Reducing Varicose Veins with the Help of Compression Stockings
Varicose veins are a common medical issue affecting millions of adults each year. Bumpy, bulging veins gnarled beneath the skin can cause more that a cosmetic frustration, given that some individuals experience mild to severe pain and discomfort when veins begin to malfunction. Individuals with varicose veins may fight with ongoing swelling, achiness in the feet and legs, as well as prohibitive tightness that makes everyday tasks like walking and exercising a true challenge. Adding to the pain of varicose veins is the unsightly look of blue or purple lines or bulges that are uncomfortably noticeable, leaving some with lowered self-esteem.
Adults living with varicose veins may not have much of an idea about where the issue started. Genetics can play a role, as well as carrying an unhealthy weight for a number of years or leading a lifestyle that requires substantial amounts of time standing throughout the day. Regardless of the underlying cause, varicose veins are the result of a breakdown in the vein wall, which creates pools of blood just beneath the skin’s surface. Over time, vein wall deterioration causes blood to flow in the wrong direction, resulting in a pinching of the veins within the legs. Although varicose veins may rear their ugly head without much notice, there are simple methods that individuals can implement to reduce the discomfort and look of broken vein walls over time.
The Benefits of Compression Stockings
Relieving the pain and discomfort of varicose veins can be done by wearing compression stockings on a regular basis. As sock-like tubes worn on the lower legs, compression stockings add slight pressure to the veins which allows them to loosen. When the blood vessels are given more room to move, the blood in the arteries transitions to the muscles in a relaxed way which ultimately provides a free passage of blood flow back to the heart. The pressure of compression stockings adds greater circulation in the legs, reducing the amount of swelling and pain some individuals with vein issues feel.
One of the main concerns with varicose veins is the formation of blood clots at the site where the veins are broken down. Compression stockings help reduce this risk by improving circulation during the time they are used. Most doctors recommend that compression stockings be worn throughout the day, not at night or while sleeping, on either one or both legs where varicose veins are present. Given the slim design of compression stockings, this varicose vein remedy can be worn beneath clothing without impeding normal daily activities.
Obtaining the Right Compression Stockings
Eddie Chaloner, a vascular surgeon that treats varicose veins in London, explains, “Compression stockings are typically graded in a variety of ways, depending on how much pressure they exert on the leg. For instance, in the UK, a Type 1 stocking is the lightest pressure, while Type 4 places more pressure.” No matter the strength of the compression stocking recommended, all are worn on the lower legs, and they exude greater pressure toward the ankles. Chaloner states that for most adults living with varicose veins, Type 1 or Type 2 compression stockings offer enough pressure on the legs to relieve discomfort throughout the day. Bulging and swelling are also reduced through the consistent use of compression stockings.
Once an individual visits with a vein specialist or primary care provider to discuss options for varicose vein treatment, compression stockings are often the first non-invasive remedy suggested. The medical professional will help the patient understand the different types of compression stockings available, as well as help fit the patient for the most appropriate size of the stocking. If a compression stocking is too small or ends up putting too much pressure on the damaged veins, there may not be a noticeable difference in the pain or discomfort experienced by the patient. As soon as the right fit is selected and used each day, individuals living with varicose veins can experience a great deal of relief without the need for surgery or other more invasive treatments.