Most people think that varicose veins are ugly blue lines that eventually appear under the skin. Well, varicose veins are not just a cosmetic problem, but can cause many other severe symptoms if left untreated. So, if you notice those blue nerves popping up on your skin, educating yourself about them and taking timely action is best.
What exactly are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are twisted, and swollen blood vessels that appear on the legs, feet and around the ankle area. They can be itchy and painful. At Midwest Institute for Non-surgical Therapy, specialist Goke Akinwande, MD, has extensive experience treating St. Louis varicose veins and dealing with underlying causes. Thus, consider consulting him immediately to control your symptoms.
What causes varicose veins?
Veins carry blood throughout your body and towards your heart. Valves are located at regular intervals in the veins, and they ensure that the blood will flow in one direction throughout the body. Nevertheless, in the legs, the blood flows upward against gravity. Therefore, valves must function very precisely.
When a valve stops functioning properly, blood flows downwards. This blood flowing in the wrong direction will eventually stop at the next healthy valve, and slowly, the blood will start accumulating in that particular section of the nerve. This blood accumulation will put extra pressure on the veins and healthy valves.
Gradually, the valve will start failing, and the pressurized vein section starts turning blue.
Symptoms connected with varicose veins –
- Itchy legs
- Itching around the veins
- Leg pain
- Swollen legs
- Heavy-feeling legs
- Restless legs
- Burning or throbbing sensation
- Muscle cramps
- Spontaneous bleeding
Treatment and Prevention
Most doctors in St. Louis will advise you to make a few lifestyle changes when treating varicose veins. While that is important, there are other solutions. However, certain lifestyle chances that one must consider are:
- Avoid standing for a long time
- Maintain a healthy body weight
- Exercise to enhance blood circulation
- Use compression socks
If you have varicose veins, these lifestyle changes will help you prevent the new ones.
Other treatment options
There are several minimally invasive treatment options available now. Some of these include:
- Sclerotherapy: A liquid or foam chemical injection blocks off a bigger vein.
- Microsclerotherapy: A liquid chemical injection blocks off a smaller vein.
- Laser surgery: Light energy is used to clear veins.
- Endovenous ablation therapy: Heat and radiofrequency waves are used to unblock veins.
- Endoscopic vein surgery: A minimally invasive surgery is performed to unblock veins.
Since the treatment options are many, it is best to talk in detail with your St. Louis doctor about treatment risks and outcomes. Usually, the treatment method recommended depends on your symptoms and varicose vein location.