Everything you need to know about exercising with varicose veins

exercise and varicose veinsWe often tend to exercise more in the summer months, helped by the warmer weather and the fear of baring your lower limbs in shorts or on the beach. However, if you suffer from varicose veins, there are some types of exercise that could actually make them worse.

Here, you’ll discover everything you need to know about exercising with varicose veins and avoiding the potential problems it can cause.

Exercise and varicose veins

While some types of exercise can make venous disease worse, in general, exercise is pretty good for varicose veins. This is because it helps to boost blood circulation throughout the body. Varicose veins show up more in the legs due to blood flow restrictions. So, by exercising and improving blood flow, in turn it will reduce the appearance of those unsightly veins.

Regular exercise can also help to prevent the development of new varicose veins. In particular, if you focus on calf muscle exercises, you can help more blood to be pumped back to the heart. Walking and riding a bike can both be especially great at toning the calf muscles, as well as burning calories.

Of course, it’s not all about blood flow. Varicose veins can get worse if you put on weight. Being overweight places additional pressure on the legs, making it even harder for the body to pump blood back to the heart. So, exercise which focuses on weight loss can in turn help to combat varicose veins.

Which exercises should be avoided?

So, you know some of the exercises that are good for minimising varicose veins, but what about exercises you should avoid? Running is one exercise that can worsen venous disease. High-impact running will cause stress to your joints and can cause the varicose veins to swell up even more. Strength based exercises can also be a problem. So, try to avoid weight lifting and other strenuous exercises.

Even sit ups can cause varicose veins to get worse. They, and other abdominal exercises, can place pressure on the abdomen, preventing blood from flowing up to the heart. This will in turn cause the blood to start pooling in the legs, making the veins appear more distinctive.

If fitting in the right kind of exercise is difficult, there are other measures you can take that can improve vein health:

  1. While you’re sitting or standing up, rock your feet back and forth to activate the calf pump.
  2. Wear compression stockings, particularly if you’re going to spend long periods of sitting or standing, travelling or pregnant.
  3. Avoid wearing high heels for long periods of time.

Overall, light to moderate exercise is perfectly fine and often helpful at minimising venous disease. However, you do need to be aware that not all exercise is good exercise for varicose vein sufferers. If you’re worried about your varicose veins this summer, why not book a consultation at the Cornwall Vein Clinic to see how easy they can be treated?

How cost cutting in the NHS has affected those suffering with varicose veins

nhs varicose vein cost cuttingThose suffering from venous disease are finding it more difficult to get referrals for treatment due to cost-cutting measures on the NHS.

Now, referrals are being delayed and only those suffering from severe venous disease are being referred to the NHS. This means many patients are being left without treatment, with many not even realising they need treatment.

So, why are varicose veins being treated as a low priority in the UK? Well, it’s largely because they don’t pose an obvious threat until they become quite severe.

Understanding the varicose vein grading system

GPs typically use a grading system to determine when to refer patients for varicose vein treatment. The grades range from 1-6 and referrals are only given to patients who exceed grade 3.

The main reason behind this is because prior to grade 3, the only reported symptoms of the condition aren’t actually medical. There isn’t any discomfort or pain and the issue appears to be largely cosmetic, with most patients simply disliking how the veins look. So, it’s understandable GPs wouldn’t refer them for treatment.

However, patients who experience grade 3 symptoms often have swelling, discomfort and pain. So, it is these patients who are suffering the most as they are being refused a referral for treatment until grade 4.

Treatment is available, regardless of grade

The main thing patients with venous disease need to know is that they don’t need to go through the NHS for treatment. Treatment is available and in some cases, will be covered by insurance.

At the Cornwall Vein Clinic, we offer one of the largest choices of varicose vein treatments available. We encourage patients to seek treatment as early as possible. Not only will this prevent you from experiencing the more uncomfortable symptoms further down the line, but it will also make the treatment much easier. In early cases, non-invasive procedures can be used, whereas once the condition has progressed past a certain point, surgery may be the only option.

To see which treatment options are available to you, book a consultation today.

Does venous disease progress over time?

varicose vein treatment optionsVenous disease is extremely common in the UK, though the majority of sufferers are unaware of the dangers it presents.

Varicose veins are often seen as a simple cosmetic issue, so for those who don’t have any uncomfortable symptoms, they often think it doesn’t really need to be treated.

The trouble is, venous disease can worsen over time. So, while the bulging veins may only appear to be a frustrating cosmetic issue, if left untreated they could worsen and cause further issues down the line.

Why venous disease should always be treated ASAP

So, just how much worse could venous disease become if it is left untreated? Well, in extreme cases the blockage and blood flow issues causing the bulging veins could lead to blood clots. These can travel up through the blood stream, into the heart, causing a potentially fatal heart attack.

Now, that may be rare, but it can happen. At the very least however, the veins will simply continue to bulge out more and look worse over time. Swelling will also start to occur, and the legs will start to ache. There’s also the chance open sores will develop, along with ulcers. So, it becomes more uncomfortable the longer you leave them.

There’s also the fact that the longer you leave venous disease untreated, the harder it is to correct. There are a lot of non-invasive treatments available these days which can safely and practically painlessly eliminate the problem before it progresses.

However, if left until they become too severe, surgery may be the only option.

Early varicose vein treatment options

The main benefit of getting venous disease treated as soon as possible, besides the obvious cosmetic benefit, is it will be much simpler to correct.

There are lots of different treatments available, with early options including injections and laser treatment. The exact treatment which will be most beneficial for you will be determined during an initial consultation.

Overall, venous disease may seem like a simple frustrating and embarrassing concern, but it could lead to much worse health issues if left untreated. With so many great non-invasive treatment options available these days, it makes sense to seek treatment as soon as possible.

When Should You Consult a Vein Specialist?

Vein SpecialistThere are a lot of reasons you may need to visit a doctor, but when it comes to veins many people are unsure where to turn. Is there anything a vein specialist can do and how can you tell if your vein worries are serious enough to get them checked out?
Here, we’ll look at when you should seek help for vein-related issues.

1. Are your legs constantly tired?

Often the first sign of a vein issue is tired, heavy legs. However, it’s also easy to miss; especially if you are on your feet all day where your legs would naturally feel tired in the evening.

If they also feel heavy however, it’s a sure sign you’re suffering from a mild swelling. This is caused due to slow blood flow. The good news is, it’s easy to treat with minimally invasive procedures.

2. Do you have a genetic link to vein issues?

If poor veins run in the family, it’s important to take precautions to prevent venous disease. Did you know that if you have an immediate family member who suffers from poor veins, you are 60% likely to develop the same issues? If you have two immediate family members with venous disease on the other hand, your chances of suffering from the same condition increases to 90%.

So, it’s worth consulting a doctor or vein specialist at least once a year to ensure if you do develop vein problems, it can be treated as quickly as possible.

3. Have you got open sores on either or both legs?

Leg ulcers more than likely point to venous related issues. However, it is important to have the cause diagnosed as you could be suffering from diabetic or arterial ulcers. If it is caused by venous disease, there’s an excellent range of treatments available which can help to close the sores and more importantly, keep them closed.

Overall, varicose veins, or venous disease, is extremely common, yet it often goes undiagnosed. What you may not realise is that if left untreated, vein issues can develop into more serious conditions. In rare cases for example, varicose veins can be deadly. So, it’s better to get your veins checked out by a vein specialist if you suspect there’s something wrong.

Could Your Foot Pain Be Caused by Varicose Veins?

If you’ve been suffering from foot pain, did you know it could be a symptom of varicose veins?

While most commonly associated with bulging, unsightly veins, they can also cause irritation, swelling and pain. Foot pain is typically blamed on plantar fasciitis, but it’s not always the case. So, how can varicose veins lead to foot pain?

Varicose veins in the foot

varicose veins in the footThe main reason foot pain and varicose veins are rarely linked, is because varicose veins are mainly thought to develop in the calves. However, they can in fact develop practically anywhere on the body, including the foot.

If you develop varicose veins on the sole of the foot, you can experience the same type of symptoms as you would with plantar fasciitis. So, to diagnose the problem, an imaging scan would need to be carried out.

While they can affect anybody, they do tend to be more prevalent in women who are over the age of 55.

Treating varicose veins in the foot

Treating varicose veins in the foot, also referred to as atypical plantar fasciitis, is much the same as treating them in the legs. There’s a wide range of treatment options available including sclerotherapy, compression therapy and surgery.

In order to determine which treatment is right for you, it’s important to attend a consultation. A vein specialist can tell you which treatments are likely to be most effective. You may be pleasantly surprised by how simple the treatment is. Most people associate varicose vein treatments with surgery, but these days its only necessary to go under the knife as a last resort.

It’s a common misconception that varicose veins are harmless and purely a cosmetic issue. The truth is, they can be uncomfortable and painful and if left untreated, have the potential to lead to more serious health problems.

Overall, if you are suffering from foot pain, it’s really important to get them checked out. If you work on your feet all day, or spend long periods of time sat down, you’re at an increased risk of developing varicose veins.

Want to show off your legs this summer? Treat those varicose veins today

varicose vein treatments for summerA few warmer days and the realisation hits that summer is just around the corner. In fact, did you know you have just two months to get yourself ready to reveal your legs on a regular basis?

If you’re worried about baring your legs this summer due to unsightly varicose veins, it’s not too late to get them treated. By seeking treatment now, you can flaunt those legs and stay cool in the hot summer sun.

Walk in, walk out – treatments have never been easier

Long gone are the days where you needed to undergo long, painful surgery to remove varicose veins. Treatments have come a long way and thanks to a range of non-invasive options, patients can now walk in and walk right back out on their lunch break.

It all depends upon the severity of your varicose veins, but the majority of patients do find non-surgical treatments to be effective.

These treatments not only take less time to perform, but they also reduce bruising, swelling and scarring. However, that isn’t to say you won’t experience any side effects, so if you want your legs to be summer ready, it’s better to seek treatment as soon as possible.

More than just a cosmetic issue

Of course, varicose veins are more than a cosmetic concern. Did you know leaving those unsightly veins untreated can lead to much more serious problems further down the line?

It’s a huge misconception that varicose veins aren’t dangerous. They absolutely can be and in rare cases can prove fatal. If the veins are blocked and circulation is poor, eventually this can lead to the development of blood clots. If left untreated, these clots can move up from the legs, right to the heart.

Even if they don’t prove fatal, there’s still a lot of other issues you could end up facing. When there’s simplistic yet high-tech non-surgical treatment options out there, it doesn’t make sense to leave varicose veins untreated.

So, by seeking treatment today, not only will you get to show off those legs this summer – you’ll also get to eliminate the chances of suffering further health complaints later on in life. Do something your future self will thank you for, book a consultation with a vein specialist.

How NOT to treat varicose veins

On your search for varicose vein treatments, you’ll come across all kinds of recommended solutions. From natural remedies to supposed miracle cures – the varicose vein treatment market is huge and there’s plenty of companies keen to cash in.

Varicose veins are unsightly, can cause a lot of discomfort and embarrassment and many sufferers are scared they’ll have to undergo surgery to have them removed. So, it’s understandable they are often tempted by the alternative options recommended. However, many of these aren’t just ineffective, they can also be potentially dangerous.

Here, we’ll look at some of the treatment options you may have considered which should be avoided:

Tattoos – the cover up solution

Why undergo treatment when you don’t have to? Tattoos can seem like a great way to cover up those unsightly veins. While it’s true that it isn’t considered dangerous to tattoo over varicose veins, it certainly doesn’t help the problem.
Even if you manage to cover up the cosmetic issue, varicose veins can be dangerous when left untreated. You’ll still have the underlying issues of poor circulation and pooling of blood. So, if that isn’t treated, not only won’t these veins disappear, but they could lead to worse issues further down the line.

There’s also the fact that tattooing over varicose veins is going to be really uncomfortable. There’s also a chance the tattoo will look distorted, it could rupture the veins and it increases the risk of infection. So, when you compare the benefits of tattooing over varicose veins to the risks, it’s simply not worth it.

Massage therapy

massage treatment for varicose veinsAs massage is known to boost circulation, it’s logical to consider it as a way to minimise varicose veins. However, did you know massaging over the area could actually exacerbate the problem? For this reason, many therapists will even refuse to massage over any bulging veins a patient may have.

Natural, miracle cures

Now, there are a few natural remedies which can soothe varicose veins, but they should never be used as an actual treatment option. There’s also far too many scam products out there which will prove to be both ineffective and a waste of money. Basically, any product which claims to be a miracle cure for varicose veins should be avoided.

So, what should you do? Well, covering up the problem is fine for a while, but if you want to ensure your varicose veins don’t lead to more serious health problems, proper treatment will be required. This doesn’t have to mean surgery. In fact, the majority of patients find they only need minimally invasive, non-surgical treatments.

If you’re worried about varicose veins and you want to safely eliminate them once and for all, contact the Cornwall Vein Clinic today.

Varicose Veins – Dos and Don’ts

regular exercise can help varicose veinsIt’s easy to dismiss varicose veins as a purely cosmetic issue, but when left untreated they do have the potential to lead to potentially serious issues. There are also things you could be doing right now which are making the problem worse.

If you have varicose veins, there are numerous things you should and shouldn’t be doing to ensure they don’t become an even bigger problem. Here we’ll look at some of the most important dos and don’ts.

Do – Wear compression stockings

Compression stockings are often dismissed as a waste of time, but the right ones do actually make a massive difference to your varicose veins. This is especially true if you spend long periods of time either on your feet or if you’re stationary for hours on end. They help to improve blood flow and reduce swelling.

The thing to remember with compression stockings however is that they are only a temporary solution and should ideally be worn until you undergo a more permanent treatment.

Don’t – Rely upon natural home remedies or ointments

If you research varicose vein treatments, you’ll come across a lot of so called miracle products claiming to help eliminate the problem. There’s also a lot of home remedies advertised which claim to work. Unfortunately, the majority of these ointments and home remedies are useless. They don’t help the problem so essentially, you’ll just end up wasting money and risking your varicose veins getting worse.

Do – Exercise frequently

Regular exercise can really help to minimise the symptoms of varicose veins. Not only does it help boost blood flow, but it also helps control weight. Varicose veins are often made worse, or brought on, by weight gain due to the pressure it places onto the legs. So, regular exercise is going to help lower your weight and in turn reduce unsightly veins.

Don’t – Wear high heeled shoes

This is probably one of the most surprising on the list, but high heeled shoes can place extra strain onto the calf muscles. This in turn can cause your varicose veins to get worse. Instead, opt for low heels or flat shoes until you can undergo treatment.

These are some of the most important do’s and don’ts you should follow if you’re suffering from varicose veins. However, it is better to seek treatment as soon as possible to eliminate the problem entirely. There are lots of different treatment options available and some are non-invasive. Contact us today to see what treatments could work for you.

Top 5 Varicose Vein Facts

top 5 varicose vein factsVaricose veins may be a very common problem, but they’re still largely misunderstood. Here we’ll look at the top 5 varicose vein facts everyone should know.

1. Varicose veins aren’t the same as spider veins

Although they do look similar varicose veins and spider veins aren’t the same thing. The main difference is the size of the veins. Spider veins are pretty small and they’re also flat. Varicose veins on the other hand are large and often bulge out from the skin.

Of course, this isn’t always the case and some varicose veins don’t actually stick out. It can also be difficult to tell them apart based on colour. While varicose veins do tend to be bluish, they can also be red or purple, the same as spider veins. As it can be difficult to tell them apart, it does help to have them looked over by a vein specialist who will be able to tell you what you’re dealing with.

2. They can be dangerous

By far the biggest misconception about varicose veins is that they are 100% harmless. In most cases, varicose veins aren’t harmful and they are purely a cosmetic concern. However, they can get worse and lead to more serious health issues. Therefore, it is a good idea to have them treated as soon as possible.

3. They are caused by faulty or weak valves

The primary reason varicose veins occur is because the valves in the vein aren’t functioning properly. This could be a genetic issue where the valves are naturally faulty, or they could weaken due to pressure caused by weight gain for example.

4. Some people are more at risk than others

There are several risk factors which increase your chances of developing varicose veins. These include pregnancy, family history, weight gain and gender. Did you know for example, that women tend to develop varicose veins more than men? Age can also play a role as the risk of developing them increases as you get older.

5. There are plenty of treatment options available

While the range of treatment options available these days is impressive, many believe the only option open to them is surgery. This is because in the past, the only option was to have the veins surgically stripped. However, these days you have a range of treatments to choose from, including non-invasive procedures.

The treatment type that’s best for you will depend upon the severity of the varicose veins. Just some of the options include laser treatment, compression stockings and injections.

Overall, these are the top 5 facts about varicose veins everyone should know. It’s important to understand the facts and seek treatment as soon as you can. While varicose veins may not be necessarily harmful, they can be uncomfortable and unsightly. Contact the Cornwall Vein Clinic today to find out more and book a consultation.

Preventing recurring varicose veins with laser treatment

Prevent recurring vein problems with laser vein treatment in CornwallVaricose veins affect millions of people, yet they often go untreated. The biggest reason behind this is its treatment reputation. In the past, surgery was the only solution and it wasn’t pretty. Not only did it involve a long recovery time, but it also wasn’t overly effective. In fact, even today, the recurrence rate of surgery is said to be as much as up to 50%. That’s a very discouraging statistic when you’re trying to decide whether or not to get the problem treated.

However, times have changed and now there’s a huge range of treatments available, with surgery used in only the more severe cases. If you treat varicose veins early, especially with laser treatment, it significantly reduces the chance of them recurring later on in life. Compared to surgery, the recurrence rate is said to be as low as 2%-4%.

How does laser vein treatment work?

There are several types of laser treatments available, with the main difference being the strength of the laser. Endovenous laser ablation is a popular option, using laser energy to seal the veins shut.

Earlier laser treatments were known to cause a lot of discomfort up to five days after the procedure. However, thanks to advancements in the field, newer lasers are much more effective at targeting the area, significantly reducing the discomfort felt during recovery. In fact, some are now virtually painless.

Is it right for you?

While laser treatment is an excellent solution, it may not be suitable for everyone. It is more effective at treating complex varicose veins, but if the problem is severe, surgery may be the only option.

Overall, it’s important to book a consultation and seek advice from a specialist before you decide which treatment option is right for you. Laser treatment can be used to treat a wide range of varicose vein issues, but if could be you only need support stockings if the problem is very mild.