woman holding her pained legMany people spend more time on their feet than they’d like due to their lifestyle or career. Some jobs need “all boots on the ground” to perform specific duties. Countless hours on your feet can wreak havoc on your legs and veins. If this is the case for you, you’ve probably had your share of leg pain at the end of the day. When your muscles are this tired, your legs feel like they need an extended lunch break to recover.

Why Standing Causes Leg Pain

 

Being on your feet can cause some pretty uncomfortable symptoms. These can even turn into medical conditions. Sitting or standing for long periods can cause blood to pool in the leg veins. This increases pressure within the veins, causing them to stretch. This may weaken the walls of the veins and damage the valves. 

 

While leg pain can have many causes, some forms of pain can indicate a more serious condition. If you experience burning, aching, swelling, or heaviness, especially in your calf area, see your medical provider. They’ll be able to evaluate your condition and give you the proper diagnosis. A common diagnosis is venous insufficiency.

What Causes Venous Insufficiency?

 

Your veins have one-way valves that push blood from your legs to your heart. But with added wear and tear, these valves can weaken. They may not function as well as they used to. This can result in a medical condition called venous insufficiency. Prolonged standing can contribute to venous insufficiency along with other factors such as:

  • Genetics
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy and hormones
  • Smoking
  • Sedentary lifestyles

How to Deal With Pain From All-Day Standing

 

Different jobs and lifestyles can vary the number of hours spent standing. There’s no one size fits all answer for exactly how long is too long. If you feel pain or discomfort from prolonged standing, try taking 10-15 minute breaks. Do this until your discomfort subsides and you are able to get back at it. 

 

While being chained to a desk and sitting for prolonged periods can be hard on your health, there are specific pains that come with jobs where all-day standing is required. Here’s what people in different types of professions can do to avoid and relieve pain.

Retail

Retail jobs require a lot of time on the sales floor assisting customers. They also involve stocking shelves and ringing up merchandise at the cash register. Wearing shoes with arch support and padded insoles can help avoid leg pain at the end of your shift. Fortunately, there’s a wide variety of comfortable footwear options out there. Find a shoe that works for your store’s dress code. 

Teaching

Being a teacher requires patience as well as time on your feet throughout the school day. Teachers are often standing or moving around from student to student. Taking a short break to sit and elevate your feet can help relieve some of the pressure and avoid swelling. You can also elevate your feet at night to further reduce the pressure on your legs. 

Food Service

Chefs, servers, and bakers are always on their toes making and serving food. Long, busy hours and hard floors can often lead to aches and pains. Non-slip mats with holes can ease the pressure from standing on a concrete floor all day.

Hair Styling

Hair stylists spend countless hours on their feet giving us that fresh cut and color. But when it comes to leg pain at the end of the day, it can be a real blowout. Having good posture along with the right shoes can make a difference when your legs are aching and tired. 

Healthcare

Whether performing medical procedures or providing basic care, healthcare workers are always busy. Assisting patients with various duties during long shifts is taxing on the legs. Compression stockings can help take the edge off of pain and ease discomfort after a hectic day. 

7 More Ways To Help Relieve Leg Pain

 

Need more solutions for soothing leg and foot pain? Here are some simple strategies that’ll do the trick. 

Stay Hydrated

Hydration can reduce leg cramps and discomfort. Aim to drink 8 eight-ounce glasses of water each day. This avoids dehydration and painful leg cramps. 

Cold Compress

A cold compress can offer comfort by reducing inflammation. Use an ice bag or frozen peas and apply to the affected area. Hold for approximately 15 minutes and soak up that icy feeling of relief.

Compression

As we’ve mentioned, compression can be helpful for leg pain. Wrapping a bandage and using compression stockings can reduce swelling. To apply, firmly wrap the affected area. Just be sure to avoid applying the bandage too tight. 

Over-the-Counter Painkillers

To instantly get rid of leg pain, over-the-counter medicines can do the trick. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen are helpful with pain relief and inflammation. 

Epsom Salt Bath

Epsom salt breaks down into magnesium and sulfate. This may help relax muscles, reducing swelling and pain. To create an Epsom salt bath, add 2 cups of Epsom salt to a bath with running water and stir until dissolved. Once everything’s combined, soak for about 15 minutes to maximize comfort. 

Massage

Massage therapy by a professional therapist can be very beneficial. Massages can enhance blood flow, relieving inflammatory cells and discomfort in your legs. 

Muscle Relaxers

If you haven’t gotten relief from your leg pain, you may need a muscle relaxer prescription. These work to alleviate muscle spasms and pain. Avoid operating heavy machinery or drinking alcohol while on muscle relaxers until you know how they affect you. Make sure to talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have.

Get Rid of Leg Pain for Good

 

Most everyone will experience leg discomfort at some point. But people who spend extended periods of time on their feet are more likely to experience this. Luckily, there are many simple ways to lessen the pain. If your discomfort becomes constant or severe, contact your doctor. This can help you avoid a potentially serious health problem.

Filed under: Vein HealthTagged with: , , , , ,

Brown-stained legs magnified to show blood leaking out of veins just under the skinDo you have any concerns about your legs turning a reddish-brown color? This could be an indication that the veins in question are suffering from hemosiderin staining and potential problems with their health.

 

As we get older, it’s normal for our skin to thin, dry out, and lose elasticity. But it can be more concerning when you notice unusual changes in color and texture on your knees, legs, or ankles. If you notice a brown discoloration on the lower legs, it could point out a problem with your veins. For this reason alone, it’s important to understand why brown skin stains appear and what you can do to treat them.

What Is Hemosiderin Staining?

 

Hemosiderin staining occurs when red blood cells leak through the veins and iron or other byproducts are released. The brown stain shows up on the skin as a result of this symptom, which can happen for several reasons.

 

What Causes Hemosiderin Staining?

Chronic Vein Disease

 

In addition to its unsightly appearance, hemosiderin staining indicates an underlying health condition. The reddish-brown discoloration on the lower legs is caused by chronic venous disease–the abnormal function of veins.

 

When your veins can’t pump blood back up to the heart properly, it pools in your lower legs. Symptoms start with slight skin irritations and itchiness, then manifest varicose veins. Other vein disease symptoms that can lead to brown staining are:

  • High blood pressure – veins force blood through the veins and sometimes through the skin.
  • Vein ulcers – slow-healing or non-healing wounds.

 

As blood continues to pool in the veins, its cells break down and leak iron pigments into the skin. Over time, this shows up as brown patches or stains on the lower leg or ankle. When unaddressed, the stain will darken and eventually may turn black. At this point, these symptoms are unfortunately permanent even when vein disease is treated. BUT! If caught early enough, chronic venous disease can be controlled and hemosiderin staining will fade.

orange personified as a person with brown-red stains on her legs, shows how it is caused by sclerotherapy needle

Sclerotherapy Staining Side-Effect

 

Sclerotherapy is one of the treatment options for vein disease and varicose veins. It involves the injection of a substance known as a sclerosant into the affected veins. This makes the veins reduce in size.

 

In some cases, this treatment may leave the patient with brown skin discoloration as a result of hemosiderin (iron) deposits. This discoloration is usually transient and disappears in a couple of weeks; however, in some people, the stain ends up being permanent.

 

If you are considering sclerotherapy treatment, consider the following factors that are associated with the hemosiderin staining side effect:

  • Dark skin type
  • Sensitive skin
  • Older patients with fragile veins
  • Taking certain medication
  • Experience of the vein doctor

Treating the Condition, NOT the Symptom

 

Most patients will go to a dermatologist or primary care physician for the skin condition, not the underlying vein disease of hemosiderin staining. As a result, they may not get an accurate diagnosis.

 

If you have brown skin discoloration on the knees, lower legs, or ankles, make an appointment with a vein specialist as this could be early signs of vein disease…especially if accompanied by achy, heavy, and swollen legs.

 

Early treatment of your vein disease may help lighten the brown stains caused by hemosiderin staining, and even keep them from getting darker. Once diagnosed, the goal is to reroute the blood to healthier veins and fade unwanted veins, stains, and pains. The sooner you treat your vein condition, the better you’ll feel and the fewer complications you’ll experience.

Filed under: Varicose Veins, Vein Health, Vein TreatmentTagged with: , , , , , ,
Leg with varicose veins on the left, doctor showing an image of a rectumTwo conditions may come to mind when you think of painful, bulging veins:
 
Hemorrhoids and varicose veins.
 
While both conditions affect the veins, they affect different body parts and require different treatments.
 
Hemorrhoids and varicose veins are both caused by malfunctioning venous valves. When your veins don’t function properly, blood flows backward, resulting in enlarged, sometimes painful veins.
 
The good news is both conditions are common and treatable.
 

Signs & Causes of Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in your anus and lower rectum area. They can be internal, inside the rectum, or external under the skin around the anus.
 
Symptoms
Symptoms of external hemorrhoids include pain, swelling, itching, and bleeding.
 
External hemorrhoids cause discomfort. Straining or irritation when having a bowel movement can cause some bleeding.
 
Causes
Common causes of hemorrhoids include:
  • Pregnancy
  • Straining during a bowel movement
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Overweight
  • Eating a low fiber diet

Are Hemorrhoids and Varicose Veins the Same?

Hemorrhoids and varicose veins have the same root cause but different treatments.
 
Treatment for hemorrhoids:
  • over-the-counter creams
  • pads containing witch hazel or numbing agents.
  • regular soaking in a warm bath
  • taking oral pain relievers to control inflammation.
Treatment for varicose veins:

Can You Use Hemorrhoids Cream on Varicose Veins?

The ingredients used in hemorrhoid creams are ineffective in treating varicose veins. It is best to have your veins checked out by a vein specialist.
 

When to Seek Medical Treatment

See a doctor for hemorrhoids when:
  • you are experiencing blood in your stool or rectal bleeding
  • your hemorrhoids are painful and not healing
See a doctor for varicose veins when:
  • you have a sudden increase in pain
  • you experience calf swelling
  • you develop leg sores, throbbing, fever, red/discolored skin,
  • your leg feels warm to the touch
Filed under: Varicose Veins, Vein Health, Vein TreatmentTagged with: , ,

foods to eat to improve vein healthWe all know that a healthy diet is beneficial for your overall health. But did you know that eating certain foods can actually impact your vein health as well?

If you have varicose or spider veins, consider eating these foods to improve your vein health and prevent further vein damage.

Let’s look at some of the best foods to improve your vein health, as well as which foods to avoid. 

Food High in Rutin

Many specialists agree that the best foods for varicose veins are those high in rutin, a plant pigment found in certain fruits and vegetables.

Rutin is “vasoprotective,” meaning it protects blood vessels. It can strengthen weak capillaries that could develop into varicose veins. Rutin is also, anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic, and antioxidant. 

Food that contains rutin includes: 

  • apple
  • buckwheat
  • grapes
  • cherries
  • apricots
  • blackberries
  • avocados

Food High in Water

Drinking water is one of the best ways to improve your vein health. It helps circulate the blood by making it thinner and helps strengthen the muscles that support the veins. Choosing foods high in water content will help your veins stay hydrated.

Water-rich food includes: 

  • strawberries
  • cantaloupe 
  • peaches
  • oranges
  • broths and soups
  • zucchini
  • celery
  • tomatoes 

Food High in Vitamins & Minerals 

Your body needs vitamins and minerals (aka micronutrients) to function properly. They not only nourish the body but also reduce your risk of diseases, especially vein disease.

Eating nutrient-rich foods will give your body the power it needs to protect and strengthen the arteries, veins, and heart from damage that lead to varicose veins

Food that contains vitamins & minerals: 

  • Avocado 
  • Asparagus
  • Berries
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Leafy Greens
  • Bananas
  • Fish

Avoid Food High in Sodium

Sodium causes the body to retain water which increases your blood volume and blood pressure. This puts pressure on the venous system.

Food high in sodium includes: 

  • canned foods
  • deli meats
  • bacon
  • packaged seasoned meat
  • pizza
  • soy sauce
  • olives
  • pickles
  • condiments
  • salad dressings

Avoid Refined Carbohydrates

Refined carbohydrates are stripped away of fiber that promotes strong, healthy veins. Fiber helps to reduce constipation, which puts pressure on the veins in your lower body.

Food with refined carbohydrates includes: 

  • white bread
  • white rice
  • pasta
  • chips and other snacks
  • baked goods
  • breakfast cereals

Avoid Food High in Sugar

High amounts of sugar in the blood cause an excess of insulin to be released into your circulatory system. Excess blood sugar causes the blood vessels to lose elasticity and narrow.

Food high in sugar includes: 

  • candy
  • cake
  • cookies
  • ice cream
  • yogurt
  • granola & granola bars
  • soda
  • sports drinks
  • fruit juice
  • BBQ Sauce
  • ketchup

Avoid Alcohol

Alcohol causes dehydration, making the body work harder to move blood throughout the body. This puts extra pressure on the veins and makes varicose veins symptoms worse.

Eay Healthy Food AND Get Vein Treatment 

While a healthy diet isn’t a substitute for vein treatment by a vein specialist, paying attention to the foods you consume can help you manage your varicose veins. But the best approach to better vein health is to combine exercise, diet, and vein treatment. 

If your legs are painful, itchy, or swollen, it could lead to a serious medical condition, especially if you don’t seek medical help. In this case, food won’t help as much as vein treatment.

 

Delaware State riding a bicycle to healthier veins

At Delaware Advanced Vein Center, our medical staff has years of experience helping people with their spider and varicose veins. We would love to welcome you to our family of satisfied patients. 

Contact us today to schedule a FREE virtual consultation and vein evaluation.

Filed under: Vein HealthTagged with: , ,

bulging veins on handsOur blood moves throughout the body via blood vessels. Sometimes they’ll appear as bulging or popping veins in the hands and feet.

These swollen veins can look weird and show off our age. The good news is most bulging veins aren’t really a sign of poor health. But there are instances where they may arise from an underlying disease.

Either way, we’ll go over what you need to know about bulging veins.

What Causes Bulging Veins in the Hands and Feet?

  • Aging: As we age, our skin gets thinner and less elastic, making our blood vessels more visible. It’s all a normal process of getting older.
  • Genetics: Having family members with bulging veins increases your chances of getting them.
  • Hot Weather: Heat can make veins more prominent and enlarged. They’ll work harder and become more visible.
  • Hormone Imbalance: Pregnancy or menopause can lead to a hormone imbalance. One of the symptoms is bulging veins. Varicose veins or bulging Pregnancy may also put pressure on veins, making it harder for blood flow to get back to the heart.
  • Exercise: Heavy lifting for long periods of time can make the blood flow increase. The muscles harden, causing more visible blood vessels. Over-stretching can also play a role in making veins pop out.
  • Blood Clots: Also known as thrombophlebitis, this condition can cause swollen veins that feel tough.
  • Body Fat Loss: Our skin has a layer of fat that serves as an insulator. When you lose weight, that layer thins, and can makes veins more visible.
  • Health Conditions: Underlying heart problems can cause a chronic increase in blood pressure. This weakens the veins and can cause popping.

Are Bulging Veins the Same as Varicose Veins?

Not all bulging veins are varicose veins and are generally harmless. If the popped-out veins cause pain and discomfort, that signals underlying problems from untreated varicose veins.

Can Bulging Veins Go Away?

Usually, bulging veins will go away on their own, especially from exercise or hot weather. If popping veins run in your family or come from underlying conditions, then you may need treatment to help them go away. That may include:

  • Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs can help decrease the swelling of bulging veins.
  • Sclerotherapy injects a chemical solution into targeted veins and makes them close.
  • Ambulatory phlebectomy is the removal of the targeted veins via small incisions. While you’re under general anesthesia, your doctor will make an incision, tie off the vein, and remove it. The blood that used to run in the vein is automatically shifted and the closed vein eventually fades away.

Cosmetic or Medical, Bulging Veins Can be Fixed

Bulging hand and foot veins are not a serious medical issue for the majority of people. But if you’re concerned that your popping veins are something serious — or you don’t like the way they look — make an appointment with a vein doctor.

If there’s a serious problem, they can recommend treatment. If you want them removed for cosmetic purposes, your doctor will make a suggestion for the best procedure. In the unlikely event, your bulging hand and feet veins are a sign of a more serious condition, your doctor will offer specific medical treatment.

Filed under: Vein Health, Vein TreatmentTagged with: , ,

a personification of a peeled orange, looking at a laptop with varicose veins remedies around her head like aloe vera, apple cider vinegar, and saltThe lure of all-natural ingredients (plus the convenience of skipping a doctor’s visit) is hard to resist. Many people try food and other items to treat the appearance and discomfort of varicose veins. But this begs the question: Do these home remedies for varicose veins actually work? 

 
The answer is a yes and no. DIY varicose vein remedies can help soothe symptoms like inflammation and discomfort, but they are not a permanent cure. Here, we dive into the pros and cons of popular varicose vein home remedies.

Are Varicose Vein Home Remedies Safe?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a solid yes or no answer to this question. We believe in the power of vein treatments like VNUS and ambulatory phlebectomy. It’s the sure-fire way to permanently remove your varicose veins. 
 
But, we understand the temptation to reach for ingredients in your kitchen pantry. Some home solutions can indeed soothe the skin if thoughtfully used. But we urge you to err on the side of caution when approaching DIY cosmetics. It’s not worth harming your skin.

bottle labeled apple cider vinegar with some apples piled next to it

Apple Cider Vinegar

Pros: Apple cider vinegar (AVC) improves blood flow and circulation. It’s also supposed to cleanse the body of accumulated toxins. Apply undiluted ACV to the skin over the varicose veins and massage it into the skin twice a day. 
 
Cons: While it’s unlikely the use of ACV for varicose veins is harmful, there is little research and proof to support this treatment as successful.
2 green bottles of peppermint oil with 3 springs of mint

Peppermint Oil

Pros: Peppermint oil has cooling and soothing properties. It helps reduce pain and discomfort caused by poor blood circulation. The oil also has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce inflammation. Warm the oil in your hands and massage the area affected by varicose veins.
 
Cons: You’ll still suffer from underlying health complications related to varicose veins even after using peppermint oil.

a wooden spoon with epsom salt and some pink flowers around the border

Epsom Salt

Pros: Epsom salt may help improve blood circulation, reduce inflammation, and decrease varicose vein size. It can improve magnesium deficiencies in the body which are important for tissue development. Dissolve the salts in warm bath water and soak the affected areas.
 
Cons: Epsom salt is great for soothing the discomfort and inflammation caused by your varicose veins, but it will not make them go away.

an aloe vera plant with a white background

Aloe Vera

Pros: Aloe Vera can have many benefits on varicose veins. The gel can relieve itchiness, which is a problem in patients with varicose veins. It can also reduce swelling and reduce pain. When massaged into the skin, aloe vera may improve blood circulation.
 
Cons: Aloe Vera can ease irritation and discomfort caused by varicose veins but it’s only temporary. For a permanent solution, you need to seek medical vein treatment.

Combine DIY Varicose Vein Remedies with Lifestyle Changes

These vein remedies will bring relief, but you need to commit to some lifestyle changes to prevent other varicose veins issues. The only way to improve the function and appearance of your veins is from the inside. Combine your vein care remedies with the following lifestyle adjustments:

  • vein health for varicose veinsDon’t sit or stand for long periods. If your work demands so, take breaks after every 30 minutes. Change your position, walk a little, stretch or stand for a while. Just don’t be in the same position for long periods of time.
  • Don’t sit with crossed legs or crossed ankles.
  • Keep your legs elevated even when you lie down or sleep. Stack a few pillows to rest your feet on.
  • Exercise regularly. Cardiovascular exercises and strength training are beneficial for your vein health. Walking also improves your blood circulation.
  • Lose weight. Being overweight is one of the major causes of varicose veins.
  • Eat a balanced diet. Include more fiber in your meals. Fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants are good for you and your blood circulation.

Skip the Trial & Error and Opt for Vein Treatment

We get it. It’s normal to wish for simple solutions. Choosing home varicose vein treatment can be an attractive prospect, but it leaves too much to chanceThe best way to find the right solution for varicose veins is to work with a certified vein specialist. They will check your veins, listen to your concerns, and provide personalized treatment. This approach is proven to provide visible, long-lasting results.
Filed under: Varicose Veins, Vein HealthTagged with: ,