Many people think that varicose veins are just a cosmetic issue. Over time, though, untreated varicose veins can cause pain, discomfort, swelling, and insomnia that can affect a person’s energy and quality of life. If you’re suffering from symptoms related to your varicose veins, there are several things you can do to alleviate unpleasant symptoms and start feeling like yourself again. Consider the following tips:
Prop Up Your Legs When Resting
Varicose veins are caused by failed blood valves that are unable to move blood through the circulatory system properly. They commonly appear in the legs because your body has to work it’s hardest to get blood from your feet back up to your heart—it’s a long path, and blood has to work against gravity. When varicose veins in your legs start showing unpleasant symptoms, it may be because your blood is struggling to make its way back up your legs, so resting with your legs propped up higher than your heart can help blood flow more easily and can reduce your symptoms.
Exercise or Lose Weight
Sitting too much is a common cause of varicose veins and can aggravate symptoms. If you’re struggling with painful or bothersome varicose veins, regular exercise as well as alternating between sitting and standing throughout the day can help alleviate pain, swelling, and discomfort. Exercise helps improve circulation, which reduces the pressure on varicose veins and reduces the chances that additional problematic veins will develop. Exercise may also lead to weight loss, which also help reduce symptoms.
Use Compression Therapy
Compression therapy is another great way to alleviate the symptoms of varicose veins. Compression therapy requires you to wear socks or stockings that compress your legs and improve blood flow. Though compression socks and stockings can be purchased over the counter, you should check with your doctor before starting compression therapy in order to determine the recommended amount of compression for your condition. Wearing compression socks or stockings all day while working can reduce swelling in the legs and alleviate pain caused by varicose veins.
Have Damaged Veins Treated
While statistics show that more than half of people 50 and older—men and women alike—suffer with varicose veins, most people forgo treatment, believing that a cosmetic procedure isn’t worth the expense. However, if varicose veins are impacting your quality of life by causing persistent symptoms of pain, fatigue, and swelling, it’s possible that your treatment may be covered by your insurance. Your doctor can evaluate your condition and submit a query to your insurance company to determine if your treatment qualifies for coverage.
Modern procedures for treating varicose veins are non-invasive and can be performed by your doctor right in his office. Most doctors no longer perform vein stripping procedures that require surgery under general anesthesia. Modern procedures like sclerotherapy and endovenous laser treatment are low risk and generally take less than an hour to perform. If you’re interested in learning more about treatment options and possible insurance coverage, find a vein specialist near you.