Varicose veins

Varicose veins of the lower extremities, which is also called varicose veins, manifests itself as an expansion of the superficial veins of the legs, which accompanies impaired blood flow and valve failure. Currently, varicose veins are very common: it is observed in about 17-25% of people. At a young age, before the onset of puberty, this ailment develops in both sexes with the same frequency. However, in women in adulthood, varicose veins are observed twice as often as in men. A similar picture can be explained by significant hormonal changes during the period of the onset of menstruation, while carrying a child. As a result, the tone of the veins is weakened, they expand, and the venous circulation is impaired.

varicose veins of the legs

Factors predisposing to varicose veins

Today, experts tend to support many theories that indicate why varicose veins in the legs develop. But, nevertheless, speaking about the main cause of this ailment, it should be noted a violation of the valve apparatus of the veins. In case of insufficiency of the valves of the veins in a person who stands on his feet, there is a rush of blood downward under the influence of gravity. When walking, the muscles of the lower leg that surround the deep veins contract. Accordingly, the veins are emptied, and an increase in venous pressure occurs. As a result, blood enters the superficial veins, they stretch, and varicose veins appear.

There are a number of factors that directly affect the progression of varicose veins. In women, varicose veins often develop as a consequence of pregnancy. During this period, the volume of blood in the female body increases significantly. The enlarging uterus presses heavily on the veins from the legs. In addition, during pregnancy, hormonal changes in the body affect the state of the vein wall. In many cases, varicose veins during pregnancy are reversible, that is, after childbirth, it gradually disappears.

Very often, varicose veins of the lower extremities are manifested in people who have to stand for a long time during work. Another risk factor for varicose veins is obesity: obese people have increased intra-abdominal pressure and, as a result, varicose veins. Veins often dilate also in people who are prone to regular straining. This happens with chronic constipation, cough, prostate adenoma and other conditions. Varicose veins can sometimes be a consequence of leg surgery.

Another factor that predisposes to varicose veins is the person's age. As a rule, aging of the valves and vein walls occurs over time. As a result, elasticity is lost and the veins are stretched. Varicose veins often occur in patients with deep vein thrombosis with congenital anomalies of the blood vessels.

Symptoms of the development of varicose veins of the legs

First of all, the visible symptoms of varicose veins in the legs is the appearance of a network of fine veins on the surface of the skin of the legs. Such manifestations mainly occur in the thigh area. Such varicose veins are easiest to see in people who suffer from cellulite. Sometimes it is cellulite that becomes a kind of harbinger of varicose veins. Often, fat deposits in cellulite squeeze the venous vessels, and as a result, blood flow is complicated and varicose veins occur.

In some cases, the onset of varicose veins is indicated by swelling in the legs. However, such a sign can be a symptom of other diseases (heart failure, kidney stones). Therefore, in this case, it is impossible to clearly talk about the development of varicose veins before the diagnosis is made. The manifestation of pain in the legs often becomes a symptom of varicose veins. Painful sensations can be sharp, and also have pulling signs. Most often, with varicose veins, pain in the calves is manifested. It mainly occurs in the afternoon, after a certain load on the legs. There may be a feeling of severe heaviness in the legs, cramps may occur at night, trophic changes gradually appear on the legs.

Thus, a person who observes the appearance of a capillary network, periodic manifestations of pain and edema should consult a doctor and undergo the necessary examinations. There are a number of different tests that can assess the condition of the veins and the degree of development of the disease. If the patient has uncomplicated varicose veins, then in most cases instrumental diagnostic methods are not used.

Treatment principles for varicose veins

Conservative treatment of varicose veins is mainly prescribed to those people who have clear contraindications for surgical intervention. Also, such treatment is indicated if the patient has a slight expansion of the veins, which is an exclusively cosmetic defect.

The purpose of conservative therapy is also to prevent further progression of this disease. For this purpose, patients are advised to apply bandaging of the legs affected by varicose veins with an elastic bandage. In addition, compression hosiery for varicose veins is shown.

People who have a tendency to varicose veins or are already sick with this ailment should regularly put their feet on an elevation throughout the day, thus resting for several minutes. There are also special exercises for the lower leg and foot, aimed at activating the muscle-venous pump. This is periodic extension and flexion of the ankle and knee joints.

Treatment of varicose veins also involves wearing comfortable shoes, which should have a low heel and a hard sole. You should not stand for a long time, allow physical stress, stay in rooms with high temperature and humidity for a long time. In a dream, it is advisable to keep the legs in an elevated position.

Patients should limit the intake of fluids and salt, try to get rid of excess weight. For the treatment of varicose veins, it is periodically necessary to take drugs - diuretics, drugs that improve the tone of the veins. In addition, if there are indications, the patient may be prescribed medications that stimulate microcirculation in tissues. Therapy for varicose veins may also include the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. If the patient has an uncomplicated form of the disease, physical therapy is shown to him. Swimming, other water procedures, foot baths with warm water, to which 5-10% sodium chloride solution is added, are very useful.

However, a radical method of treating varicose veins is surgery. Such an operation is not performed if the patient has concomitant diseases of the lungs, cardiovascular system, kidneys, and liver. You can not carry out such an operation on pregnant women, as well as people suffering from purulent diseases. Modern technologies make it possible to use endoscopic techniques for such an operation. If a person has only small branches expanded, sclerotherapy is allowed. This operation involves the introduction of a sclerosing solution into the vein to adhere the vein walls. After that, repeated injections are carried out into other sections of the vein, thus achieving complete obliteration of the vein.

With varicose veins, combined surgical therapy is also used, in which the large trunks of the altered veins are removed and the small branches are sclerotherapy. After surgery, patients are advised to continue wearing an elastic bandage for 8-12 weeks.

Prevention of varicose veins of the legs

Prevention of varicose veins includes a number of measures aimed at preventing the signs of the disease. It is useful for each person to periodically keep their legs raised, to take breaks during sedentary work, not to wear underwear that is worried about the body. A good method of preventing varicose veins will be a contrast shower, the inclusion of foods that are good for the blood in the diet, and some physical exercise. At the first signs of varicose veins, you should consult a doctor in order to prevent the progression of the disease.