Varicose Veins: The Definitive Guide to
Treatments & More
Varicose veins are a common condition where your veins bulge and appear rope-like, and it can sometimes cause aching pain and discomfort. Learn about the factors that lead to varicose veins and the treatment options available to you.
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are bulging, blue or purple veins that are caused by an improper, backwards flow of blood. Varicose veins most commonly occur in your legs and lower extremities.
Your veins have tiny one-way valves in them that keep your blood flowing in one direction back into your heart. In varicose veins, the valves are weakened or damaged allowing blood to flow backwards, causing swelling and vein damage.
This condition may lead to serious problems such as thrombosis (blood clots) or venous stasis ulcers (slow or non-healing sores). Varicose veins may also mean that you’re at higher risk of other circulatory system disorders.
Varicose vein treatment options
There are many non-invasive and effective treatments for varicose veins, including lifestyle changes and medical procedures.
Losing weight, eating a balanced diet and engaging in regular exercise can alleviate varicose veins and associated discomfort and pain. If you sit for prolonged periods of time, taking activity breaks will help improve your blood circulation.
Compression garments are a common first step for treating varicose veins and work by supporting your weakened veins and boosting circulation. Support socks or hose give mild compression. Compression stockings give stronger support, and are available in different lengths and styles. Your doctor may recommend a prescription level compression garment, which can usually be purchased from a medical supply store or pharmacy.