Varicose veins in the legs - symptoms and treatment

Varicose veins in the legs are a rather dangerous disease for humans, and not just a bluish cosmetic defect. It can lead to significant consequences for the patient's health, therefore it is very important to fully understand all aspects and details of the course of this disease. Possession of correct information can help in the implementation of treatment and in drawing attention to some of the characteristic nuances of the disease.

General characteristics and causes of varicose veins

causes of varicose veins

Varicose veins are persistent significant changes in the walls of the vessels of the lower extremities of a person. The deformation mechanism involves an increase in pressure in this part of the body. This is due to the fact that in some cases certain disorders prevent the normal elevation of venous blood from a person's legs to the heart. The body's compensation function helps to overcome obstacles by increasing the level of pressure in the vessels and pushing the blood upward.

As a result of changes in the work of blood vessels, valve insufficiency develops in the lower extremities. It is characterized by the flow of blood from deep veins into superficial ones. Over time, due to high pressure, the walls of the vessels lose their elasticity, which in turn leads to their stretching and thinning. Following this, on the surface of the skin of the lower extremities, you can see changes that look like nodules of a bluish or cyanotic color.

Varicose veins on the legs is a disease that affects not only the legs, but the entire cardiovascular system. This disease can lead to disability of the patient and even death. In view of this, you need to know why varicose veins occur. The reasons for this process are as follows:

  1. Increase the level of progesterone in a woman's body. This hormone adversely affects the condition of the walls of blood vessels and valves. They become rather weak and unprotected.
  2. Some congenital anomalies and abnormalities of the walls of blood vessels or valves. This can be the cause of poor venous conduction or lack of connective tissue function, from which varicose veins also appear.
  3. Certain neoplasms, both benign and malignant. They affect the appearance of the disease not only in the case of localization on the lower extremities, but also in the abdominal cavity.
  4. Various injuries, bruises and injuries to the legs.
  5. Various endocrine diseases.
  6. Thrombophlebitis - venous thrombosis with an inflammatory process affecting the walls of blood vessels.
  7. Some joint diseases. These include mainly osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
  8. Taking certain hormone-based medications.
  9. Sedentary lifestyle. This passive behavior of a person becomes the cause of the manifestations of stagnation in the legs.
  10. Increased pressure in the intra-abdominal region. Most often it appears due to persistent constipation or some problems with a person's lungs.
  11. Overweight. As a result, too much stress acts on the lower limbs.
  12. Wearing improperly fitted shoes and clothing. First of all, this applies to tight wardrobe items.
  13. Poor nutrition with a predominance of high-calorie and fatty foods and an almost complete absence of vegetable fiber.
  14. Certain adverse habits such as smoking and drinking.

Signs of varicose veins appear due to all of the above reasons. Therefore, people who are at risk should be extremely careful about their own health.

The first symptoms and signs of varicose veins

signs and symptoms of varicose veins

In order to pay attention to the disease in time, it is worth understanding what are the signs of varicose veins in the legs. The following symptoms should be noted:

  1. Pain in the legs. Moreover, it can be of a different nature of occurrence. When walking, painful sensations, most often throbbing and hot, while in a calm state, the pain is aching.
  2. Occurrence of seizures at night while sleeping or lying on bed.
  3. Some changes in the skin of the limbs. These include dark spots, nodules, and lumps. At the same time, the skin is quite dry. These signs of varicose veins of the legs already indicate that certain changes in the vessels have taken place.
  4. Feeling of heaviness in the legs. A sick person may feel a certain bursting that comes from within. Most often this happens in the evening after a long stay in activity.
  5. Thickening of the veins of the lower extremities. They can show through from under the skin, creating a fairly clear pattern of their location on it.

The first signs of varicose veins on the legs should be a factor pushing a person to go to a medical facility. The longer the patient hesitates, the more the disease will progress. This, in turn, will affect the intensity of symptoms and the complexity of treatment.

Over time, varicose veins develop quite serious symptoms. These are extensive eczema and trophic non-healing ulcers. In severe cases, they can turn into gangrene. If the treatment of varicose veins in the legs is not undertaken, the progression of the disease may even result in amputation of the limbs. This will be necessary to prevent blood poisoning through open wounds.

Despite this, the most dangerous consequence of the disease is still the formation of blood clots. They can get into any part of the human body, blocking blood flow there. As a result, strokes and heart attacks occur, leading to death.

Treatment methods for lower limbs

methods of treating varicose veins

Treatment of varicose veins on the legs is currently taking place in different ways. The following methods of dealing with the disease can be distinguished:

  1. Conservative.Most often this method is used in the early stages, when the first signs of varicose veins in the legs have just appeared.
  2. Sclerotherapy.Doctors recommend this vein treatment in cases where the conservative technique has not yielded results.
  3. Surgical.Surgical intervention, as a method of getting rid of varicose veins in the legs, is indicated in cases when the disease threatens the patient's life.

In addition to the above methods of treatment, experts recommend putting in order the veins in the legs against the background of a diet and appropriate gymnastic and physiotherapy procedures. Only an integrated approach can give a really good result and get rid of the disease.

Creams and ointments

One of the most popular ways to treat varicose veins damaged by varicose veins is to apply various creams and ointments to the skin of the feet. Such local therapy is quite safe for human health. It rarely causes side effects and has few contraindications.

Doctors recommend using the following medications in case of varicose veins:

  1. Heparin based products.They have resolving properties, preventing congestion and the appearance of blood clots. The main active ingredient of such drugs is heparin, a natural anticoagulant.
  2. Products based on venoactive components.The action of these drugs is to reduce painful sensations and strengthen blood vessels. Their main components are horse chestnut, melilot and butcher's.
  3. Non-steroidal drugs.These drugs are anti-inflammatory.
  4. Means based on glucocorticosteroid hormones.These drugs have very good anti-inflammatory and antihistamines, while having many side effects and contraindications.

Varicose veins have various symptoms, based on which it is worth choosing drugs. This should only be done by a qualified specialist.

Medication

medications for the treatment of varicose veins

Often, topical medications must be supported by systemic therapy. It consists in taking medications of the following groups:

  1. Venotonic.The action of these funds is based on improving the elasticity of the walls of blood vessels, restoring tissues and improving blood circulation.
  2. Anticoagulants.These agents reduce blood clotting by preventing blood clots and blood clots.
  3. Antiplatelet agents.These drugs are used in the presence of blood clots.

Varicose veins in the legs should be treated only according to the symptoms it caused. The doctor should prescribe drugs after examining the patient. It is strictly forbidden to conduct therapy on your own.

Sclerotherapy

Varicose veins in the legs can be treated with a treatment such as scleropathy. It involves the introduction of a special drug into the vein of a sick person. It has properties that affect the hardening of the vessel walls. Through this effect, they stick together, which is why the blood stops moving. That is, in this way, the vein damaged by high pressure is essentially closed.

Scleropathy is performed only under local anesthesia. General anesthesia is not required for this procedure. After it, the doctor must apply an appropriate bandage on the patient's leg. In order to consolidate the achieved positive result of this treatment, the patient must wear special compression garments in the future. Without it, relapses of the disease may occur.

Laser therapy

Recently, some specialists have been using a laser to treat veins. The essence of this method lies in the thermal effect on the walls of the damaged vessel to close its lumen. Such treatment takes place on an outpatient basis, that is, immediately after the procedure, the patient can return home.

Before treating veins with a laser, you should know that this method does not allow you to completely get rid of the disease on your own. The sick person will need to undergo further treatment. Often, after laser therapy, the wearing of compression underwear is prescribed, in which the vessels do not expand.

Surgery

surgical treatment of varicose veins

Surgery for varicose veins is performed only in cases where other methods of treatment have not yielded a positive result. That is, such therapy of the disease is a forced measure for the most pronounced signs of the disease, when the patient's life and health are at risk.

Doctors can do several different types of surgery depending on their specific situation:

  1. Making three small incisions through which the damaged vein is removed.
  2. Pulling the vein altered by the disease through one incision, followed by ligation of the nearby vessels.
  3. A small incision in the skin for the purpose of ligating a diseased vein in the area of ​​a non-functioning valve.
  4. Complete removal of varicose areas together with veins and nodes. Usually, in such cases, there are trophic ulcers that need to be cleaned out. This type of operation is considered the most difficult. It is performed to save the patient's life.

In order not to bring the situation to a critical state, you need to pay attention to all the signs of varicose veins in the legs. A timely visit to a doctor can save a person from the need for surgery.

Ozone therapy

One of the methods of influencing damaged areas of blood vessels is ozone therapy. It represents a new method for the treatment of spider veins. Its essence lies in the fact that a small amount of ozone is injected into the lumen of the vein through a needle, which sticks it together, blocking the blood flow. Thus, the damaged vein stops working, and its functions are transferred to healthy vessels in the leg.

To achieve a good result from ozone therapy, just a few procedures are enough. Before treating varicose veins in this way, you should consult with your doctor.

Phlebectomy

Flabectomy is one of the types of surgery to eliminate varicose veins of the legs. It is an operation that involves making several small incisions and removing the damaged vein.

Immediately after completing the surgery and applying a special bandage, the patient can go home. At the same time, for about a month, he should wear special compression underwear that tightens his leg. After a while, wounds after surgery become almost invisible and do not represent any cosmetic skin defect.

Traditional methods of treating varicose veins

folk remedies for the treatment of varicose veins (1)

Varicose veins can be treated in various ways. Traditional medicine also helps greatly in this. Most often, its recipes should be used only in the early stages of the development of the disease, since in other cases their use is futile. This is primarily due to the fact that with the progression of the disease, only more radical measures can correct its consequences.

The following recipes are useful and quite effective in some cases:

  1. Infusion of dried nettle leaves.To do this, grind them well and pour boiled water, after which the liquid should be poured into a thermos. It should be infused for about 30-40 minutes. Once this is done, the liquid should be filtered. It is necessary to take the "medicine" 1/3 cup three times a day 1 hour after each meal. With varicose veins, such treatment helps only in the early stages, when there are no changes in the vessels.
  2. Potato gruel.This "medicine" helps mainly from ulcers caused by varicose veins. One potato should be well chopped with a grater, and then put the resulting material on the wound 1 cm. From above, the gruel should be covered with several layers of gauze and after 4-5 hours the potatoes can be removed from the wound by replacing it with a new one.
  3. A decoction of hop cones.You will need one tablespoon of this medicinal ingredient. It should be crushed and filled with 200 milliliters of boiling water, after which the liquid should be boiled for about 15 minutes in a water bath. The resulting broth must be taken three times a day, one glass before meals, it can also be used to lubricate varicose veins on the legs. Some people use hop cones to make lotions.

Before treating varicose veins using folk methods, you should definitely consult with your doctor. It is not possible to get rid of this disease by all means, which is associated with the individual characteristics of the organism and the presence of certain complications that only a specialist can take into account.

Special underwear

Compression hosiery is often used to maintain the lower extremities in the correct physiological condition. It is a special anti-varicose underwear that has a healing effect on a person's legs.

The mechanism of action of hosiery involves the redistribution of blood flow from damaged veins to healthy ones. This helps to improve the nutrition of nearby tissues and increase blood circulation.

It is very important to choose the right size when choosing lingerie. It is best if your doctor or other specialist helps you do this. You should also be sure to find out all aspects of the use of compression hosiery. Quite often, the treatment of varicose veins should be carried out only against the background of wearing such products. They speed up the therapy process, thereby reducing the risk of blood clots.

Exercises for varicose veins

Certain physical exercises are quite effective prevention of varicose veins. They should be moderate enough but intense. Separately, doctors recommend throwing the legs back above the head, thus allowing blood to flow away from the feet. Positions when the lower limbs are above the level of the whole body have proven themselves as the most effective for varicose veins of the lower limbs.

The following exercises are helpful:

  1. It is necessary to rise on toes in such a way that the heels are 2 centimeters away from the floor, after which you need to drop sharply onto your feet. Repeat this action at least 30 times. Once this is done, you can rest for about 10 seconds, after which you should repeat the lifting again. You should exercise this way about 3-5 times a day.
  2. Having taken a prone position, raise your right leg up. Having relaxed it, you need to sharply shake your foot, after which you can put your leg on the floor. Repeat the same action with the left limb. This exercise will be useful if it is done 10 to 20 times. A sufficient number of approaches - from 3 to 5 per day.

The vibro-gymnastics of the famous academician has also proven itself well. Before starting such treatment, you should consult your doctor.

Diagnostics

diagnostics of varicose veins

The first symptoms of varicose veins on the legs are not very pronounced, so quite often patients seek help only in the later stages. In such cases, certain changes can already be seen on the skin. That is why a doctor can make a diagnosis only by an external examination of the patient's lower extremities, even a novice specialist can do this. But more often than not, diagnostics are not limited to this. Some additional survey methods can be assigned, among which the following should be highlighted:

  1. Ultrasonic flowmetry or dopplerometry.These diagnostic methods allow determining the blood flow rate, as well as the level of vascular filling.
  2. Samples of Perthes, Sheinis and Pretty.Their positive result may indicate the development of varicose veins, even without its external manifestations.
  3. Phlebomanometry.This diagnostic method determines the venous pressure in the vessels of the sick person's legs.
  4. Vein scan.This examination method allows the attending physician to assess the condition of the walls of blood vessels and valves.
  5. Phlebography.This procedure is quite invasive. This is due to the introduction of a special contrast agent into the bloodstream that recognizes x-rays. Moreover, such a survey is as informative as possible.
  6. Echosclerotherapy.For this method of examination, a special substance is injected into the patient's vein - sclerosant. After that, the legs of the sick person are scanned.
  7. Thermography.This infrared examination helps assess the functionality of the veins in the lower extremities.
  8. Computer phlebography.This method is a relatively new and more modern analogue of conventional phlebography.
  9. Phleboscintigraphy.This test evaluates the veins and lymph nodes in the affected person's legs. They may also have certain changes that should be taken into account when prescribing treatment. In this case, radionuclides are used for visualization.
  10. Photoplethysmography.This method is based on the use of photodiodes.

With varicose veins, the patient may be prescribed one or two examination methods, since many of them give similar results. A qualified doctor can draw conclusions after a routine scan.

Consequences and complications of advanced varicose veins

Varicose veins are a dangerous disease that leads to serious consequences and complications. Among them are the following:

  1. Acute stage of superficial vein thrombophlebitis.
  2. Trophic ulcer.
  3. Phlebothrombosis.
  4. Chronic venous insufficiency.

Also, in advanced cases, varicose veins contribute to a significant formation of blood clots. This can lead to strokes and heart attacks. Tearing off the wall of the vessel, a blood clot can kill a person.

When to see a doctor and which one

Varicose veins require treatment to be carried out as correctly and timely as possible. It happens that a sick person does not seek help from a medical institution for a long time. This attitude towards your own health is not correct. The patient cannot cope with the disease on his own. Only a phlebologist knows what to do with the disease and how to treat it. It is this specialist that you should contact if you have varicose veins or varicose veins. When the vascular changes are too strong, an angiosurgeon should deal with the patient.

The reason for the diagnosis should be the first signs of varicose veins - swelling, a feeling of bloating and pain. As soon as these symptoms have arisen, you should contact a specialist for examination.

Prevention

In order not to wonder what varicose veins are, and how to get rid of its consequences, you should clearly follow some preventive rules. Among them are the following:

  1. Correct construction of work and rest mode. If possible, reduce orthostatic loads.
  2. Change of body postures during prolonged sitting.
  3. Abandoning the leg-to-leg pose.
  4. Kneading the feet.
  5. Constant walks in comfortable clothes and shoes.
  6. Maintaining blood pressure at the normal level.
  7. Balanced and correct nutrition.

If you adhere to all of the above simple rules, you can significantly reduce the risk of varicose veins or the progression of this disease to complications.