Ugh. Not only are varicose veins ugly, but they can cause minor or even debilitating discomfort. Not everyone experiences the pain associated with varicose veins, but those who do are constantly on the lookout for relief. So, how do you know if you have varicose vein pain?
- Do your legs feel heavy or achy?
- Do you get muscle cramps for no reason?
- Do you feel a burning or throbbing in your legs?
- Are your calves or ankles swollen?
- Do you feel discomfort around a particular area that has varicose veins?
- Do you have restless legs at night?
If you answered “yes” to any or all of these questions and you have varicose veins, you’re probably suffering from varicose vein pain.
It doesn’t matter how big or small the damaged veins are. Sometimes large, twisting veins cause no discomfort at all, while smaller, less visible ones can be extremely painful.
Moreover, if you think your varicose vein symptoms get worse on warm or hot days, you’re not imagining things. Higher temperatures tend to cause blood vessels to dilate, making it even harder for your vein valves to function correctly.
In addition, symptoms worsen as the day progresses because your vein valves are losing out to gravity, and blood pools around your ankles. Even prolonged periods of sitting can aggravate varicose veins and result in pain.
Get Relief for Varicose Vein Pain
If you’re not ready to visit a vein specialist yet, there are a few pain relief techniques that you can do on your own to get some respite.
Get your legs to a higher elevation
Looking for immediate pain relief? Elevate your legs above your heart. Place your feet up on a desk, stretch them up a wall, or lie down and prop your feet up on pillows or the arm of the couch.
Do this for at least 15 minutes to help reduce the swelling and ease the pain. Elevation makes blood flow more easily from your lower body back toward your heart, and your venous valves will function more effectively.
Give your legs a good stretch and get to moving!
Take a break and stretch your calf muscles a few times a day. Flex and point your feet frequently, especially if you are sitting on a plane, in a car, or at a desk for long periods.
If you have to sit or stand for long periods, make sure to change position at least every 30 minutes and bend your knees regularly. Move around as frequently as possible and stay hydrated!
Take a cold shower
Not that kind of cold shower! Using cold water to cool your legs causes blood vessels to shrink. This can alleviate swelling, heaviness, and leg cramps.
However, remember that heat is not your friend when it comes to varicose veins, so avoid hot baths and hot tubs, or you may end up with throbbing pain.
Take an aspirin
When all else fails, over-the-counter, anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin or ibuprofen can be used to alleviate occasional swelling and pain. For your liver’s sake, try not to make this a constant go-to.
Varicose vein nightmares
There’s nothing worse than trying to sleep through varicose vein pain. The worst part is that the less sleep you get, the more inflamed your system becomes and the more obnoxious the pain. But how can you stop varicose veins hurting at night? You can minimize the pain by elevating your legs before you go to bed and sleeping with your legs elevated by resting your feet on a pillow or two.
Better Yet: How to Prevent Varicose Vein Pain
Did you know that you can prevent the pain from happening in the first place? Let’s explore ways that you could avoid varicose veins pain altogether!
Compression stockings (we’re not talking about your granny’s compression hose)
Compression stockings are designed to assist your leg muscles in pushing blood back toward your heart by providing graduated compression. The strongest support starts at the ankles and the least amount of support is around the thighs.
There are all kinds of compression garments on the market that can prevent symptoms like heavy legs and swelling. Preventing these symptoms will help you avoid those painful cramps that sneak up on you at the end of the day or at night.
Over-the-counter stockings include support pantyhose, which offer the least amount of compression, and compression hose and socks that offer more pressure.
If you need higher-pressure compression stockings, you’ll need a prescription.
The key here is to keep the blood from pooling around your ankles, so you’ll need to put compression stockings or socks on in the morning before you start your day.
The choice of compression socks, stockings, and hose is endless, so you should be able to find some that fit your personality or profession.
As we’ve said in a previous post (when talking about improving your circulation to avoid spider veins in your legs and ankles), we have a wide variety of compression socks or hose and even workout tights available to buy in our office. You can also buy them, of course, at medical supply stores and online, but make sure you’re getting a good medical grade (20-30 mmHg) compression.
Kick the high heels and tight skirts, sweetie
We’re sorry to inform you fashionistas that high heels and tight clothing put pressure on different areas of your body and can constrict blood flow. This, in turn, can aggravate your varicose veins. So, find some cute, comfortable shoes and looser clothing styles to keep the pain at bay!
Even Better: Treatment for Varicose Vein Pain Can Eliminate it For Good
Most of these pain relief and prevention techniques only offer temporary relief. Preventing and relieving varicose vein pain can be a hassle. Who wants to have to wear compression socks and hose all the time? Or take a cold shower at the end of the day to relieve pain?
What if you could avoid pain altogether?
You can. You can eliminate varicose vein symptoms by having vein removal treatments. And you don’t have to get any invasive medical procedures or surgeries to make it happen.
Varicose veins can easily be removed using non-invasive and minimally invasive in-office procedures. We offer various treatments at Denver Vein Center, according to what your practitioner advises.
Once we’ve treated the damaged veins and they dissolve into your bloodstream, any pain caused by that vein will disappear too. And, in addition, that aesthetically displeasing bulging blue vein will be gone for good!
Are you sick of getting slowed down by varicose vein pain? Contact us for a consultation today! We’ll map your veins, pinpoint problem areas, and get you set up with an appropriate vein removal treatment!