It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking about varicose veins and spider veins as purely cosmetic issues that need to be handled in the name of aesthetic preferences. However, the cause of these veins showing up at the surface of the skin lies well below what’s visible to the naked eye. For many people, recognizing what provokes the development of varicose and spider veins may very well be the first step in preventing their increase over time.
Many physicians today can confidently point to circulator issues when it comes to pinpointing why varicose veins and spider veins develop. In order to function properly, the human body relies heavily on a network of veins and arteries to move blood throughout the body. While arteries carry blood filled with oxygen away from the heart out towards other parts of the body, veins are responsible for returning oxygen-depleted blood back to the heart to be replenished. In order for veins to be able to move blood against the force of gravity back to the heart, they are equipped with a series of one-way valves. These valves guarantee that blood moves quickly and easily in the right direction.
When one or a series of valves malfunctions, it doesn’t take long for circulatory problems to follow. As blood begins to flow in the opposite direction, away from the heart, it quickly pools in the legs or lower extremities. Here, pressure begins to build on the vein walls. The result of this condition is often the development of bulging varicose veins or spider veins as blood looks for other vessels to follow near the surface of the skin. It’s not uncommon for varicose veins to be accompanied by several painful symptoms including swelling, skin discoloration or even issues related to mobility.
While it’s generally understood that complete prevention of the development of varicose or spider veins is impossible, there are many steps a person can take in an attempt to slow or prevent new veins from showing up in the future. Because their development is closely linked to poor blood circulation, maintaining a regular exercise regiment is often looked at as a way of preventing further varicose or spider vein development. Even periodic walks or aerobic exercise can do much in the way of promoting healthy blood flow throughout the body and reducing the pressure of blood on the vein walls. Exercise is closely linked to overall weight control, which can also play a part in vein health. Added weight causes added pressures on veins that are working hard to return blood to the heart. Maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise helps to reduce blood pressure and ultimately, gives veins a boost in performing their best.
Lifestyle Adjustments for Varicose Veins
Poor circulation leading to the potential development of varicose or spider veins is often linked to situations where a person must stand or sit for long periods of time. From sitting at a desk all day for work to spending multiple hours on a plane for travel, those that find themselves in extended periods of immobility are more susceptible to poor blood flow which can be linked to vein disease or insufficiencies in the long-term. Simple steps such as regularly flexing the feet and ankles, elevating the legs above the heart, or taking frequent walks can make a big difference when it comes to improved blood circulation in the lower extremities.
Consider the Benefits of Compression Garments
The clothing we choose to wear might also make a difference when it comes to the development of varicose or spider veins over time. Tight-fitting apparel can be a source of vessel constriction and can be swapped out for more flexible or comfortable materials to promote healthy blood flow. Similarly, wearing low heels or flat shoes promotes calf muscle movement during the day and improves circulation through the legs. Those that are suffering from a venous insufficiency or know they are prone to developing vein disease may want to consider the benefits of wearing compression garments. Available as stockings and sleeves, these garments are designed to improve blood circulation-ultimately helping to prevent deep vein thrombosis and are highly recommended during travel.
Compression garments are available as over-the-counter purchases for those that are looking for general support and better blood flow. However, prescription compression garments such as stockings or sleeves are often the first choice of physicians treating patients who are prone to developing vein disease or are suffering from underlying conditions. These garments are specially ordered to fit the patient’s needs and are designed with graduated levels of compression to promote the best blood flow possible. Compression stockings are also used in the treatment of lipedema.
Contact Our Team Today
Whether you’re looking to establish vein health care or are interested in learning more about varicose vein prevention through compression garments or you’re simply looking to learn more about the vein specialties in St Louis, Dr. Wright and his team at the St. Louis Laser Vein Center are here for you. Contact us today to learn more or schedule your initial consultation about our vein specialties in St Louis.