What Are the Most Common Reasons for Lower Leg Swelling?

The role of varicose veins is a progressive and complex illness. It currently affects millions of Americans due to age, gender, weight, and a myriad of other conditions. Here are some of the most common reasons for lower leg swelling to know.

What Is Lower Leg Swelling?

Lower leg swelling is commonly known as edema. During the aging process, the natural body begins to change. Most people experience new slowness, tenderness, and aches and pains in their bodies. Occasionally, this can develop into edema in the legs for a certain percentage of people. Edema is the abnormal excess accumulation of fluid within the connective tissue. Chronic edema often results in pain, heaviness, weakness, and mobility limitations. Be on the lookout for edema if you suspect it. Consistent swelling is a common sign and indicates foot and ankle complications.

Experiences can differ between those with edema. Some people may see their sock imprint at the end of the day, while others can press a finger into the skin and cause indentation. Common causes include old age, obesity, deep vein thrombosis, and a family history of edema and leg injuries. Standing for long hours each day, certain medications, venous disease, and trauma can also cause edema.

Common Treatments

Treating edema is not impossible, and contemporary medical treatments are available for those suffering from it. Before any treatment can begin, you must receive a medical diagnosis from a health-care practitioner. They will recommend treatments based on any underlying causes to mitigate swelling. Then, any remaining swelling is extracted to avoid worsening the area.

Compression therapy is a common treatment involving several steps to avoid permanent tissue damage. Commonly, these may include manual lymph drainage to push fluid to working lymphatic nodes, exercise programs and short-stretch compression bandaging, and frequent mobility work to avoid pressure sores. Proper rest ensures low pressure on the leg while allowing the calf and muscle contractions to function.

Other Things To Note

When thinking about the most common reasons for lower leg swelling, edema may seem scary, but it’s not a grave concern due to the advancements in medical technology. Fortunately for you, the Vein Company specializes in lower leg swelling for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. If you’re looking for a Chattanooga vein clinic, look no further.

We’re here to provide the best assistance and treatment plans that work for you. We also have five other locations around Tennessee and Virginia with tailor-made treatments and diagnostic techniques that meet Medicare and most major insurance providers. Customer care is our top priority, so visit us today to treat your edema and other venous conditions.

5 Simple Lifestyle Changes That Help Prevent Varicose Veins

Whether you’re worried about developing varicose veins in the future or trying to deal with the ones you have currently, don’t feel like there isn’t hope for improvement. It might surprise you to learn that preventing varicose veins doesn’t take a ton of concerted effort. We’ll show you a few simple lifestyle changes that help prevent varicose veins to give you the edge in the fight against them.

Move Your Legs Throughout the Workday

Many of us work pretty sedentary jobs these days. Plenty of us are now stuck sitting at desks or even in our home offices. Try not to stay in the same sitting or standing position for too long while you’re working. You want to keep the blood in your legs circulating, not pooling which can cause or worsen varicose veins. Simple stretching and bending your legs a few times throughout the day can keep your blood from pooling.

Wear Compression Stockings

If you feel that your blood is prone to pooling in your legs and you are often sedentary, compression garments like stockings can be a life changer. Compression stockings place pressure on certain places in your legs that encourage blood to flow unimpeded. While moving your legs is still essential, these compression garments can continue to help even when you are sitting or standing still.

Reduce Sodium Intake

Your salt, or more specifically sodium, intake should be on your radar if you’re worried about varicose veins. A diet heavy on sodium means that your body may retain much more water, contributing to issues like varicose veins. This extra fluid you’re holding can also pool in your legs, which is painful whether or not you already have varicose veins.

Avoid Overly Tight Clothing

While compression garments are carefully designed for blood flow, tight-fitting clothes are definitely not. Any clothing that may restrict your blood flow from your legs to your heart could contribute to varicose veins. Body-shaping garments such as girdles or very tight jeans can reduce blood flow and exacerbate issues caused by varicose veins.

Focus on Aerobic Exercise

Adding more aerobic exercise to your day is one simple lifestyle change to prevent varicose veins. Aerobic activities such as walking, running, and cycling help strengthen your heart and improve your body’s blood flow, helping to prevent varicose veins from developing. In contrast, anaerobic exercises, such as weightlifting, could strain your veins and worsen the problem.

If you’re searching for a varicose vein clinic that can help, you’re already in the right place. The Vein Company can assist you with preventing and treating varicose veins if you’re looking for the best support possible.

3 Exercises to Help Prevent & Ease Varicose Veins

With people working more hours and having busy lifestyles, regular exercise is not always at the top of everyone’s list. Unfortunately, in addition to contributing to rising rates of obesity, this lack of exercise can also contribute to varicose veins.

The good news is that adding as little as 30 minutes of exercise a day can help you reduce your risk of developing varicose veins, as well as help ease the symptoms if you already have them.

While 30 minutes a day is recommended, you don’t have to set aside that time in one block of your day. Instead, you can break up the day into three 10-minute sets, making it easier to get in the exercise your legs need to be in their best shape.

Here are three exercise examples that are a great place to start and are easy to work into your daily routine.

1. Walking Can Really Make a Difference

Walking is a great exercise that requires no special equipment or a trip to the gym. Regular walks, such as around your neighborhood, can help you lose weight, maintain healthy blood pressure and help to strengthen muscles and bones.

In addition, walking is very effective for varicose veins. And it doesn’t need to be a long walk. For varicose vein health, short five-minute walks throughout the day can be more effective than a single, 30-minute walk.

So, instead of hunting for the closest parking spot to the store, park a little farther and take a little stroll. Your legs will thank you for it. If you can’t get outside for a walk, consider walking in place while watching your favorite television show instead.

2. Calf Flexors You Can Do Anywhere

If you spend a lot of your day sitting at a desk or have a long commute, chances are your calves need some strengthening. Tightening your calf muscles can make a big difference when it comes to varicose veins.

Simple calf flexor exercises can be done anywhere, including while you stand in line for your morning latte. Simply stand with your feet flat on the floor. Raise your toes up and feel the stretch in your calves. Slowly lower your toes to the flat position and then raise your heels, feeling another stretch in the calf muscles. Repeat these motions for 30 seconds to a minute and your calves will thank you.

3. Simple Stretching, Such as Leg Lifts

Simple stretching exercises are great to help stabilize the muscles in the body and help build core strength. Regular stretching can also help increase blood circulation as well as strengthen the muscles that support your veins, reducing the risk of varicose veins.

Leg lifts are simple exercises that you can do at home to help strengthen your leg muscles. While lying flat on your back, slowly lift up one leg at a time and hold it up for a few seconds before slowly lowering it back to the ground. Repeat this with the other leg.

If getting down to the ground is difficult, leg lifts can also be done in a standing position. Simply raise one leg at a time out in front of you or out to the side. Hold in position for a few seconds before returning to a standing position.

By adding just 30 minutes of exercise a day, you can help boost your circulation and strengthen the muscles that support good vein health. This can help reduce the risk of developing varicose veins or help reduce the need for varicose vein treatment.

 

3 Easy Tricks to Help Prevent Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are those bulging, bluish cords that you can see just under the surface of the skin. Typically, they can be found on the legs and cause more than 30 million Americans to hide behind long pants each summer.

Varicose veins are the result of dysfunctional valves inside the vein that allow blood to pool and flow backward, expanding the vein. While varicose veins are usually painless, they can be painful and, if left untreated, can progress to a disease called Chronic Venous Insufficiency. While you can’t control risk factors like age and genetics, there are some things you can to help prevent varicose vein problems from developing or getting worse.

Get Moving

When it comes to your risk of varicose veins, gravity is not your friend. Standing or sitting for prolonged periods can make it harder for blood to travel in your legs as it fights against gravity. Maybe you notice swelling in your ankles or calves at the end of the day? Getting up and moving, even if it is a short walk around the living room, gets your blood circulating. Elevating your feet above your heart at least three times a day helps reduce the force of gravity and makes it easier for the blood to flow.

Follow a Healthy Lifestyle

While you can’t change risk factors like your age or traits passed down from your mom, you can make an active choice to live a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercising helps to keep your muscles toned, your weight under control, and your blood flowing properly. Excess weight can cause pressure to build-up on the veins and restrict blood flow. Smoking, as well as alcohol use, is likely to increase your risk of developing varicose veins.

Watch What You Wear

What you wear on a regular basis can increase your risk of developing varicose veins. Instead of fancy high-heeled shoes, reach for flats. These shows help work the calf muscles more, help increase muscle tone, and are better for circulation.

Keep the clothes you wear around your waist, groin, and legs as loose as possible. Tight clothes in these areas can restrict your blood flow and increase your risk of developing or worsening varicose veins.

 

What Varicose Veins Say About Your Legs

While the presence of varicose veins may not necessarily be an indicator of other more serious medical issues, the indirect connection should not be overlooked.

It is commonly understood that varicose veins are unsightly and can be uncomfortable. In extreme conditions, varicose veins may be linked to hypertension and heart disease. However, in most cases, varicose veins are not directly linked to other serious health issues.

Varicose Veins May Indicate Other Health Problems

However, the presence of varicose veins may be an indirect indicator of other health problems.

Varicose veins can sometimes occur or worsen due to health issues such as weight, inactivity, and smoking. If you are experiencing problems with varicose veins, it could be an indication that you have other more serious health issues that need to be addressed.

Some patients find that by losing weight they are able to reduce the problems they experience with varicose veins. But for patients with a weight problem, losing weight is also beneficial for a myriad of health reasons.

Varicose veins are often tied to inactivity – long days sitting at a desk or standing in one place can both be contributing factors to varicose veins. Just as losing weight can be beneficial for varicose veins and other health issues, implementing active daily routines can do wonders for a person’s overall health.

An Indirect Correlation

Not enough research has been done to point to varicose veins as a harbinger of other health issues, but there is certainly an indirect correlation between other health issues that are common among patients who also have trouble with varicose veins.

See a Medical Professional

It is always a good idea for anyone who is suffering from varicose veins to seek a professional medical opinion – whether the varicose veins are just unsightly or severe enough that they are causing pain.

A medical professional can not only advise patients as to treatments for the varicose veins themselves but can also give patients information about other health risks that may be indirectly linked to varicose veins.

Take Back Your Legs From Varicose Veins

What can you begin doing to help lessen the effect of your varicose veins?

Let’s just come out and say it. Varicose veins are the worst. They’re uncomfortable, there’s not a whole lot that you can do to make them completely go away naturally, and they make you self-conscious about your legs when there’s nothing else to wear but shorts in this southern heat. And while there are some cases where they can lead to more serious medical issues, for the most part, they’re just plain annoying. But there are things that you could be doing during your daily activities that may be making your varicose veins worse.

Keep Your Blood Flowing

Varicose veins and spider veins are caused when the valve in a vein is weakened, causing the blood to pool in the vein. This causes the veins to enlarge, and become visible below the skin. You’ll hear a lot that sitting for long periods of time can make your varicose veins worse, and that’s true. If you have a desk job, it’s best to get up and move around every hour or so just to keep that blood flowing. But it’s not just sitting that’s the problem. Standing for long periods of time is also a major contributor to spider and varicose veins. Basically, if you’re not getting your blood pumping, it’s hindering, instead of helping, the issue.

So when you’re at the office, don’t just stand up and stretch. Move around! Take a walk, even if it’s just to refill your water bottle. The movement will help, and it will make your legs feel less uncomfortable.

Elevate Your Feet

If moving around isn’t an option for you, make sure your feet are elevated when you’re seated. It’ll still get your blood going, even if you aren’t mobile.
Exercise is one of the main ways to prevent varicose and spider veins. So if you see them start to emerge, take your legs back, one step at a time.

The Trouble With Veins

Ever watch Olympic weightlifters, see their bulging veins and look down at your legs while you’re sitting on the couch and see the same bulging veins? Obviously, there has to be a difference, right? They’re lifting ten times their weight and while you may work out, you’re definitely not benching your co-worker after work. There is a difference and if you’re experiencing bulging veins, you may be in trouble. If you suffer from chest pains, shortness of breath, heaviness of legs, discoloration in legs, swelling, cramping or throbbing, or ulcers near the bulging veins you should seek medical care.

Many Causes to Consider

The main causes for bulging veins outside of bodybuilding are as follows:

  • Pregnancy – due to the pressure on the veins, circulation becomes more difficult and it can cause varicose veins to appear.
  • Old Age – they say growing old doesn’t come easy, and unfortunately, along with everything else that seems to be giving up on you, bulging veins can also join that stack of aging issues. This is due to the muscle within the vein becoming weak and allows the blood to pool.
  • Venous Insufficiency – this is where the valves in your veins that make it where the blood can not flow backward are not working so the blood just ends up pooling instead of pumping as it should.
  • Obesity – while sometimes it seems like everyone is blaming everything on inactivity, it is true that the more stagnant your legs are the more likely you are to get bulging veins. Diabetes also falls under the same category. The more unhealthy you live, the more likely you are to have bulging veins.
  • Thrombophlebitis – honestly this is just a big mouthful of a word to say that you have a blood clot in your vein.

There are ways to combat some of these without seeking medical attention. I will state though that if you have the following situations it is more life-threatening and medical attention should be sought out immediately: Blood clot, infection, tumor.

Changing For The Better

You can make lifestyle changes such as exercise, watching your weight, and compression socks to ease the issues you may be experiencing. You can also go the route of laser surgery or vein stripping to name a few. However, for the general case of bulging veins, remaining active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle of watching your weight can seriously reduce your risk of varicose veins. So why wait? It’s 2017; a year to make some good choices and changes.

Contributing Blogger, Amanda Smith

The author is not a doctor and does not claim to offer medical advice.  Any and all information in the is article should not be treated as such.  Please consult your physician for further information.

Vein Disease

Vein disease is something most people just see on really long infomercials trying to sell some product to get rid of it. Lotions, lasers, clinics, they’ll try to sell it all in either the most mundane voice-over or by someone who is way too excited about it. Varicose veins, Spider veins, and reticular veins- what’s the difference? How do you know if you have it or not? What can be practically done about it?

Types of Vascular Diseases

Probably the more known vein disease is varicose veins. Typically, they are shown as the thick, wavy veins that protrude out of the skin. However, that is not the only form that it comes in; swelling, discoloration of skin, and ulcers may appear. Symptoms can include heaviness in the legs, itching or burning, lower leg swelling, and night cramps.

Spider veins are a bit different, they look like an average vein but spread out in a web-like fashion and visible to the eye. Spider vein issues include; swelling, consistent soreness, clotting, ulcers, and changes in skin color.

Reticular veins are short, wavy lines of the vein that can be seen on the skin. This type seems to be almost like the beginning stage for the other two however it does not have the same symptoms and is more cosmetic. But where did all this information come from?

How The Vein Company  Can Help

The Vein Company website lays it all out in a very user-friendly format. They explain the difference between each disease with pictures. While most websites that are in the top search for any type of ailment normally end up with the diagnosis of something unrelated and dramatic such as cancer, The Vein Company stays on topic. They even have a quiz to assess whether or not you might actually have a vein disease; through simple yes or no questions, it leads the quiz taker to a result that can help them to consultation if needed.

The Vein Company allows you to schedule a consultation with them right on their website too. No need to do the research, take the quiz then find somewhere to go, it’s all laid out for you and is easily assessable. They even have a Frequently Asked Question section to put any remaining concerns to rest. This company truly has you covered with any aspect needed for the issue of vein disease. So the question now remains will you finally find somewhere to get rid of these health problems or will you be stuck with them in this New Year?

Not Just Women are Affected By Varicose Veins

Traditionally, with age comes a release of the classic signs of attractiveness like wrinkle-free arms, mole-free faces, and varicose-vein-free legs. But in spite of being associated with aging women, varicose veins are far from being a classic sign of aging beauty. While often seen as a primarily cosmetic concern that has an emotional effect on women these bulging veins affect both women, and men, and both youth and golden-aged people.

Men Are Affected, Too!

In spite of the cosmetic implications, the appearance of varicose veins is a treatable medical condition that flows throughout the world with little preference for gender. An estimated 56% of men are stricken with the condition, according to British research. The men and women who find themselves with bulging veins have more to worry about than appearance. Varicose veins can lead to conditions like skin-bleeding, skin discoloration, skin ulcers, and a “heavy leg” sensation.

This condition has a strong genetic component, where veins in the lower extremities expand when standing erect, and then do not return to their original position. Those genetically predisposed to weaker vein walls are at risk of developing varicose veins. Thankfully for men, overcoming a genetic predisposition for varicose veins doesn’t require anything outrageous. Experts say that exercising is the easiest way to maintain a consistently strong blood flow and keep the walls of the veins strong and in top condition.

Also, men who enjoy those pepperoni pizzas, flaming hot buffalo sauces, and tasty hot sausages may have to simmer those habits down in favor of a good, healthy vein flow. Research indicates that a high sodium diet most certainly contributes to the development of varicose veins.

Move Your Body, Get Blood Flowing

And finally, the last and most difficult task performed in order to avoid those popping varicose veins: GET UP! While many of us have the misfortune of working in an office where our bums do most of the heavy lifting all day, this unhealthy habit leads to blood pooling and exaggerated veins. While doing a full-on bodybuilding session in the middle of the office is far from optional for most of us, 55-year-old you will thank you kindly or years to come for taking those extra bathroom breaks.

Because varicose veins are often marketed as a mere cosmetic problem strictly for older women, men of all ages are done a huge disservice. If symptoms of restless leg syndrome, pain in calves after walking, and muscle cramps, consistently affect you, regardless of gender, then non-cosmetic treatment plans might be the option.

The author is not a Doctor and does not claim to offer medical advice.  Any and all information in this article should not be treated as such.  Please consult your physician for further information.