If you’re like most guys you probably think that varicose veins are a woman’s problem and not a big deal.
Well, think again.
While generally varicose veins are more common in women and older adults, figures from AHA Journals state that varicose veins affect 22 million US women and 11 million US men between the age of 40-80 years. Furthermore, from these figures, 2 million men and women will develop signs of severe venous insufficiency and venous ulceration.
It’s the role of arteries in the body to carry blood that is rich in oxygen away from the heart while veins return it back to be oxygenated. The veins are deep in the body surrounded by muscles which help move the blood forward. There are also superficial veins located in the skin’s fatty layer. These veins aren’t influenced by muscles but do form part of an intricate venous network. Both types of veins, however, do have flaps of tissue that are called ‘vein valves’.
As the blood moves along the veins towards the heart, the vein valves ensure that it moves in one direction. If the effects of muscle contractions or gravity cause the blood to try and back up, the vein valve automatically closes and stops the blood from flowing backward.
When blood can’t flow back to the heart, it starts to pool, and forms enlarged and twisted vessels that are referred to as varicose veins.
There are several causes of varicose veins including:
Exercise – This is the easiest way to keep vein walls strong and maintain a healthy vein structure. It’s important to ensure that your calves are involved since they play a large part in maintaining blood flow from your legs back to the heart.
Yoga – As well as makes your muscles stronger, a lot of yoga poses involve elevating your legs. By raising the legs, it helps the body to drain the blood back to the heart. This, in turn, helps improve vein health and alleviates any pain.
Watch your diet – Steer clear of foods that are high in sodium, particularly frozen, packaged and restaurant food) since salt has a tendency to lead to fluid retention.
Reduce pressure from sitting or standing – When you’re not moving, blood pools naturally in the legs, and this is exacerbated by prolonged periods of sitting. The solution is simply to rotate your ankles and flex your calve muscles or get up and walk around the room. If your job involves standing still for long periods then try and sway from side to side, whenever possible. Beyond that, lie horizontally for 15 minutes twice a day or try to raise your legs to remove all the pressure from your veins.
Compression stockings – Many doctors recommend wearing knee-high compression stockings even if there are no signs of varicose veins. These work by pushing up the blood from the ankles (which is the greatest pressure point) and redistributing it more evenly up the legs.
It should be noted that compression stockings will not cure varicose veins. They can help with circulation but are only a temporary measure.
There are several reasons to have your veins treated. As well as the obvious visual improvement, damaged veins can cause more serious health issues such as DVT (deep vein thrombosis) and blood clots.
It used to be that the only vein treatment was to undergo surgical vein stripping but thanks to modern technologies and methods, there are several quick and easy non-surgical treatments available.
Dr. Akinwande at the Midwest Institute for Non-Surgical Therapy (MINT) specializes in varicose vein treatment. We offer patients a comprehensive range of comfortable state-of-the-art treatments combined with friendly staff, shorter waiting times, and a skilled medical team.
We aim to provide a positive experience with no down-time or time away from work. Most treatments can be completed in 30-60 minutes and will remove that ‘heavy sensation’ in the legs that can hind your daily activity.
Why not contact MINT today and schedule a consultation?