Varicose Veins: Is Compression the Answer?
- Posted on: Nov 15 2016
People with varicose veins know all too well the familiar sensations of swelling, aching, and cramping that often feel worse after a long day. One of the most common ways to deal with the discomfort and unattractive appearance of varicose veins is to have them removed with sclerotherapy or another medical modality. While we routinely consult with patients about their options for the permanent removal of existing varicose veins, we also recognize the value of early treatment using compression.
Why We Get Varicose Veins
Not everyone gets varicose veins, but that does not mean the condition is uncommon. Approximately one-third of the population is affected by some type of vein disorder. Varicose veins are the veins that become thick and ropey in appearance; and we’ve already mentioned the physical sensations that go hand-in-hand with this condition. People who develop varicose veins get them for the simple reason that blood flow is not strong enough to push against gravity. Blood flows down into the legs and feet, but it has a difficult time getting back to the heart. Somewhere along the vein, it pools, and swelling occurs.
Why Compression is a Valuable Tool
Compression stockings may not seem like the most fashionable wear; but those who want relief from varicose veins quickly learn that these garments have immense value in their day to day life. Compression may not be a method of reversing damage to a vein, but it is an excellent front-line defense against the pain and progression of a damaged vein.
To wear compression stockings may seem like the same thing as wrapping an ankle or leg with a fabric wrap, much like you would if you had a sprain. There is a key difference that makes compression stockings unique. First, these stockings are like super-powered socks. They have stronger pressure around the feet, which grades to lighter pressure up the legs. What this graded pressure does is encourage optimal blood flow to decrease pooling.
Sometimes . . .
Wearing compression stockings may save you from the discomfort of problematic veins. It may also help you prevent veins from getting worse. However, this type of therapy is more about management; it isn’t about cure. If varicose veins have become more than a subtle, slightly uncomfortable problem, medical treatment such as sclerotherapy should be sought to resolve the issue for good.
Learn more about your treatment option for varicose veins. Call our Columbia vein clinic at (803) 253-8667.