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Palm Beach Podiatry

Understanding Varicose Veins

As health professionals, we know that certain conditions may not cause pain but still need to be treated on account of how they make you feel. You may or may not experience pain or discomfort when you have varicose veins, but even if you don’t, this condition can still make you feel self-conscious and uncomfortable in social settings. Fortunately, we are able to offer help when you have vein issues that are interfering with your ability to lead a normal, comfortable life.

Foot Moisturizer MassageUnderstanding Varicose Veins

Varicose veins, and the related spider veins, are simply enlarged, gnarled veins. This condition can happen to any of your veins, but is most likely to happen to those in your feet or legs. The pressure in your lower body’s veins is increased when you stand and walk, which is why we will typically see them in the lower extremities.

This condition can, at times, be simply a cosmetic problem, but it also may cause pain and discomfort, signal risk of circulatory problems, or even lead to serious issues. It is rare for complications to arise with this condition, but it can happen. Most commonly, these rare complications will include ulcers and blood clots.

The dark blue or purple veins that appear bulging and twisted are an obvious indication of the condition, but there also may be other symptoms. You may experience achiness, throbbing, burning, swelling, and muscle cramps. Spider veins are essentially smaller versions that have similar symptoms, but often look like a spider web and might be red.

Varicose Vein Risk Factors

Several factors can increase the likelihood that you will develop varicose veins. These include:

  • Age. Becoming older has a wide range of implications, including the fact that your veins lose elasticity, which contributes to the condition.

  • Gender. Women are more likely than men to develop varicose veins. Female hormones have a propensity to relax vein walls and are related to pregnancy, premenstruation, and menopause.

  • Obesity. Carrying additional weight has several ramifications, but one that relates to this issue is that it adds pressure to your veins.

  • Family history. There may be a genetic component to this condition, since you have a greater risk of developing varicose veins if other family members did.

  • Remaining seated or standing for lengthy periods of time. When you remain in the same position for an extended period, your blood does not flow as well as it otherwise would.

Treating Varicose Veins

The good news about this condition is that there is no need for a lengthy, uncomfortable recovery or a hospital stay. Self-care methods can be effective in easing pain and preventing existing varicose veins from worsening. These methods include losing weight, elevating your legs, getting regular exercise, wearing clothing that isn’t too tight, and avoiding standing or sitting for long periods of time.

In addition to self-care, you can find the treatment you need at Palm Beach Podiatry. We can use a procedure known as sclerotherapy, which is a process of injecting your enlarged veins with a solution that will close them off. Within a few weeks, the treated veins will fade. It may take more than one injection, but this procedure is highly effective and can be performed right in our office.

There is, unfortunately, no foolproof way to completely prevent a case of varicose veins. With that being said, there are still measures that can be taken to decrease the risk or reduce the discomfort. Many of these are similar to the self-care ones to manage any pain and discomfort mentioned above, including exercise, elevating your legs, watching your weight, and wearing loose, comfortable clothing. Additionally, it can help to make sure that you change your standing or sitting position regularly and eat a low-sodium, high-fiber diet.

Professional Foot Specialists Can Help

Palm Beach Podiatry provides effective treatment for a wide range of conditions, including varicose veins, sports injuries, and diabetic feet. If you are suffering from any foot or ankle condition, schedule an appointment today at one of our three offices through our online form. You can also call our Boynton Beach, FL office at (561) 734-3100, our Loxahatchee office at (561) 791-7773, or our Fort Pierce office at (772) 468-0089.

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