Fatigue, a feeling of heaviness in the legs, slight tissue edema, swelling of the veins and the first visible “vascular networks” may indicate the development of varicose veins in the lower extremities.
The statistics for this disease are very sad. For example, in a single country, about 37 million people suffer from this disease. One in 6 of them is a girl under 12 years old. Such an early onset of the disease significantly increases the risk of complications, which, when neglected, threaten disability and even death.
What is so terrible about varicose veins of the lower extremities? Why is it so important to stop its development at an early stage? About treatment methods, preventive measures from the point of view of specialists, as well as a lot of other useful information about varicose veins of the lower extremities, read this article.
What are varicose veins of the lower extremities?
All the veins in the human body are divided into deep, superficial and perforated. The deep vessels do almost all the work (90%) of transporting blood to the heart, and the perforated vessels are a kind of bridge between the deep and the superficial. The structure of the veins provides for the presence of valves that direct and promote the outflow of blood only in the right direction. When the circulatory system breaks down, part of the blood accumulates at some point. This leads to local expansion (elongation) of the vessel. The first to suffer are the deep veins (called internal varicose veins), later superficial in the form of “spider veins and knots”.
For a complete perception of the severity of the disease, it should be noted that its progression threatens the development of thrombophlebitis, blockage of the pulmonary artery by a thrombus (or thromboembolism), as well as trophic ulcers ofleg, lymphostasis (edema of the lower limbs) and many other problems that can lead to death of the patient.
The main causes of varicose veins of the lower limbs
Many factors can cause dysfunction of the functioning of blood vessels, blood circulation in general, and then stimulate the appearance of varicose veins of the superficial veins of the lower limbs. Consider the main ones:
- Congenital malformation of the valves located inside the venous vessels - the disease can be inherited. According to statistics, two-thirds of patients have close relatives with a similar disease.
- Insufficient mobility reduces stress on soft tissue. As a result, a decrease in the load on blood vessels, their tone.
- In a "standing" position, the pressure inside the vessels of the legs increases tenfold. With a long vertical arrangement, the valves can not cope with the increased load, which causes a violation of their operation.
- Decreased vascular tone - may be caused by age-related changes, loss of wall elasticity after certain diseases.
- Pregnancy - this period is characterized by increased blood in the female body, as well as the hormones progesterone, estrogen. Together, these changes stimulate the development of varicose veins in the lower extremities. True, the normalization of the processes is possible about 1 year after childbirth, if varicose complications have not occurred.
Overweight, the presence of injuries, previous operations, hormonal disturbances and the use of contraceptives complete the list of reasons for the development of the disease.
Determination of varicose veins of the lower extremities - symptoms and diagnosis
The effectiveness of treatment, the speed of a positive result largely depends on the correctness and speed of the diagnosis of diseases.
Signs of varicose veins of the lower extremities will help determine the disease at an early stage:
- slight swelling of the legs;
- swelling of the superficial venous vessels, their increase in diameter;
- itchy lower limbs with varicose veins;
- feeling of overwork, heaviness;
- burning, pain caused by excessive stretching of the walls of the veins;
- leg cramps;
- blue skin noticeable along the vein, compaction (induration) of problem areas of the tissues, formation of varicose eczema of the lower limbs.
Even a slight violation of the integrity of the skin at the site of eczema can lead to the appearance of a trophic ulcer.
In the variant of deep venous varicose veins of the lower extremities, symptoms may appear at a later stage, which is not desirable. Therefore, if you have the slightest suspicion of illness, it is recommended to consult a doctor.
Diagnosis of varicose veins of the lower extremities is carried out using special equipment. Such a study is safe, painless and allows you to comprehensively study the severity of the disease.
There are several diagnostic options:
- visual inspection;
- color duplex examination method - the map of blood flow compiled during the study makes it possible to judge the direction and speed of movement of blood through the veins. The procedure informs about the condition of the blood vessels, which is important in predicting the development of varicose veins; Phlebography
- - it is used very rarely, as it involves an x-ray examination.
When diagnosing, you can observe the condition of blood vessels, valves, analyze their functionality and determine the direction of blood flow.
Usually the number one reason to see a doctor is unsightly changes. From the first type, they are harmless, they can further develop into serious diseases and complications. Therefore, you should not overlook their importance.
Classification of varicose veins of the lower limbs
Doctors generally distinguish 5 stages of varicose veins in the lower extremities, each with its own symptoms:
- Stage 1- reticular varicose veins of the lower extremities, which are the easiest to treat. It is distinguished by the presence of a "vascular network". Dilated veins are visible through the thin skin (especially in the fossa below the knee), pain does not yet occur.
- Stage 2- segmental varicose veins of the lower extremities, accompanied by slight fatigue, a feeling of heaviness in the legs, even convulsive spasms in the calf muscle, a slight swelling of theveins is possible;
- Stage 3- venous vessels severely detach from the skin, especially on the inside of the leg, thin skin with dark brown spots, itching, rash, signsof dermatitis. Increased swelling causes discomfort when moving.
- stage 4varicose veins of the lower extremities - the symptomatology is pronounced, complications of the disease appear, such as thrombophlebitis, manifestations of trophic ulcers. Swollen varicose nodules appear strongly across the thinned skin of the leg, feet, and thigh.
- Stage 5- has all symptoms of stage 4. In addition, the disease progresses to the groin area. The number of trophic ulcers increases rapidly, as does the frequency of attacks of thrombophlebitis. The doctor at this stage establishes a disability with varicose veins of the lower extremities.
The main task of the patient and his doctor is to prevent the development of the disease beyond the initial stages, and the sooner you contact a phlebologist, the easier it will be for him to stop the disease.
Treatment of varicose veins of the lower limbs
Medicine does not stand still, but develops the latest technologies to fight against venous diseases. Treatment of varicose veins of the lower extremities can be carried out by conservative methods (drugs, minimally invasive procedures), surgery, home remedies in combination with massage.
Deterioration in appearance attractiveness is not the whole list of possible problems. Complications and disability can add to it. Modern medicine offers a wide range of non-surgical effects on problem areas, and it is often physiotherapy for varicose veins of the lower extremities that is most effective in the early stages of the disease:
- The use of creamy preparations, gels, ointments for varicose veins of the lower extremities, these drugs bring noticeable relief. They are easy to apply to the surface, do not cause pain or discomfort.
- The use of venotonics - drugs that, in case of varicose veins of the lower extremities, normalizes the functioning of the veins.
- Laser Exposure - Endovenous Laser Vein Obliteration (ELOV) method is widely used in the fight against varicose veins. The principle of the procedure is to stop the functioning of the problem vein, due to the effect on it of a ray of heat. Laser manipulations are performed under local anesthesia, restrictions on actions and additional hospitalization are not required. The patient has the right to return home immediately after the procedure.
- Magnetotherapy for varicose veins of the lower extremities is a modern auxiliary method that promotes blood thinning, stimulation of blood circulation and, therefore, helps to remove toxins from the tissues and saturates them with oxygen.
- RF Exposure - RF works like a laser. They exclude the problematic vessel from the blood system, thereby eliminating the risk of possible complications;
- Sclerotherapy - involves the introduction of a special medicine inside the diseased vein, which promotes the sticking of the walls of the vessel and its self-elimination from the bloodstream after a certain time.
It should be noted that a prior consultation with a doctor and a special examination is necessary.
Operations for varicose veins of the lower limbs
Late visits to the doctor, neglect of the disease lead to CVI (chronic venous insufficiency) and ineffectiveness of minimally invasive treatment. In such cases, surgery comes to the rescue.
The following factors are considered to be indications for surgery for varicose veins of the lower extremities:
- the disease is in severe stages, when trophic ulcers appear gradually; development of thrombophlebitis
- discomfort associated with excessive fatigue, swelling of the legs.
The principle of the surgical intervention is based, like conservative techniques, on the elimination of the problem vein from the circulatory system. Only in minimally invasive methods are the vessels glued together, and during the operation they are tied from both sides and removed.
There are several main methods of surgical treatment of varicose veins of the lower extremities:
- Phlebectomyis a classic variation of surgery. Small incisions (up to five millimeters) are made in the skin through which a probe is inserted and the diseased vein is removed. The procedure does not take more than two hours and does not involve a long hospital stay.
- Miniflebectomy- differs from classical phlebectomy in the size of the hole in the skin. In this case, it is minimal punctures that minimize the rehabilitation period and do not leave visible marks on the body.
- Short stripping- requires precise location of the problem area. Only the affected segment is deleted. There is no trace left after the operation.
- Dissection of veinsunder the control of a high optical endocop. It is injected directly into the diseased vein, the operation is performed via a monitor. With experience, the qualification of a surgeon increases the chances of a successful operation.
The surgery will solve the problem of sore veins, reduce the risk of developing the disease, and help relieve symptoms in later stages. Compression underwear, venotonic drugs are the main condition of the rehabilitation period. They contribute to early recovery, normalization of blood circulation.
Treatment of varicose veins of the lower extremities with folk remedies
Home remedies occupy a distinct niche in the treatment of varicose veins of the lower extremities. It is not necessary to assert their enormous importance, but there is nothing to denigrate their dignity either. Cooked decoctions, infusions, compresses can reduce pain, relieve the feeling of heaviness and fatigue after a hard day.
As a treatment option for reticular varicose veins, traditional medicine recommends a tincture of calamus root in red wine for internal use. There are also recipes for external friction.
Unopened birch buds are infused for 10 days on 0, 5 liters of vodka. When ready, the product is rubbed into the skin.
Useful compresses for varicose veins of the lower extremities from garlic yogurt or wrapping with fresh cabbage leaves.
You shouldn't expect super fast results. The funds are suitable for prophylactic purposes and for the treatment of primary varicose veins of the lower extremities with drugs prescribed individually by the doctor. Do not use any treatment without talking to your doctor.
Massage and gymnastics for varicose veins of the lower limbs
The healing qualities of massage have long been known to mankind. Massage of the lower extremities with varicose veins also has a beneficial effect. It improves blood and lymphatic circulation, normalizes venous pressure and starts metabolic processes inside the tissues.
The massage technique is special. It is forbidden to touch the affected venous area in any way possible, only around it. Light pinching, wide grip and stroking are the main techniques in the procedure. It is recommended to combine massage with a series of exercises.
Gymnastics for varicose veins of the lower extremities involves the implementation of a whole range of actions:
- Warm-up - two to three minutes you need to lie down with your legs raised. They must rest on a wall or other height, this position guarantees their complete relaxation.
- Exercise "Cycling" - the movements are the same as for cycling. Only the position of the body "lying on the back".
- Exercise "Scissors" - the raised limbs cross each other for at least one minute.
- Exercise for the calf muscles - in the “lying down” position, bend one leg so that the knee reaches the chest. Perform movements in the opposite direction, while massaging the problem muscle. Repeat the procedure four times with each leg.
- Get up. For three to five minutes, stand up on your toes and lower yourself to the starting position.
- The gymnastic complex of exercises or exercise therapy for varicose veins of the lower extremities guarantees a preventive and therapeutic effect aimed at accelerating the flow of venous blood to the heart, increasing vascular tone.
It is important that the doctor not only approves the set of exercises for the daily exercises, but also ensures that the patient performs them correctly, without creating additional stress on the vessels.
Prevention of varicose veins of the lower limbs
It is better to prevent the problem than to solve it later! Experts unanimously recommend the following measures to prevent the disease:
- Move more - this reduces the risk of blood and lymph congestion.
- Exercise regularly for varicose veins.
- Shoes should be comfortable, the heel should not exceed four centimeters.
- Prolonged sun exposure does not work well on the walls of blood vessels, limit the time for hot baths.
- Prefer a contrast shower, it improves blood circulation.
- Focus on fresh vegetables, fruits, plant products. A special diet for varicose veins of the lower extremities is health's "best friend".
- Rehydrate your body with 2 liters of fluid per day.
- Eliminating fatigue, poor sitting or an awkward position at rest is the best prevention of varicose veins in the lower extremities.
It must be remembered that varicose veins of the lower extremities are a progressive disease. From painless "stars", it can turn into thrombophlebitis and trophic ulcers. Beauty, the absence of pain and heaviness in the legs can be preserved by following the simple recommendations of specialists. If you have the slightest suspicion of illness, hurry to the phlebologist. Remember, varicose veins can not be completely cured, but it is possible to prevent, minimize the risk of its further development. To be in a good health!