr. Mathai offers a free, private vein-health screening at both the York and Hanover offices. During the screening, he will assess the stage of vein disease and discuss options to prevent it from getting worse, and come up with a treatment plan.

To request a free vein-health screening, call Premier Vein Specialists at 717-412-7226 or complete the vein health screening form. Our compassionate team can help you love your legs again.

At Premier Vein Specialists, your health is our priority. Our offices in York and Hanover only admit one patient at a time, and we follow all health and safety guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

 

varicose vein complications

 

While varicose veins may not cause any side effects, they can cause swelling, an achy or heavy feeling in the legs, mild pain and discomfort, and even fatigue. These side effects may not be serious, however, if left untreated, they can lead to complications. What are varicose vein complications?

Varicose Vein Complications

While rare, varicose veins can lead to potential complications. It’s always important to seek medical advice if you are concerned about varicose vein complications including:

  • Bleeding: Since blood is pooled in a spot close to the surface of the skin, varicose veins can bleed easily. This can be a serious complication for someone on blood thinners. If you have varicose veins that begin bleeding, immediately apply pressure.
  • Blood Clots: In some cases, blood clots can form in varicose veins. Blood clots can lead to deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and in serious cases, a pulmonary embolism.
  • Stasis Dermatitis: Stasis dermatitis is a skin inflammation in the lower legs caused by fluid buildup due to varicose veins. The skin appears discolored and is itchy, thickened, and leg ulcers may develop. Treatment for stasis dermatitis may include compression stockings, moisturizers or prescription medication.

What Causes Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are a form of venous insufficiency. Blood flows throughout the body and towards the heart through one-way valves in the veins. When those valves become weak or damaged, blood collects in the veins rather than continuing to circulate. The blood pools close to the skin and collects there. When backed-up blood makes the veins bigger, they can become varicose.

How to Prevent Varicose Veins

While some people may not be able to completely prevent varicose veins, there are some ways to slow down developing varicose veins. Varicose vein prevention includes:

  • Exercise: Exercise is one of the best ways to help your overall health and prevent varicose veins. Since varicose veins can be caused by a sedentary lifestyle, you should exercise at least a few times a week to improve your health.
  • Eat a healthy diet: After exercise, a balanced diet is the next best thing you can do to prevent varicose veins and other health ailments.
  • Compression stockings: Compression stockings improve blood circulation by applying pressure to your legs and ankles. This pressure helps the blood vessels in your legs work better.
  • Stay hydrated: While the many opinions on how much water you should drink in a day, the general rule is eight 8-ounce glasses per day. Some studies link severe dehydration to obesity, diabetes, cancer, and chronic venous insufficiency.

Varicose Vein Risk Factors

There are several risk factors for varicose veins and even spider veins. Risk factors include:

  • Age: Varicose veins and spider veins are more common as people age. While anyone can get them, people over the age of 35 have a higher risk.
  • Sex: Women are more likely than men to develop varicose veins.
  • Pregnancy: When women are pregnant, the volume of blood in the body increases. This can put a strain on the veins in the legs and can increase the risk of varicose veins.
  • Family history: Like many health issues, varicose veins can run in the family. If you have a relative that has had varicose veins, you may also be at risk.
  • Obesity: Carrying extra weight can put increased pressure on your legs leading to varicose veins.
  • Sitting or standing for long periods of time:  Sitting or standing for long periods of time can cause blood to pool up in your legs and can increase your risk of varicose veins.

Treatment for Varicose Veins

If you are experiencing varicose veins or spider veins, Premier Vein Specialists is here to help. We offer a free vein-health screening to determine if and which treatment plan is right for you. Varicose vein treatment options include compression therapy, sclerotherapy, ligation, ambulatory microphlebectomy, and  Venefit, a vein closure procedure.

To schedule your free vein health screening, call us at 717-412-7226 or fill out our health screening request form. The health screenings and treatments do not require a hospital visit, are minimally invasive, and are often covered by insurance. We are here to help you love your legs again!

At Premier Vein Specialists, your health is our priority. Our offices in York and Hanover only admit one patient at a time, and we follow all health and safety guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

 

spider veins

 

Spider veins in the legs are small, thin lines that are flat or only slightly raised. They appear most often on the backs of the legs are often blue, red, or purple in color. The good news is that although they can cause some discomfort, they are painless most of the time and generally do not lead to serious health problems.

But just because they are not considered a serious health risk does not mean you have to live with them. Spider veins can cause people to be self-conscious and avoid wearing their favorite pair of shorts or hitting the beach.

There are several things you can do to keep spider veins from getting worse. But first, it’s important to understand the causes of spider veins and the risks for developing them.

Causes of Spider Veins

Spider veins are caused by venous insufficiency. Venous insufficiency, which also leads to varicose veins, is when your veins have trouble sending blood from your arms and legs back to the heart. The valves in your veins don’t work properly and cause poor circulation leading blood to pool in your veins and become more visible.

Varicose veins and spider veins share some of the same causes and risk factors including:

  • Genes: Nearly 90% of people with spider veins have a relative who has also suffered from them. Chances are if your mom had them, you may develop them, too.
  • Obesity: Carrying extra weight can cause all kinds of health issues including spider and varicose veins.  Even a few extra pounds puts a strain on your veins, increasing the chances that you’ll develop spider veins.
  • Age: As you age, the valves in your veins tend to become weaker. Age isn’t always a factor, though. Some children and teenagers develop spider veins because of other risk factors like obesity and genes. Spider veins in children can be a sign of a medical condition and should be examined by a pediatrician.

Spider Vein Prevention Tips

Overall, the best way to prevent varicose veins and spider veins is to take good care of your overall health. It’s not too late to start taking preventative measures to keep spider veins from getting worse including:

  • Grab the sunscreen. Not only does sunscreen prevent skin cancer and keep your skin looking young and healthy it also can help prevent some spider veins from getting worse.
  • Adopt a healthier lifestyle. Spider veins and venous insufficiency is linked to carrying extra weight. By losing weight, you reduce pressure on your veins.
  • Wear compression stockings. Compression stockings, either from a local pharmacy or prescribed by a doctor, can help prevent spider veins. If your family has a history of them, consider opting for compression stockings or pantyhose.
  • Take breaks. Avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time. Get up and take a break – even just a short walk around the house or office – every 30 minutes.
  • Wear loose clothes. Clothing that is too tight around the midsection can restrict blood flow and may increase the risk of spider veins or make them worse.
  • Get active. Physical activity is great for overall health. For varicose and spider veins, exercise can help improve circulation and prevent blood from pooling in the legs.

Treatments for Spider Veins

Even with proper preventative care, spider veins may not get better on their own. The good news is there are easy, safe treatments available for spider veins.

Sclerotherapy is the most common spider vein treatment. This 15- to 30-minute treatment involves a very fine needle injecting a solution called Polidocanol into the vein. Polidocanol causes the vein walls to be irritated, swell, and then close. This stops the flow of blood, and your body eventually absorbs the vein.

In a few weeks, the appearance of the vein should fade. This treatment does not require anesthesia and can be done in your doctor’s office. You can return to normal activity right after treatment. More than one session may be required.

Treatments for varicose veins are different because the veins are swollen and raised. If you have symptoms of varicose veins, a doctor can discuss treatment options with you.

Love Your Legs again with Premier Vein Specialists

At Premier Vein Specialists, we help our patients love their legs again. Dr. Mathai, director and leading physician, offers a free vein health screening so you can find a treatment plan that works for you. After a free, confidential vein health screening, Dr. Mathai will explain the best way for you to realize optimal vein health. With more than three decades of experience, he is ready to help you love your legs again.

Complete our vein health screening form, or call 717-412-7226, to get scheduled today.

At Premier Vein Specialists, your health is our priority. Our offices in York and Hanover only admit one patient at a time, and we follow all health and safety guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

 

fruits and vegetables

 

Nearly 25% of women and 18% of men suffer daily from varicose vein discomfort. There are several ways to relieve discomfort at home including exercises such as stretching and walking. Overall health can also be improved by paying close attention to the foods you eat. Some foods can help reduce discomfort related to varicose veins and even prevent varicose veins from becoming worse.

Before changing your diet, it’s important to understand what causes varicose veins. While there are many factors, the top five reasons people develop varicose veins are:

  1. Obesity. Carrying extra weight puts more pressure on your veins.
  2. Age. Varicose veins are more common at an older age. 
  3. Genes. Vein problems tend to run in the family. 
  4. Hormones. Pregnancy and other hormonal shifts can lead to vein issues. 
  5. Sedentary Lifestyle. Sitting or standing for long periods of time contributes to varicose veins. 

While you can’t change your genes or your age, there are ways to combat the other contributing factors through diet and exercise.

Foods for Healthy Veins

Generally speaking, unprocessed foods like fruit and vegetables are the best choices for a healthy, active lifestyle. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), you should aim to consume at least 1½ to 2 cups per day of fruit and 2 to 3 cups per day of vegetables as part of a healthy diet.

While there are many different kinds of foods that help support vein health, here are a few of our favorites:

  • Avocadoes: Avocadoes are high in vitamin C and vitamin E. Both vitamins C and E are known to be beneficial for vein health. Avocadoes also contain glutathione, which protects veins and arteries from damages. Whether you use avocadoes on toast or in a salad, they can be great for your veins!
  • Beets: Beets contain the plant pigment betacyanin, which is known to reduce the amino acid homocysteine. Homocysteine can damage blood vessels. Beets can be eaten raw, pickled, or grilled and are great additions to salads!
  • Asparagus: Grilled, steamed, roasted, or sauteed, asparagus is great for overall health including vein health! Asparagus helps strengthen capillaries and veins and is rich in calcium, niacin, phosphorus, and amino acids.
  • Celery: Celery is a great source of Vitamin K. Vitamin K is critical for blood clotting and healthy blood flow.
  • Raw Nuts and Seeds: Nuts are rich in niacin and vitamin B3, can improve blood circulation. Nuts and seeds like chia seeds, flax, sunflower seeds are also a good source of anti-inflammatory proteins that can help reduce cholesterol and improve blood flow.
  • Rutin-filled foods: Foods high in rutin are great for varicose veins. Rutin is an antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation caused by damaged veins and can help prevent blood clots. Rutin-rich foods include apples, figs, cranberries, buckwheat, and asparagus.  
  • H2O: While not a food, you can’t forget to drink water!  Staying hydrated can help with symptoms of varicose veins. Water, along with a high-fiber diet, helps flush out your system and reduce cramping or bloating.
  • Avocadoes: Avocadoes are high in vitamin C and vitamin E. Both vitamins C and E are known to be beneficial for vein health. Avocadoes also contain glutathione, which protects veins and arteries from damages. Whether you use avocadoes on toast or in a salad, they can be great for your veins!
  • Beets: Beets contain the plant pigment betacyanin, which is known to reduce the amino acid homocysteine. Homocysteine can damage blood vessels. Beets can be eaten raw, pickled, or grilled and are great additions to salads!
  • Asparagus: Grilled, steamed, roasted, or sauteed, asparagus is great for overall health including vein health! Asparagus helps strengthen capillaries and veins and is rich in calcium, niacin, phosphorus, and amino acids.
  • Celery: Celery is a great source of Vitamin K. Vitamin K is critical for blood clotting and healthy blood flow.
  • Raw Nuts and Seeds: Nuts are rich in niacin and vitamin B3, can improve blood circulation. Nuts and seeds like chia seeds, flax, sunflower seeds are also a good source of anti-inflammatory proteins that can help reduce cholesterol and improve blood flow.
  • Rutin-filled foods: Foods high in rutin are great for varicose veins. Rutin is an antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation caused by damaged veins and can help prevent blood clots. Rutin-rich foods include apples, figs, cranberries, buckwheat, and asparagus.  
  • H2O: While not a food, you can’t forget to drink water!  Staying hydrated can help with symptoms of varicose veins. Water, along with a high-fiber diet, helps flush out your system and reduce cramping or bloating.

Foods to Avoid with Varicose Veins 

There are several foods that someone with varicose veins should avoid. Foods that cause water retention, constipation, and are high in sugar should be removed from a vein health diet plan. Unsure which types of foods these are? Use the following guidelines when grocery shopping or making dinner choices while dining out:

  • Salty snacks and foods: Salty snacks and foods like potato chips, pretzels, ham, hot dogs, and pizza can cause high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a contributing factor to varicose veins. Canned foods are also high in sodium and should be avoided. If you choose canned foods, be sure to look for low-sodium options.
  • Sugary treats: Processed foods like chocolate, cakes, and cookies contain high amounts of sugar which contribute to poor health. If you have a sweet tooth, opt for fruits instead. The natural sugar found in fruit is easier on your body.

When in doubt, choose healthy options like fruits, vegetables, and high-fiber foods to improve your vein and overall health!

Talk to Your Doctor

Before abruptly changing your diet plan or starting an exercise regimen, seek medical advice and consult with your physician. Your doctor can help you understand the benefits and risks associated with diet and exercise.

Questions About Vein Health?

At Premier Vein Specialists, we understand that varicose veins and spider veins are frustrating, uncomfortable, and even painful. The good news is that we are here to help. Dr. Mathai, Director and Leading Physician of Premier Vein Specialists, can discuss your vein health during a private, free confidential vein health screening at either the York or Hanover offices. After the consultation, Dr. Mathai will review your treatment options with you and recommend a path to health. 

Complete our vein health screening form, or call 717-412-7226, to get scheduled today.

At Premier Vein Specialists, your health is our priority. Our offices in York and Hanover only admit one patient at a time, and we follow all health and safety guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

 

 

It’s no surprise that exercise and physical activity has a direct positive effect on your overall health and wellbeing. In addition to providing physical health, regular exercise can also help improve your mood and emotional wellbeing.

But what exercises are easy to do at home and can help alleviate some symptoms associated with varicose veins? Here are 5 easy exercises to help combat vein disease and improve vein health. Here are easy exercises for varicose veins:

Easy Exercises for Varicose Veins

  • Walking: Walking is one of the easiest and simplest forms of exercise to help improve your health. If you are new to walking as a form of exercise, start by walking around your neighborhood or at a local park. You can even start with small increments – try to do 5-10 minutes of walking a few times a day and work up to 30 minutes of walking at a time.Walking can help you lose weight, control blood pressure, and strengthen your muscles, all of which help lower your risk of varicose veins.
  • Leg Lifts: Leg exercises like leg lifts are easy to do and do not require any special equipment. Start by lying flat on your back. Keep your legs straight as much as possible and lift each leg one at a time up towards the ceiling. Hold your leg in the air for a few seconds before returning to the beginning position and then alternate legs.If you have problems lying on the floor, you can do leg lifts from a standing position. Stand near a wall or a chair so you can balance yourself, and slowly lift each leg in front of you. Hold for a few seconds and then alternate legs. Leg lifts help stretch your leg muscles and when done properly can improve blood circulation.
  • Lunges: Lunges can improve the strength of your leg and calf muscles. Healthy legs and calves can help keep your blood pumping while unhealthy leg muscles can cause blood to pool and lead to varicose veins. To do lunges, start by standing upright with your feet slightly apart. Step forward with one leg and bend forward so your knee is above your ankle. Hold for a few seconds and return to the starting position. Repeat with the other leg. 
  • Calf Raises: Strong calf muscles are key to overall leg health and can improve circulation. These are very easy to do and you can even do them while watching TV or waiting in line at the store! Simply raise your heel off of the floor and go on your “tippy toes” and return to resting position. Repeat this motion several times over the course of 30 seconds to a minute. 
  • Bicycling: If you have a bicycle, you have a great tool to improve not only your vein health but your overall health! Bicycling helps improve the strength of your calves and legs. Stationary bikes and elliptical machines also provide the same benefits as a bicycle. If you do not have a bicycle or access to a gym, you can still mimic the bicycling motion by laying on your back and pedaling your legs in a circular motion, just as if you were riding a bike. 

These easy exercises for varicose veins may help alleviate some symptoms. 

What Exercises Should I Avoid with Varicose Veins? 

If you suffer from varicose veins and spider veins, not all exercise can be helpful. Strenuous, high-impact exercises like running can make varicose veins worse. Weightlifting is also not recommended for varicose veins, as it strains venous circulation. When you lift heavy weights, it causes pressure on your abdomen which can impede blood flowing to your heart.

Varicose Vein Treatments

Even if you work to prevent varicose veins including regular exercise, you still may need to explore other varicose vein treatments. It’s important to talk to your doctor about varicose and spider veins and understand how exercise and other treatment methods can alleviate your symptoms.

At Premier Vein Specialists, Dr. Mathai can listen to your concerns and offer a treatment plan that makes sense for you. After a free, confidential vein health screening, Dr. Mathai will explain the best way for you to realize optimal vein health. With more than three decades of experience, he is ready to help you love your legs again.

Complete our free screening form or call 717-412-7226 to be on your way to healthy legs!

At Premier Vein Specialists, your health is our priority. Our offices in York and Hanover only admit one patient at a time, and we follow all health and safety guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

 

 

compression stockings

Compression stockings are widely used by people for comfort, sports performance and to help alleviate symptoms associated with medical conditions such as varicose veins and spider veins. With many options available to consumers, how do you know which type is best for you?

Before choosing compression stockings, it’s important to understand how they work, the different types of stockings, and what benefits compression stockings have when used correctly.

How Compression Stockings Work

Compression stockings improve blood circulation by applying pressure to your legs and ankles. This pressure helps the blood vessels in your legs work better. Blood flows more freely and your veins get a boost sending blood back to your heart.

 

Types of Compression Stockings

 

 

There are three main types of compression stockings designed for different uses and benefits. The types are:

  • Graduated compression
  • Anti-embolism
  • Nonmedical-support hosiery

 

Graduated compression stockings provide a stronger compression level at the ankle and then decreases up the stocking toward the knee. Graduated compression therapy is routinely prescribed to address minor to moderate venous insufficiency. Graduated compression stockings usually require a professional fitting by a vein specialist.

Anti-embolism stockings help reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis or can be used as part of a therapy plan for post-thrombotic syndrome. Like graduated compression stockings, the compression level is gradient and changes from the ankle to the knee.

Nonmedical-support hosiery can be purchased at most pharmacies or big-box stores like Wal-Mart and Target. This type of stocking has similar features to prescription stockings and improve circulation in your legs. Athletes tend to use non-medical support hosiery as well as people who stand for long periods of time throughout the day.

 

 

 

 

Benefits of Compression Stockings

There are many benefits associated with wearing compression socks including:

  • Help keep your legs from feeling tired and achy
  • Reduce the risk of DVT or blood clot
  • Address symptoms associated with varicose veins and other venous insufficiencies
  • Boost circulation and improve blood pressure in the legs

 

 

Choosing the Right Compression Stockings

Choosing the right type of compression stockings can feel overwhelming. Talk to your doctor about which type is best for you. You first need to find out which compression level is right for your needs and then determine which size will help you meet your health goals.

Compression stockings range in the amount of pressure on your legs using a scale from mild to extra firm and measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg).

Compression Levels

 

  • Mild: Mild compression stockings exert 8-15 mmHg and are used for light swelling of the feet or for people who feel fatigued from standing. These are readily available as over-the-counter at your local pharmacy.
  • Medium: Medium compression ranges from 15-20 mmHg. This may be recommended if you have never worn compression stockings before.
  • Firm: Firm stockings are categorized as 20-30 mmHg. Pregnant women sometimes use firm stockings to reduce the risk of varicose veins.
  • Extra-firm: Extra firm compression stockings, which use 30-40 mmHg, are used to treat moderate to severe leg health symptoms. Doctors may prescribe this type of stocking for patients at risk for DVT or blood clots.

Compression stockings are available with compression at greater than 40 mmHg and are used for severe venous stasis, wound management, and lymphedema. These stockings should not be used without consulting a doctor prior to use.

Compression Sock Sizes

 

Compression socks come in different heights and sizes including full-length pantyhose, thigh-high and knee-length. The choice of length depends on the reason you are wearing compression socks and your personal preference.

Proper fit is important for comfort and benefits. To make sure you have the proper size, ask your doctor to fit you for stockings. This will include measuring your legs, typically the circumference of your ankle and your calf. For over-the-counter stockings or stockings used primarily for athletes, sizing may be based on shoe size.

Do I Need to Talk to a Doctor About Compression Stockings?

 

If you suffer from leg fatigue, varicose veins, or at risk for other medical conditions, it’s important to talk to your doctor before starting compression therapy. Your doctor can help you understand how to choose compression stockings to optimize your leg health.

At Premier Vein Specialists, we can help you determine if compression therapy is right for you. Dr. Mathai, Director and Leading Physician of Premier Vein Specialists, offers free vein health screenings at both the York and Hanover offices. After the consultation, Dr. Mathai will review your treatment options and recommend a path to health.

 

Complete our vein health screening form, or call 717-412-7226, to get scheduled today.

At Premier Vein Specialists, your health is our priority. Our offices in York and Hanover only admit one patient at a time, and we follow all health and safety guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

 

image of woman with painful legs

Nearly everyone will experience leg pain at some point in their lives. Leg pain can be caused by many reasons including exercise fatigue, arthritis, muscle cramps, tendon or ligament injury, and even growing pains. But did you know that leg pain is also a symptom of varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency?

What Do Varicose Veins Feel Like?

Varicose veins may not cause any pain, however, most patients experience at least a few symptoms that indicate a problem with blood flow in their legs. Painful signs of an issue include:

 

  • Achy or heavy feeling in your legs: Your legs and leg muscles may feel “hefty” or “dense.” This is an indication of poor circulation. When you have varicose veins, your body has to work harder to pump blood from your legs to your heart and other parts of the body.
  • Burning or throbbing in your lower legs: This sensation is also a symptom of varicose and spider veins. The burning is caused when damaged veins allow blood to pool within the legs. The burning sensation is caused by a leak of fluid into the tissue surrounding the vein.
  • Increase in pain after sitting or standing for long periods of time: When you sit or stand for long periods of time, gravity can cause blood to pool in your veins and increase the discomfort of varicose veins.

 

How To Relieve Pain Caused By Varicose Veins 

You can relieve some pain and discomfort of varicose veins at home, prior to seeing a doctor. To relieve pain, you can:

 

  • Elevate your legs: This is one of the quickest and easiest ways to relieve pain. When you elevate your legs above your heart, it makes it easier for blood to flow normally to your lower body.
  • Exercise and stretch: Short stretches of your calf muscles throughout the day can relieve discomfort. If you sit or stand for long periods of time during the day, this is especially important. Longer-term, an exercise regimen can improve your overall health as well as help alleviate the discomfort of varicose veins.
  • Take a cool shower or bath: Cooler temperatures cause blood vessels to shrink and should help address swelling in your legs.

When Should I Seek Medical Advice?

While some causes of painful legs are not a health risk, painful legs could indicate a more serious medical condition like peripheral artery disease, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), diabetic neuropathy, blood clots, or an early sign of a pulmonary embolism.

Always seek out the advice of your primary care physician when you experience pain and discomfort in your legs.

Varicose Veins Treatment Options

If you are experiencing varicose veins, there are treatments available to help you love your legs again. At Premier Vein Specialists, varicose vein treatment options include compression therapy, sclerotherapy, ligation, ambulatory microphlebectomy, and Venefit, a vein closure procedure.

 

Treatments for varicose and spider veins are do not require a hospital visit and are minimally invasive. As part of your treatment plan, Dr. Mathai will also help you understand how to prevent varicose veins afterward, so you can enjoy vein health long after your treatment is complete.

 

To schedule your free vein health screening, call us at 717-412-7226 to schedule an appointment at either our York or Hanover offices, or fill out our free health screening form. We are here to help you love your legs again!

At Premier Vein Specialists, your health is our priority. Our offices in York and Hanover only admit one patient at a time, and we follow all health and safety guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

 

woman at standing desk

Over the last decade, more and more office workers with desk jobs are choosing standing desks for their office or home office. The popularity of standing desks should come as no surprise, as they help decrease the amount of time someone is sedentary during the workday.

But are there health risks with standing desks? If you are at risk for varicose veins and spider veins, it’s important to understand both the benefits and risks before deciding if a standing desk is right for you.

Dangers of Sitting All Day

Many office workers in a traditional 9-to-5 job will sit for most of their workday. Sitting all day long can be dangerous. When you are inactive, you are at an increased risk for health problems such as weight gain, Type 2 diabetes, and even heart disease. In fact, research from the Annals of Internal Medicine estimates that each hour of sitting may increase your risk of heart disease and other health issues.

Sitting for long periods of time can also affect your vein health. If you sit for hours a day, your blood doesn’t flow as well from your legs back to your heart. This can cause blood to pool up in your legs and can increase your risk of varicose veins.

With the dangers and risks associated with sitting all day, should you invest in a standing desk? The answer isn’t a simple yes or no, as there are also risks with standing all day.

Risks of Long Periods of Standing

Even though sitting all day can contribute to health problems, the solution isn’t necessarily to stay on your feet all day long. Long periods of standing can also cause health problems and increase your risk for varicose and spider veins.

When you stand all day, your veins in your lower legs have to work harder to circulate blood back throughout your body. This can cause blood to pool in the veins in your legs, leading to spider veins and varicose veins.

Prolonged standing also contributes to fatigue, cramps in your calf muscles, lower back pain, and even headaches.

Is a Standing Desk Right for Me?

With risks for both sitting and standing, should you invest in a standing desk? While there are risks associated with standing all day, a standing desk can help you with your vein health if you have a desk that is adjustable throughout the day. Many newer desks can be raised or lowered, allowing you flexible options throughout the day. Alternating between sitting and standing can help improve circulation and overall health and reduce fatigue.

Worried About Varicose Veins and Spider Veins?

If you are experiencing symptoms like leg swelling, leg pain, bulging veins, itching, or feeling like your legs are “heavy,” you may be at risk for varicose veins. The good news is there are treatments available to help address your symptoms. Therapies like compression stockings may help, as well as sclerotherapy and ligation.

Dr. Mathai and his team at Premier Vein Specialists can help you assess your vein health with a free screening at both the York and Hanover offices. Vein health screenings are easy and non-invasive. After your screening, Dr. Mathai will provide a recommended treatment program to get you on a path to a healthier you! Reach out today to schedule your screening.

At Premier Vein Specialists, your health is our priority. Our offices in York and Hanover only admit one patient at a time, and we follow all health and safety guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.