Varicose veins

Fatigue, a feeling of heaviness in the legs, slight swelling of the tissues, swelling of the veins and the first visible "vascular networks" may indicate the development of varicose veins in the lower extremities.

The statistics for this disease are very sad. For example, in one country there are about 37 million people suffering from this disease. Every 6th patient is a girl under 12 years old. Such an early onset of the disease significantly increases the risk of complications that, when neglected, threaten disability and even death.

What's so terrible about varicose veins in the lower extremities? Why is it so important to stop its development in the early stages? For methods of its treatment, preventive measures from the point of view of specialists, as well as many other useful information about varicose veins of the lower extremities, read this article.

What are varicose veins of the lower extremities?

All veins in the human body are divided into deep, superficial and perforated. Deep vessels do almost all the work (90%) of transporting blood to the heart, and perforated vessels are a kind of bridge between deep and superficial. The structure of the veins provides for the presence of valves that direct and promote blood flow only in the right direction. When the circulatory system fails, some of the blood accumulates at some point. This leads to local expansion (elongation) of the vessel. The former suffer from deep veins (so-called internal varicose veins), later superficial in the form of "spider veins and nodes".

For a complete understanding of the severity of the disease, it is worth noting that its progression threatens the development of thrombophlebitis, pulmonary artery occlusion (or thromboembolism), as well as trophic leg ulcers, lymphostasis (swelling and lower extremities). many other problems of the patient's death.

The main causes of varicose veins of the lower extremities

Many factors can provoke the malfunction of blood vessels, blood flow in general and then stimulate the appearance of varicose veins on the superficial veins of the lower extremities. Let's look at the main ones:

causes of varicose veins of the legs
  1. Congenital malformation of the valves located in the venous vessels - the disease can be hereditary. According to statistics, two thirds of patients have close relatives with a similar disease.
  2. Insufficient mobility reduces stress on soft tissues. As a result, reduces the load on blood vessels, their tone.
  3. During the "upright" position, the pressure inside the vessels of the legs increases tenfold. With a long vertical position, the valves cannot cope with the increased load, which provokes a malfunction of their operation.
  4. Decreased vascular tone - can be caused by age-related changes, loss of elasticity of the wall after certain diseases.
  5. Pregnancy - this period is characterized by an increase in blood in a woman's body, as well as the hormones progesterone, estrogen. Together, these changes stimulate the development of varicose veins in the lower extremities. It is true that the normalization of processes is possible approximately 1 year after birth, if no varicose complications have occurred.

Overweight, injuries, previous surgeries, hormonal disorders and the use of contraceptives complete the list of causes for the development of the disease.

Determination of varicose veins of the lower extremities - symptoms and diagnosis

The effectiveness of treatment, the speed of a positive result largely depends on the accuracy and timeliness of diagnosing diseases.

Signs of varicose veins of the lower extremities will help determine the disease in the early stages:

  • the appearance of slight swelling of the legs;
  • swelling of superficial venous vessels, their increase in diameter;
  • itching of the lower extremities with varicose veins;
  • feeling of tiredness, heaviness;
  • burning, pain caused by stretching the walls of the veins;
  • leg cramps;
  • noticeable blue skin on the vein, thickening (thickening) of problem areas of the tissues, the formation of varicose eczema of the lower extremities.
how varicose veins of the legs manifest themselves

Even a slight disruption of the integrity of the skin at the site of eczema can lead to trophic ulcers.

In the case of varicose veins of the lower extremities, the symptoms may appear at a later stage, which is undesirable. Therefore, if you have the slightest suspicion of disease, it is advisable to consult a doctor.

Diagnosis of varicose veins of the lower extremities is performed using special equipment. Such a study is safe, painless and allows you to thoroughly examine the severity of the disease.

There are several diagnostic options:

  • visual inspection;
  • method for color duplex examination - the blood flow map compiled during the examination allows to assess the direction and speed of blood flow through the veins. The procedure informs about the condition of the blood vessels, which is important for predicting the development of varicose veins;
  • phlebography - used very rarely as it involves X-ray examination.

During the diagnosis you can monitor the condition of blood vessels, valves, analyze their functionality and determine the direction of blood flow.

In general, the first reason to visit a doctor is unaesthetic changes. Of the first type, they are harmless, can further develop into serious diseases and complications. Therefore, you should not neglect their importance.

Classification of varicose veins of the lower extremities

Doctors usually distinguish 5 stages of varicose veins of the lower extremities, each of which has its own symptoms:

  • Stage 1- reticular varicose veins of the lower extremities, which is the easiest to treat. It is distinguished by the presence of a "vascular network". Enlarged veins are visible through the thin skin (especially in the pit below the knee), the pain still does not occur.
  • Stage 2- segmental varicose veins of the lower extremities, accompanied by slight fatigue, a feeling of heaviness in the legs, even convulsive spasms in the calf muscle, slight swelling of the veins is possible;
  • Stage 3- the venous vessels stand out significantly from the skin, especially inside the lower leg, thin skin with dark brown spots, itching, rash, signs of dermatitis. Increased swelling causes discomfort when moving.
  • Stage 4of varicose veins of the lower extremities - the symptoms are pronounced, complications of the disease appear, such as thrombophlebitis, manifestations of trophic ulcers. Dilated swollen nodules appear strongly through the thinned skin of the lower leg, feet and thigh.
  • Stage 5- has all the symptoms of stage 4. In addition, the disease progresses in the groin area. The number of trophic ulcers is rapidly increasing, as is the incidence of thrombophlebitis crises. At this stage, the doctor finds damage with varicose veins in the lower extremities.

The main task of both the patient and his doctor is to prevent the development of the disease after the initial stages and the sooner you contact a phlebologist, the easier it will be to stop the disease.

Treatment of varicose veins of the lower extremities

methods of treating varicose veins

Medicine does not stand still, but develops the latest technologies to combat venous diseases. The treatment of varicose veins of the lower extremities can be performed by conservative methods (drugs, minimally invasive procedures), surgical, home remedies in combination with massage.

Deteriorating the attractiveness of appearance is not the whole list of possible problems. Complications and disabilities can contribute to this. Modern medicine offers a wide range of non-surgical effects on problem areas and often physiotherapy for varicose veins of the lower extremities is most effective in the early stages of the disease:

  1. The use of creamy preparations, gels, ointments for varicose veins of the lower extremities, these drugs bring noticeable relief. They are easily applied to the surface, do not cause pain and discomfort.
  2. The use of venotonics - drugs that normalize the functioning of the veins in varicose veins of the lower extremities.
  3. Laser exposure - the method of endovenous laser obliteration of veins (ELOV) is widely used in the fight against varicose veins. The principle of the procedure is to stop the functioning of the problem vein due to the impact of heat radiation on it. Laser manipulations are performed under local anesthesia, no restrictions on actions and additional hospital stay are required. The patient has the right to return home immediately after the procedure.
  4. Magnetic therapy for varicose veins of the lower extremities is a modern auxiliary method that promotes blood thinning, stimulates blood circulation and, as a result, promotes the removal of toxins from tissues and saturates them with oxygen.
  5. RF exposure - RF works like a laser. They exclude the problem vessel from the circulatory system, thus eliminating the risk of possible complications;
  6. Sclerotherapy - involves the introduction of a special drug inside the diseased vein, which favors the adhesion of the walls of the vessel and its self-elimination from the blood after some time.

It should be noted that prior consultation with a physician and special examination are required.

Operations for varicose veins of the lower extremities

Late visits to the doctor, neglect of the disease lead to CVI (chronic venous insufficiency) and the inexpediency of minimally invasive therapy. In such cases, surgery comes to the rescue.

varicose vein surgery

The following factors are considered indications for surgery for varicose veins of the lower extremities:

  • The disease is in severe stages, when trophic ulcers progressively appear;
  • development of thrombophlebitis;
  • discomfort associated with excessive fatigue, swelling of the legs.

The principle of surgical intervention is based, like conservative techniques, on the elimination of the problem vein from the circulatory system. Only with minimally invasive methods are the vessels glued together and during the operation they are tied on both sides and removed.

There are several basic methods for surgical treatment of varicose veins of the lower extremities:

  1. Phlebectomyis ​​a classic variant of surgery. Small incisions (up to five millimeters) are made in the skin, through which a probe is inserted and the diseased vein is removed. The procedure takes no more than two hours and does not involve prolonged hospitalization.
  2. Miniphlebectomy- differs from the classic phlebectomy in the size of the hole in the skin. In this case, these are minimal breakthroughs that minimize the rehabilitation period and leave no visible traces on the body.
  3. Short Remedy- Requires an exact location for the problem area. Only the affected segment is removed. No traces remained after the procedure.
  4. Vein dissectionunder the control of a highly optical endocope. It is injected directly into the diseased vein, the operation is performed through a monitor. The experience, the qualification of the surgeon increases the chances of a successful operation.

Surgery will solve the problem of inflamed veins, reduce the risk of developing the disease and help relieve symptoms in the later stages. Compression underwear, venotonic drugs are the main condition for the rehabilitation period. They contribute to early recovery, normalize blood circulation.

Treatment of varicose veins of the lower extremities with folk remedies

folk remedies for the treatment of varicose veins of the legs

Home remedies occupy a separate niche in the treatment of varicose veins of the lower extremities. There is no need to claim their great importance, but there is also nothing to belittle their dignity. Cooked decoctions, infusions, compresses can reduce pain, relieve heaviness and fatigue after a hard day.

As an option for treating reticular varicose veins, traditional medicine recommends a tincture of calamus root in red wine for internal use. There are also recipes for external rubbing.

Unopened birch buds are infused for 10 days at 0, 5 liters of vodka. When ready, the product is rubbed into the skin.

Useful compresses for varicose veins of the lower extremities of yogurt with garlic or wrapping with fresh cabbage leaves.

You shouldn't expect super fast results. The drugs are suitable for prophylactic purposes and for the treatment of primary varicose veins of the lower extremities, together with drugs prescribed by the doctor individually. Do not use any method of treatment without talking to your doctor.

Massage and gymnastics for varicose veins of the lower extremities

The healing properties of massage have long been known to mankind. Massage of the lower extremities with varicose veins also has a beneficial effect. It improves blood and lymph flow, normalizes venous pressure and begins metabolic processes in tissues.

The massage technique is special. It is forbidden to touch the area of ​​the affected vein in any possible way, only around it. Light pinching, wide grip and stroking are the main techniques of the procedure. It is recommended to combine massage with a set of exercises.

Gymnastics for varicose veins of the lower extremities involves performing a range of actions:

gymnastics for varicose veins
  1. Warming up - you should lie down for two to three minutes with your legs raised. They should rest on a wall or other hill, this position ensures their complete relaxation.
  2. Exercise "Bicycle" - the movements are identical as when cycling. Only the position of the body "lying on its back".
  3. Exercise "Scissors" - raised limbs intersect for at least one minute.
  4. Exercise for the calf muscles - in a supine position, bend one leg so that the knee reaches the chest. Perform reverse movements while massaging the problem muscle. Repeat the procedure four times with each leg.
  5. Stand up. For three to five minutes, lift your toes and lower yourself to the starting position.
  6. The gymnastic complex of exercises or exercise therapy for varicose veins of the lower extremities guarantees a preventive, therapeutic effect aimed at accelerating the flow of venous blood to the heart, increasing vascular tone.

It is important for the doctor not only to approve the set of exercises for daily exercises, but also to make sure that the patient performs them correctly without creating additional stress on the vessels.

Prevention of varicose veins of the lower extremities

It's better to prevent the problem than to cure it later! Experts unanimously recommend the following measures to prevent the disease:

  1. Move more - this reduces the risk of congestion in the blood and lymph.
  2. Exercise regularly for varicose veins.
  3. Shoes should be comfortable, the heel should not exceed four centimeters.
  4. Prolonged sun exposure does not work well on the walls of blood vessels, limit the time for hot baths.
  5. measures for the prevention of varicose veins of the legs
  6. Give preference to a contrast shower, it increases blood circulation.
  7. Focus on fresh vegetables, fruits, plant products. A special diet for varicose veins of the lower extremities is the "best friend" of health.
  8. Rehydrate your body with 2 liters of fluid a day.
  9. Eliminating fatigue, improper sitting or uncomfortable position during rest is the best prevention of varicose veins of the lower extremities.

It should be remembered that varicose veins of the lower extremities is a progressive disease. From painless "stars" can develop into thrombophlebitis and trophic ulcers. Beauty, lack of pain and heaviness in the legs can be maintained by following the simple recommendations of specialists. If you have the slightest suspicion of disease, hurry to the phlebologist. Remember that varicose veins cannot be completely cured, but it is possible to prevent, minimize the risk of its further development. Be healthy!