Varicose Veins and Yoga

Is Yoga Good For Varicose Veins?

When you suffer with varicose veins, gentle exercise is recommended to get the circulation pumping. However, not all types of exercises are suitable for those suffering with the condition.

One type of exercise which could be good for varicose veins is yoga. Renowned for its physical and mental health benefits, yoga is a gentle yet effective workout. Here, we’ll look at how regular yoga practice can help with varicose veins.

How can yoga help with varicose veins?

Yoga is a slow, mindful practice which helps to reduce stress, maintain a healthy weight and boost circulation. When you have varicose veins, maintaining good circulation is crucial. This prevents the condition from worsening and can even help to prevent varicose veins in the first place in some cases.

The main way that it helps with the condition, however, is that it can ease any swelling you might be experiencing. Pain and discomfort are common symptoms of the condition and yoga can really help to reduce them.

What yoga can’t do however, is eliminate varicose veins or make them heal quicker. It should simply be used as a way to improve the symptoms until you can undergo proper treatment.

Which poses are most beneficial?

There are a number of yoga poses that have proven to be effective at helping to minimise the symptoms of varicose veins.

The mountain pose for example, strengthens the knees, thighs and legs. The boat pose meanwhile, strengthens the core of the body, taking pressure off the legs. You will also find the legs up the wall pose great for boosting circulation in the legs.

Understanding its limitations

While regular light yoga can help to ease the symptoms of varicose veins, it won’t treat the problem. Varicose veins continue to worsen over time. So, if you don’t get them treated, they will simply become more visible and more painful as time goes on.

There is also the risk that varicose veins can develop into a more serious condition. So, if you do already have varicose veins, book a consultation with a vein specialist. They will be able to assess the condition and recommend the best form of treatment to eliminate it.

Looking after your veins

Looking After Your Veins When Working From Home

Working from home can deliver a lot of great benefits. However, it can also lead to a more sedentary lifestyle.

When you aren’t as active, you are more susceptible to a number of health conditions, including varicose veins. While largely viewed as a cosmetic concern, varicose veins can prove harmful to your health if left untreated.

If like millions of others you have worked remotely during the pandemic, you’ll want to take steps to protect your vein health. Here, we’ll look at some of the best ways to protect your veins when you are working from home.

Don’t forget to get up and get moving

When you work from home, you tend to spend your time sitting at a desk all day, then sitting on the sofa in the evenings. This can drastically slow down and restrict the circulation in the legs.

To look after your vein health, it’s important to get up and get moving. Even if it’s just five minutes, take regular breaks and walk around the house, or around the garden. You can also schedule in daily walks to keep that circulation flowing.

Elevate the legs

Another great tip you can follow is to elevate the legs. When they are kept in the same position for most of the day, it can cause blood to pool in the legs. So, by elevating them frequently, it’s going to help pump the blood back up to the heart.

Wear loose clothing

Did you know that tight clothing can restrict your blood flow? When you are suffering with varicose veins, tight clothes can potentially aggravate the condition. Wear loose clothing that is comfortable and doesn’t restrict blood flow.

Avoid overloading on snacks

Finally, you’ll want to avoid eating too many snacks throughout the day. When you are at home, it’s much easier to pop to the fridge and snack on unhealthy foods. However, doing so will lead to weight gain, which will put extra pressure onto the veins.

These are some of the best ways to look after your veins when you are working from home. However, if you have varicose veins, it’s important to get them treated, rather than finding ways to ease the symptoms. Over time, they can worsen and cause potentially life-threatening complications.

Book a consultation with a vein specialist today to discover what effective treatment options are available.

Varicose Vein Dangers

5 Hidden Dangers of Untreated Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are largely viewed as a cosmetic-only issue. However, did you know if left untreated, they can potentially be dangerous to your health? Here are 5 hidden dangers of untreated varicose veins.

1. Venous ulcers

Over time, varicose veins can lead to the development of venous ulcers. This is because the condition causes changes within the skin. This ultimately impacts the skin’s ability to heal, even from the most minor injuries.
Swollen tissue restricts the flow of oxygen and nutrients. There is also a lot of tension on the tissues, leading to the development of ulcers.

2. Swelling

Swelling is one of the most common side effects of varicose veins. It is this which largely causes other, potentially serious complications. Pressure builds up within the veins and fluid contained within the blood can start to leak out into the tissues. This leads to swelling, and in some cases, you may notice fluid leaking from the skin. If swelling is left untreated, it gradually leads to changes in the skin.

3. Bleeding

Varicose veins typically have a pool of blood that sits right below the surface of the skin. If you accidentally hit or cut the vein, it can lead to a lot more bleeding than usual. Even if the vein isn’t hit or cut, the collected blood can lead to bruising under the skin. If the cut is particularly severe, it can take a long time to stop the bleeding.

4. Skin infections

The swollen veins can stretch the tissues, causing the body to become less effective at fighting off infections. The bacteria typically found on the skin can work their way into the body. This leads to an infection known as Cellulitis. In severe cases, this can lead to blistering of the skin and the symptoms of an infection, such as a fever or chills.

5. Deep Vein Thrombosis

One of the more serious complications from untreated varicose veins is Deep Vein Thrombosis. This is where blood clots develop deeper within the veins. There is a risk the clot could loosen and travel up towards the lungs. If this were to occur, it could have deadly consequences.

These are just a few of the hidden dangers of varicose veins. Although the condition does start off as a mostly cosmetic issue, it can develop into something much more serious. For this reason, it is important to get varicose veins treated as soon as possible.

Get in touch with a vein specialist by phoning 01872 308 520 to find out about the different treatments available.

Athletes Varicose Veins

Varicose Veins in Athletes: A Cause for Concern?

Varicose veins can affect everyone, regardless of their age or sex. There are a number of ways to prevent varicose veins, with exercise considered a leading preventative measure.

However, did you know that athletes can still develop varicose veins?

Here, we’ll look at the prevalence of varicose veins in athletes and what you can do to reduce the risk.

Why do varicose veins affect athletes?

Regular exercise is great for reducing the risks of deteriorating veins. However, that isn’t to say that everyone who exercises frequently won’t develop the condition. It can affect anyone, including athletes who exercise vigorously.

There is some evidence that certain sports are more of a risk than others for the development of varicose veins. These include sports which place a lot of pressure onto the veins such as weightlifting and skiing. Repetitive motion sports like cycling and running can also place additional stress on the legs.

Sometimes athletes think they have varicose veins, when in fact it is just swelling caused by the exercise. Bulging veins can present themselves after a strenuous workout routine, and will usually go down naturally. But if the legs are swollen or painful for a long time, seek help from a vein specialist.

How can you prevent varicose veins?

If you are an athlete, there are ways you can reduce your risk of developing varicose veins. Wearing compression stockings is one of the best ways to prevent them. These help to improve the blood flow in the veins and reduce the impact from working out.

Making sure you warm up properly prior to exercise is another tip to follow. If you’ve done a particularly intense workout, keeping the legs elevated for a while afterwards can help.

Treating varicose veins

If you develop varicose veins, the quicker you seek treatment the better. If left untreated, they can worsen, potentially threatening your athletic career. Early treatments tend to be non-invasive, requiring very little downtime.

Athletes who do have varicose veins find that they can really slow down their performance. So, if you are suffering with your varicose veins, call 01872 308 520 and book a consultation with a vein specialist.

early treatment of venous leg ulcers

Early Treatment for Venous Leg Ulcers Leads to Better Outcomes, Study Finds

A new study published within JAMA Surgery, has revealed early treatment for venous leg ulcers results in better outcomes. Approximately 1 in every 300 adults in the UK suffer with venous leg ulcers. They are more prevalent in those with varicose veins and can be quite painful for patients to live with.

Here, we’ll look at what the study found and how treating varicose veins can prevent venous leg ulcers.

Understanding the latest study

The study was carried out by researchers from the Imperial College London, alongside clinicians from the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. It included a total of 450 patients who were treated with early surgical interventions for their venous leg ulcers.

It was revealed that early treatment resulted in faster healing, alongside a reduced risk of recurrence. Now, the researchers are urging the leg ulcer treatment guidelines to be revised. By including early treatment in the guidelines, they estimate it would save the NHS a staggering £100 million each year.

The importance of treating varicose veins

While venous leg ulcers don’t always develop due to varicose veins, they can be a significant risk factor. Therefore, patients are advised to have their varicose veins treated as early as possible. While often seen as a cosmetic issue, varicose veins can actually lead to a variety of serious health issues, including venous leg ulcers.

The earlier you seek treatment, the fewer complications can occur. You’ll also find, earlier treatment is less invasive as the condition hasn’t had time to progress.

What treatment options are available?

There are so many different treatment options available to correct varicose veins. Surgery tends to be a last resort, with less invasive treatments preferred. Many of the treatments can even be carried out during your lunch break. So, you may just be surprised by how easy it is to eliminate them.

The treatment you require will depend upon a variety of factors. For example, the severity of the condition, your health and risk factors will all need to be assessed.

Many patients don’t realise how serious varicose veins can be. Venous leg ulcers are just one complication which can arise if they are left untreated. If you suspect you are suffering with varicose veins, call 01872 308 520 to book an appointment with one of our vein specialists today.

autumn varicose vein treatments

Why Autumn is the Perfect Time to Treat Varicose Veins

For those living with varicose veins, it can be an embarrassing and frustrating condition. Many sufferers feel so self-conscious over their bulging veins, that it affects their day to day life. Some may avoid wearing certain types of clothing for example or avoid activities such as swimming.

If you’ve been suffering with varicose veins, autumn is a great time to get them treated. Here, we’ll look at why this changing season is the best time to seek treatment.

You can hide the treatment

One of the biggest reason’s autumn is the perfect time to treat varicose veins is because you can hide the treatment. While many types of varicose vein treatments are fast and painless, they can lead to bruising and swelling. This can last days, weeks or months depending upon the treatment and a number of other factors.

Autumn is a time where we start to cover the legs up to protect them from the cold. So, if you’re looking for a time to treat the condition where you won’t have to worry about showing off your legs, autumn is a great option.

It gives you plenty of time to recover

It can take quite a while to see the overall results of varicose vein treatment. While improvements may be noticed immediately, full results may not show for months. This is especially true if you are having larger veins treated. It is estimated larger veins take around three to four months to see results.

As you don’t have to worry about showing off the legs until summer, having treatment in autumn gives you plenty of time to recover.

Compression stockings are more comfortable

After most types of varicose vein treatment, compression stockings can be worn for support and to reduce swelling. In summer, these can be really uncomfortable. The stockings keep the legs warmer, making them ideal for use in autumn. Of course, autumn fashion also helps to cover up the stockings, keeping the treatment hidden.

These are just a few of the reasons why autumn is the best time to seek varicose vein treatment. While it can be tempting to put it off, the earlier you seek treatment for your varicose veins, the better. If you want to keep the treatment hidden and experience great results in time for summer, call 01872 308 520 to book a consultation with a vein specialist now.

varicose vein myths

5 Myths About Varicose Veins You Shouldn’t Believe

Varicose veins are one of the most common, yet surprisingly misunderstood conditions. There are a lot of myths surrounding the condition and how it should be treated. Here, you’ll discover 5 myths about varicose veins you shouldn’t believe.

  1. Varicose veins are just cosmetic

This is potentially the most dangerous myth in circulation. Varicose veins have long been considered a cosmetic issue, but they can cause severe health problems too. When left untreated, they worsen over time potentially leading to blood clot development in the legs. They can also be really uncomfortable to deal with.

  1. Crossing your legs can cause them

Years ago, patients were advised to not cross their legs because doctors believed the pressure on the calf caused varicose veins to develop. However, experts now know this isn’t a cause, but the myth still remains. So, don’t worry, crossing your legs isn’t going to lead to varicose veins!

  1. Surgery is your only treatment option

Surgery did used to be the only treatment option, but these days you’ll find a wide range of varicose vein treatments available. Some are non-invasive and very fast to perform. You have injections, laser treatment and glue inserted into the vein for example. Surgery is used for severe cases only.

  1. Massage can eliminate them

As varicose veins are often thought to be caused by poor circulation, massage is often seen as a great way to eliminate them. However, the truth is that most varicose veins aren’t caused by poor circulation. This means attempting to treat them with massage isn’t going to work. In fact, in some cases it could lead to clotting. So, it’s best to seek proper treatment.

  1. Pregnancy can cause them

A lot of pregnant women appear to develop varicose veins. However, they aren’t caused by the pregnancy. Those who do experience varicose veins in pregnancy have generally had the problem for some time. However, it only becomes more noticeable during pregnancy, which is what leads to the confusion.

These are just a small handful of the myths surrounding varicose veins you should be aware of. If you do suspect you have them, it is important to book a consultation with an experienced varicose vein specialist. They will be able to advise you of the treatments available to eliminate them.

benefits of compression stockings after varicose vein removal

New Study Reviews Effectiveness of Compression Garments After Varicose Vein Removal

A new study has looked into the effectiveness of compression garments after varicose vein removal. Commonly worn by patients, particularly with mild venous disease, compression garments are widely considered beneficial.

So, what did this new study find and are compression garments effective after varicose vein removal?

Understanding the study

The new randomised controlled trial was carried out by the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust. It revealed that patient reported outcomes after undergoing radiofrequency ablation, was no better with compression support than it was without it.

The trouble with this new study is that it focuses on simple truncal ablation without phlebectomies. Most are actually carried out with phlebectomies simultaneously, or at least with thread vein injections. In these cases, compression garments can aid in recovery as they can improve comfort and reduce visible bruising. They can also prevent bleeding after undergoing phlebectomies.

So, while the new study showed no real improvement in those who wore compression garments, it was a limited study focusing on one type of treatment.

What are compression garments?

Also known as compression stockings, compression garments are basically a type of elastic hosiery. They are worn on the legs, helping to promote good circulation and preventing numerous health conditions.

They are designed to produce consistent pressure, helping the valves of the veins to function better. You will usually be advised to wear them to make the legs more comfortable before and after undergoing varicose vein treatment.

Should I wear them?

If your varicose vein specialist has advised you to wear compression stockings, then you absolutely should wear them. While they aren’t going to necessarily improve the outcome of the treatment, they can make the legs much more comfortable. They are mostly used as a form of relief, rather than as a treatment option by themselves.

So, while this new study may show compression garments don’t always help to improve the outcome, they do still have their benefits. In fact, they can work wonders for eliminating pain and discomfort.

recurrent varicose veins

Why Do Some Varicose Veins Reoccur After Treatment?

Your varicose veins may have been troubling you for many years and, once you’ve made the decision to go ahead with treatment, the hope is that they will be permanently removed. However, for some patients, varicose veins can reoccur, and estimates vary as to how many people may be affected.

Causes of recurrent varicose veins

There are several reasons why your varicose veins may come back.

  • The wrong veins were treated initially
  • The right vein was targeted but the wrong procedure was employed to remove them
  • Lifestyle factors can trigger the develop of further varicose veins
  • New varicose veins have formed since or other veins that were faulty have worsened and become noticeable over time

1. Treating the wrong vein

Understanding which vein may be faulty – the great saphenous vein (GSV), small saphenous vein (SSV), accessory saphenous vein (AASV), pelvic varicose veins, incompetent perforating veins and other abnormal veins can be responsible for varicose veins – or even a combination of veins that require treatment, is obviously essential

Ultrasound imaging is now much more advanced, and this technology, performed by an experienced vein specialist, will identify which vein require treatment.

2. The wrong varicose vein treatment was used

Veins are connective tissue and the body works to repair any damage normally, so this can be why varicose veins can reoccur even after they are treated.

Choosing an experienced vascular surgeon that can recommend the most appropriate treatment is essential.

3. Lifestyle factors can play a role

Although genetics are identified as the chief factor in developing varicose veins, other lifestyle factors can cause varicose veins to worsen over time. Obesity and pregnancy can both increase your chances of developing varicose veins in the future.

4. New varicose veins form or worsen

Also, many different veins can experience reflux. Unless all problematic veins are treated, new varicose veins may appear in the future. Typically, if patients suffer from varicose veins, there’s usually a genetic cause and so there are often multiple veins that are problematic at the time of treatment and new varicose veins can develop over time. Thorough imaging prior to treatment can identify any other veins that could cause problems in the near future.

However, if you have chronic varicose veins, due to a strong genetic predisposition, ongoing assessment and treatment may be required.

For more advice on recurrent varicose veins, call 01872 308 520 to arrange a consultation at the Cornwall Vein Clinic.

cycling and varicose veins

Cycling and Varicose Veins

In a bid to fight obesity, the UK government is encouraging more people to cycle to work. The recent coronavirus pandemic has also led to an increase in cyclists, as people look for safer, alternative transport.

While cycling can do wonders for the body, it has been linked to the development of varicose veins for many years. Here, we’ll look at how cycling can impact varicose veins and why treatment should be sought as early as possible.

How does cycling impact varicose veins?

What many vein experts have seen over the years, is that cyclists often have worse veins than other patients. The exact reasons for this are unknown. However, it could be down to the veins becoming more prominent due to cyclists experiencing increased venous return; causing the veins to dilate.

There has also been an observation that cyclists suffer with a different type of varicose vein known as perforator veins. These are the veins that pump blood through the muscles, rather than just under the skin. This type of varicose vein in cyclists is thought to be caused by the added pressure placed onto the calf muscles.

A lower body fat and the wearing of specially designed cycle apparel can mean that cyclists feel their veins are more prominent and noticeable, causing them to seek treatment.

Currently, there is no scientific evidence to link varicose veins to cyclists. However, there does appear to be an association between them.

Can you prevent the risks?

Unfortunately, preventing varicose veins isn’t always possible. Varicose veins aren’t necessarily caused by cycling itself. The main risk factor of developing the condition is genetics. So, if your mother or father had them for example, you’ll have an increased risk of developing them yourself.

Cycling is actually great for the body. It’s benefits far outweigh its potential risks and it can actually improve the condition by ensuring plenty of blood is pumped back up to the heart. It is generally only after you are resting you will experience the symptoms of varicose veins, not while you are cycling.

Why seeking treatment for varicose veins is essential

Whatever the cause of your varicose veins, it is important to get them treated quickly. When left, varicose veins tend to worsen. In severe cases, they can cause blood clots to form, causing potentially deadly consequences.

Varicose vein treatment is quick and practically painless. There are a lot of different treatments available, including minimally invasive procedures. Book a consultation today to see which treatment would work best for your varicose veins.