We already know that varicose veins can be painful and unsightly. For those that have them, they’re often on your mind when your legs are exposed. Many sufferers wear clothes that conceal them. Some patients have noticed that they can quickly become preoccupied with covering them up and it can spoil the carefree summer vibe!
But even more than that, some people who have varicose veins are often plagued by swelling and pain. While some find it tolerable, there are those that are afflicted with a pain that can often stop them in their tracks. What causes this pain and is there a solution that doesn’t involve surgery?
Cause of Pain
For starters, varicose veins occur when there’s a backflow of blood which may be due to faulty valves. When that happens, a fluid build-up pushes the vein walls to their limit, which is where the pain starts. It is the pressure of excess blood that’s making us feel discomfort.
In extreme cases, it can lead to complications such as having leg ulcers due to the increased pressure. They can be extremely painful and are usually found in the ankles. Other times, swelling may occur, which could be a risk factor to having blood clots. That could bring about another type of pain. Either way, both can be debilitating to the person affected.
What Does the Pain Feel Like?
Contrary to popular belief, the size of the varicose vein isn’t proportional to the pain it may bring. As a matter of fact, there are those with large varicose veins who feel very little or sometimes no pain at all, while those with unnoticeable ones may suffer excessively.
When sufferers do feel pain, it can sometimes feel heavy and achy. Some patients complain of a burning and throbbing sensation in the legs which can impact their daily activities. There are cases when it’s almost like having cramps or a slow throb. But what’s common is that the discomfort can be traced back to where the varicose veins are.
How to Relieve Pain
There are a few simple ways to alleviate pain when it happens. Some include the following:
Elevate your legs
In order to remove pressure from the legs, the most immediate way is to elevate them to a point that they are higher than where the heart is. This can be done by putting your feet on the table, or by propping pillows underneath. Then gravity does the work for you.
Stretch and exercise
When you know you’re going to be in a stationary position for a long time, it will be best to stretch your legs a bit. This allows circulation to happen, preventing build-up of blood that will cause undue pressure.
Use cold water
Once you get home and you feel pain, it is time to take a cold bath, not a warm one. Cool temperatures cause the veins to shrink, making it easier to bring back blood to the heart. Some patients find that the cool water is very soothing to aching legs.
When All Else Fail…
If these simple fixes don’t work, the vein could present a problem for you and it is time to look for a vein specialist. We at VeinCare can definitely help you with your problem.