Varicose veins are a serious disease that significantly impairs a person's quality of life. To a greater extent, representatives of the fair sex are subject to it, but it does not bypass men either. Swelling and discomfort, the appearance of a characteristic blue mesh - these are just some of the symptoms of varicose veins in the legs. How to treat this disease, we will tell in today's article.
Description of the disease
Varicose veins are a chronic vascular disease. It occurs due to stagnation of blood. In the normal state, the vascular valves pass blood in an ascending manner, i. e. from the lower extremities to the heart. In case of their failure, the biological fluid begins to stagnate, putting pressure on the walls of the vessels. As a result, the latter become thinner, lose their elasticity and deform, significantly expanding. At the same time, venous networks can be observed on the legs, which rise above the surface of the skin. Sometimes they form varicose veins.
There are various causes of varicose veins in the legs. Treatment is largely determined by the primary factor that launched the pathological process.
The appearance of the disease can lead to:
- hereditary predisposition. There have already been cases of varicose veins in the family, the probability of its occurrence is quite high.
- Increased venous pressure. A sedentary lifestyle, regular vertical loads, and obesity can provoke a violation. This condition is also common among pregnant women.
- Taking hormonal drugs. For example, birth control pills with a high content of the hormone estrogen contribute to the thickening of the blood and, as a result, the development of varicose veins.
- Violation of blood circulation against the background of smoking, wearing too narrow shoes, chronic constipation.
- Hormonal disruptions due to age-related changes in the body.
- Inflammatory diseases of the pelvic organs.
Taking into account the above reasons, we can conclude that all women are at risk for varicose veins in the legs.
The disease is characterized by gradual development. Pronounced clinical manifestations do not appear immediately. The first symptoms are the following:
- Swelling of the legs. It is especially noticeable after a long stay in a sitting position. By morning, as a rule, all symptoms disappear.
- Cramps and numbness of the legs.
- Feeling of heaviness, burning and pain in the legs.
- Red-blue spider veins, clearly visible on the skin.
If these symptoms appear, you should immediately consult a doctor. If ignored, the disease will continue to progress. The clinical picture will be supplemented by:
- seals and darkening on the skin;
- pain in the veins during palpation;
- venous nodes protruding above the surface of the skin;
- severe muscle pain, the intensity of which usually increases with walking.
If the treatment of varicose veins in the legs is not prescribed, the patient will inevitably face complications. They are discussed below in the article.
If you suspect varicose veins, you should consult a phlebologist or vascular surgeon. Diagnosis of the disease begins with a questioning of the patient and examination of the affected areas. To obtain a detailed clinical picture and assess the severity of the disease, it will be necessary to do an ultrasound of the veins and undergo contrast venography.
Many patients, if they do not notice swelling and protruding bumps on the skin, think that the disease has bypassed. However, such a clinical picture is typical for an advanced stage of the pathological process, when the only method of treating varicose veins in the legs is surgery. Its danger lies not in the appearance of cosmetic defects, pain and burning.
Causing stagnant processes, the pathology provokes the appearance of blood clots in the vessels - dense blood clots, consisting mainly of red blood cells. They quickly spread throughout the body, can get into the heart, lungs and even the brain. As a result, blood clots completely block the vessels, leading to blockage. The following health problems are the result of the ongoing changes:
- myocardial infarction;
The consequence of these conditions is disability, and in especially serious cases - death.
Separately, it is necessary to talk about a frequent companion of varicose veins - a trophic ulcer. The causes of its appearance are chronic venous insufficiency and increased pressure in the veins. Such ulcers do not heal for a long time, they are difficult to treat. At the same time, they significantly worsen the quality of life of a person, limiting his ability to work. Swelling, pain, and bad breath are just some of the symptoms of an ulcer. Sometimes they even degenerate into a malignant tumor. Therefore, you can not ignore and run varicose veins on the legs. Treatment should begin as soon as the diagnosis is confirmed.
Methods of treatment
There are two options for treating the disease: conservative and surgical. The choice of treatment for varicose veins in the legs is up to the doctor. In this case, the doctor must take into account the severity of the disease, the presence of concomitant health problems, the age of the patient and other factors.
Conservative methods (drug therapy, compression therapy, exercise therapy, physiotherapy) are recommended at the initial stage of the pathological process, as well as for women during pregnancy. With advanced forms, surgical intervention is required. Today, minimally invasive methods (sclerotherapy, laser coagulation) are also actively practiced. They give good results and allow you to permanently get rid of a cosmetic defect.
More details about each of the methods will be discussed later in the article.
External treatment: creams, ointments and gels
In the case of varicose veins, damage occurs first to the superficial, but only after the deep vessels, which leads to congestion. At the initial stage, external means are especially effective. From varicose veins in the legs, various ointments, creams and gels are prescribed. They are recommended to be applied exclusively to the affected area twice a day.
All drugs are usually divided into several conditional groups:
- based on heparin. They have a resolving effect and prevent blood stasis.
- Based on natural ingredients. In chronic varicose veins, pain is relieved; during pregnancy, leg fatigue is reduced.
- Non-steroid drugs. Used to prevent inflammation, as well as in the treatment of thrombosis and thrombophlebitis.
- Based on hormones. They have antihistamine and anti-inflammatory effects.
The only contraindication to the use of these drugs is the presence of skin injuries.
Drug treatment of varicose veins in the legs is the basis of therapy. His help is resorted to regardless of the stage of the disease. Prescribed drugs are available in several forms: tablets, capsules, injection solutions. They have a variety of effects on the body:
- Phlebotonics. This is a large group of drugs whose action is aimed at improving blood flow in the affected area and the tone of the vascular walls.
- Blood-thinning drugs. They prevent the formation of blood clots, improve blood circulation. Similar remedies for varicose veins in the legs are used strictly according to the doctor's prescription.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs. Contribute to the relief of pain, reduce swelling, inhibit the process of gluing platelets. The dosage of drugs and the duration of administration is determined by the doctor.
Using compression stockings
The fair sex is more likely than men to experience varicose veins. This is due to hormonal changes occurring in the body (for example, menopause or pregnancy). Therefore, the best option for preventing varicose veins in the legs and subsequently treating them is the use of special tights or stockings. Compression underwear compresses the lower limbs and prevents stagnant processes. In the case of an already developed disease, it protects against pain discomfort, swelling and fatigue.
Features of hirudotherapy
Treatment of varicose veins in the legs with leeches has been known for a long time. Otherwise it is called hirudotherapy.
In the saliva of leeches there is a special enzyme that prevents blood clotting. Therefore, to eliminate stagnant processes, they often resort to their help. Having sucked, the parasite falls off on its own after a while. This happens only after it is saturated with blood. The procedure is carried out exclusively in stationary conditions and only by qualified specialists. After it, for some time, the wounds may bleed. This is a natural phenomenon that should not be feared. Hirudotherapy is especially effective in the initial stages of the pathological process.
Help of traditional medicine
As an addition to the main course of therapy, doctors recommend the treatment of varicose veins in the legs with folk remedies. There are many recipes. Everyone will be able to choose for themselves the most acceptable and convenient option.
The most popular is apple cider vinegar. It contains more than 20 minerals and trace elements, as well as vitamins A, C and B. This remedy helps to strengthen blood vessels, relieve swelling. It perfectly tones the skin. The following are the main ways to use apple cider vinegar for varicose veins:
- Rubbing. After water procedures, this remedy must be rubbed into the affected areas with massage movements and not washed off until the next bath.
- Compresses. Gauze must be moistened in vinegar solution, applied to the affected area. Top with a plastic bag and a terry towel. Then you need to take a lying position so that the legs are 50 cm higher than the body. The duration of the procedure is 30 minutes.
- Pouring. 2 liters of water will require 150 g of apple cider vinegar. The legs should be put in a basin and water the swollen veins with the prepared solution. You need to repeat the procedure for 5 minutes. There is no need to wipe your feet afterwards. They should dry naturally.
Recommends traditional medicine treatment of varicose veins of the legs and clay. Available in blue, white or green. This tool can be purchased at a pharmacy. It should be applied to varicose areas, after soaking in cold water. The layer thickness must be at least 1 cm. From above it must be covered with polyethylene, additional insulation is not required. This is a cold wrap. The duration of the procedure is from 1 to 1. 5 hours. After it, you need to take a cool shower.
Cold wrapping helps to narrow the veins, improve blood circulation. As a result, waste and toxins are removed. Also, the wrap well relieves fatigue from the legs and stops swelling. To achieve a positive effect, at least 12 procedures are required with a frequency of 2 times a week.
To eliminate varicose veins, you can use the flowers of white acacia. They are used in the form of lotions, rubbing or compresses. Tincture dissolves venous nodes well. To prepare it, you need 100 g of flowers, pour 0. 5 liters of vodka, leave in a dark place for 3 weeks. After it needs to be filtered. Rub the product into the affected areas daily with massage movements. To restore full blood circulation, the procedure must be repeated daily.
Another popular recipe is white willow bark baths. It can be purchased at a pharmacy. For the procedure, you will need to grind the bark, then pour 2 tablespoons of raw materials into 400 ml of water and boil over low heat. The finished product must be poured into the bathroom. The procedure takes about 30 minutes. Immediately after it, it is imperative to put on compression stockings and let your legs rest. This treatment should be repeated every other day for 3 months. To enhance the effect, the decoction should be diluted with an infusion of oak bark in approximately equal proportions.
Many patients do not disdain the treatment of varicose veins in the legs with urine. However, this method of therapy raises many questions among doctors and is rather unpleasant during implementation. Therefore, the decision on its necessity must be made by the patient himself.
Complex exercise therapy
From the veins in the legs, special exercises help. The exercise therapy complex should be selected by a competent specialist. If performed regularly, blood flow in the lower extremities improves. The most popular exercises are listed below:
- In a standing position, it is necessary to alternately and vigorously lift the heels.
- Sitting on a chair, you can roll a small ball on the floor with your feet.
- In a standing position, slowly raise and lower your toes.
Exercises are always selected individually depending on the severity of the symptoms of the disease.
Nutrition for varicose veins
According to reviews, the treatment of varicose veins in the legs is not complete without changing the diet. First of all, it is important to exclude fatty and salty, spices and alcohol. You also have to forget about sweets. To improve the condition of blood vessels, berries, apples, citrus fruits are useful. They contain a large amount of antioxidants and flavonoids, rutin. In general, nutrition should be correct and balanced.
In order to thin the blood, it is important to properly organize the drinking regimen. It is necessary to consume up to 2 liters of fluid per day.
Minimally invasive techniques
Some patients, especially the fair sex, delay the treatment of varicose veins in the legs. In the photo after the intervention, scars and scars can often be observed. However, medicine does not stand still, constantly developing and introducing new methods of therapeutic action.
In the case of varicose veins, so-called minimally invasive techniques are actively practiced today. They do not require deep surgical intervention, are practically painless and do not entail complications. Among them, the following should be especially noted:
- laser treatment;
- radiofrequency ablation.
Let's look at each option in more detail below.
This is the most effective treatment for varicose veins in the legs. The procedure is recommended to be carried out at the initial stage, when only superficial veins are affected. During its implementation, the doctor injects a sclerosant drug through a syringe or microcatheter. The diameter of the latter is equal to the thickness of a human hair. The procedure itself is painless. The sclerosant glues the walls of the affected vein from the inside, removing it from the circulatory system. As a result, it dries up and ceases to function, gradually disappearing from the surface of the skin.
Sclerotherapy lasts no more than half an hour. During this time, the doctor makes several injections through punctures in the skin. Usually, about three such procedures are required at intervals of a week. Complications rarely develop. As a rule, they are limited to itching at the puncture site, peeling of the skin. These unpleasant symptoms disappear on their own within 10 days. In rare cases, thrombophlebitis develops. After the course of treatment, it is important to adhere to some restrictions: avoid stress on the legs, do not visit the bathhouse, hot showers.
Treatment of varicose veins on the legs with a laser has many advantages:
- no traces on the skin after manipulation;
- painlessness of manipulations;
- the procedure takes several minutes;
- recovery is fast.
The laser device generates waves of a certain length. Passing through the venous blood, they generate heat and seal the affected vessel from the inside. As a result, it is excluded from the bloodstream. Blood supply is further carried out through deep veins and collaterals. They take on the entire load, and within a few days completely replace the removed vessel.
The procedure is performed using local anesthesia. It lasts no more than 30 minutes. After that, the patient can immediately return to the usual rhythm of life. Laser treatment is not recommended during pregnancy and lactation, as well as in case of exacerbation of chronic diseases, with poor blood clotting.
How to treat varicose veins with radiofrequency ablation, literally 10 years ago, medicine did not know. Even today, this method is not universally used due to the high cost of the equipment needed to carry out the treatment.
The principle of therapy is in many ways similar to laser treatment. Through an incision in the skin, the specialist inserts a radiofrequency waveguide into the lumen of the affected vessel. By emitting radio waves, it seals the vessel from the inside. The vein is excluded from the bloodstream, and over time is replaced by connective tissue.
Radiofrequency ablation is not recommended for patients with obesity, atherosclerosis. The procedure must be performed by a qualified specialist in order to avoid complications.
How to treat varicose veins in the legs if the methods listed above were ineffective? In this case, doctors recommend a traditional operation - phlebectomy. They also resort to her help if not superficial, but deep veins are affected.
The operation involves the removal of vessels affected by varicose veins surgically, resulting in the restoration of blood flow. It will last about two hours, and after manipulations, small scars or hematomas may remain on the skin. The latter disappear on their own within a few weeks.
The main indications for phlebectomy are the following:
- extensive varicose veins;
- violation of the outflow of blood;
- pathological varicose veins;
- trophic changes in the skin.
A prerequisite for the operation is the absence of pustules, wounds and rashes in the affected area.
During the entire rehabilitation period, which usually lasts up to two months, it is important to follow the doctor's recommendations. Compression garments should be worn and excessive physical exertion should be avoided. In addition, it is better to refuse to visit baths and saunas, laser hair removal. Otherwise, the patient can maintain the usual rhythm of life.
How to treat varicose veins, the doctor should tell. Can this disease be prevented?
In the first place, people at risk should think about prevention. These are those whose work is directly related to excessively high physical activity or its complete absence, pregnant women, overweight women, men with a hereditary predisposition.
To prevent the disease, doctors recommend maintaining an active lifestyle. You can do sports (swimming, biking), walking, climbing stairs and not using the elevator. When sedentary, it is important to periodically warm up and do simple exercises for the legs.
As a prophylaxis against veins in the legs, compression underwear should be used. This is especially true for people in whose family cases of the disease have already been recorded. During pregnancy and flights, during long bus / train trips or training, it is necessary to wear compression stockings, wrap the lower limbs with special elastic bandages.
In conclusion, it should be noted that you should not be afraid of varicose veins. On the contrary, it is necessary to pay close attention to your own health, and if the initial signs of damage appear, immediately consult a doctor.