The progressing age brings along different sets of challenges on a routine basis. They range from serious ones, nagging ones or unattractive ones. To start with, varicose veins and spider veins are commonly seen among mid 40s people. Though, varicose veins don’t present a serious health hazard but might turn out to be highly uncomfortable & may even be very painful. On the other hand, the spider veins are more likely to be unsightly. The condition of varicose veins is more common in women and is also known as varicose or varicosities. Let’s understand the basics of this phenomenon.
What are Varicose veins?
Varicose veins are veins that have become twisted, enlarged and overfilled with blood. They are commonly seen in legs. The veins have valves that prevent the flow of blood backwards, while leg muscles pump the blood against gravity towards the heart. The malfunctioning of these valves results in altered blood flow in veins, thus leading to varicose veins.
Spider veins are a cluster of smaller veins that develop closer to the skin. They often appear as red, blue or purple with spider web like appearance.
The causative or aggravating factors are-
- Advancing age
- Occupations that require long standing hours e.g. traffic policemen, etc.
The symptoms of varicose veins may range from ropey feel in the leg due to bulge, heaviness, itching, and pain in legs which intensifies on long standing. There can be swelling & discoloration around the ankle.
The management of varicose veins & spider veins includes relieving symptoms, prevention of complications, and improved appearance through lifestyle changes. The treatment can be surgical intervention or through conservational methods.
Following are few conservational methods used to manage the varicosities;
- Elevate your legs; to counter the effect of gravity, elevate the feet above the level of the heart. It will not only assist the flow of blood but also temporarily relaxes the valves.
- Weight check; obesity is a major aggravating factor of varicose & spider veins. Thus, maintaining apt weight, low salt & healthy diet may help in better management.
- Compression stocking; these are a highly effective method of managing varicose veins as the pressure garment reduces dilation of veins. This reducing the pressure on veins, thereby, reducing pain also.
- Cold fomentation; cold helps blood vessels to constrict thereby relieving stress on dilated vessels.
- Uncross the legs; sitting crossed legs for longer period puts additional pressure on calf muscles leading to restricted blood circulation.
- Avoid wearing tight waistlines; tighter waistlines hamper thorough blood circulation.
- Avoid long standing; if it is an occupational demand, try taking frequent breaks of sitting or move around.
- Exercise regularly; regular exercise routine helps in toning of muscles, which act as a natural circulatory pump.
These lifestyle modifications require little but persistent effort. They can be beneficial in providing relief & reducing complications.
A journey of thousand steps begins with a single step. Start walking in the direction of health & wellness, for each minute of investment in heath will reap bigger returns for a healthier tomorrow.