Do Laser Treatments for Spider & Varicose Veins Hurt?

Varicose and spider veins occur when your veins stop functioning as they should. In a normal vein, blood flows in one direction with the support of a one-way valve and the surrounding muscles. When these valves fail, blood can flow backward or pool within the vein. Spider veins are a milder form and tend to be closer to the surface of the skin, often looking like a spider web.

Varicose veins are larger veins and tend to rise above the skin, often looking like twisted cords in the legs. One of the most common treatments for varicose and spider veins is endovenous thermal ablation or laser treatment.

A big question people want to know is, does this treatment hurt? The good news is, thanks to many advances, this treatment method results in less pain and quicker recovery time than other treatment options, such as vein stripping.

Laser Treatment Preparation May Cause Discomfort

Laser treatment for varicose or spider veins occurs with a laser that is inside the vein. To do this, your provider places a catheter inside the vein to thread the laser in. The procedure typically begins with a topical numbing agent before injections of numbing medicine are placed throughout the length of the vein being treated.

During these injections, you may experience mild pain or discomfort, similar to a mosquito bite. This part of the procedure is usually the most uncomfortable.

You Likely Won’t Feel the Laser

After all the numbing injections, your provider will make a small incision to insert the catheter. The catheter is then guided into the vein. Once in place, the laser is inserted through the catheter and the catheter is removed. At this point, the laser begins heating and treating your varicose or spider vein. Thanks to the numbing medications, you will likely not feel this part at all.

Numbing medications help to keep your varicose vein laser treatment from hurting or causing discomfort.

After Your Laser Therapy Treatment

After your treatment, you will likely be asked to wear compression stockings. This helps to reduce any bruising, tenderness, discomfort, and the risk of blood clots. But, other than some new socks, you will be able to return to your normal activities the following day.

If spider or varicose veins are causing you problems, contact The Vein Company in Tennessee today for more information on your treatment options.

 

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.

 

4 Tips to Baby Your Veins this Holiday Season

While the holidays are filled with family, friends, and fun, they can also be a very stressful time, especially for your legs and varicose veins. All the long hours of shopping for gifts can take their toll, leaving your legs swelling and in pain.

It is important that, during the holiday season, you take time for yourself and give your veins the care and support they need. Following these three tips will make your holidays a little easier and your veins much happier.

1. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

Following a healthy diet during the holidays is never easy. While you don’t need to say no to every holiday treat, making sure you eat healthily and drink plenty of water is essential for good vein health.

Foods rich in bioflavonoids, such as spinach and broccoli, help to strengthen the walls of your veins and are beneficial when you have varicose veins. Avoid foods high in salt as this contributes to swelling.

2. Watch What You Wear

When it comes to varicose veins, wearing compression stockings are often advised. These stockings constrict the veins and promote proper blood flow. While this restriction is designed in a specific way to promote good blood flow, wearing tight and restricting clothing, especially around the waist and stomach, can make the pain from varicose veins worse.

When choosing your outfit for the big holiday party, choose comfort over fashion and pick something that is non-restricting.

3. Take Care of Your Legs

With varicose veins, the holiday season means you need to take the time to pamper your legs. Sitting or standing for long periods at a time can contribute to leg pain and swelling, so it is important to adjust what you are doing often.

Giving your legs a change of pace and a little pampering during your holiday shopping can offer relief to varicose veins.

Take time to sit and relax while shopping. If traveling long distances, make sure that you get up and walk during long periods of sitting. If you are traveling on a plane and can’t get up to walk, you can still stretch out your legs with simple exercises like flexing and pointing your feet or rotating your ankles.

In addition, take time throughout the day to elevate your feet. Raising your feet level slightly above your heart reduces the force of gravity and helps the blood flow easier through the veins.

4. Seek Treatment

Don’t let the stress of the holidays take its toll on your legs. The holidays are a time of giving and receiving gifts and the biggest gift you can give this holiday season is to yourself and your legs.

If the holidays do take a toll, the cooler months after the holidays are a good time to consider treatment for varicose veins and get you ready to show off your legs by summer.

Contact us online or call us today at one of our three locations in Sevierville, Johnson City, and Knoxville, Tennessee to learn more or to schedule an appointment.

 

Can You Fix Your Spider or Varicose Veins at Home?

If you live with spider or varicose veins, you are not alone. It is estimated that one out of every five adults have varicose veins, with more than 40 percent of women having some sort of vein condition, including spider veins. While they can be unsightly, they can, in the case of varicose veins, also pose health risks. While the internet may offer a world of at-home remedies for these conditions, real treatment by a specialist is what you really need.

What is the Difference Between Varicose and Spider Veins?

While the names of these veins are often used together, they are slightly different conditions. Let’s take a closer look at each one and what causes them.

Spider Veins

Spider veins are a mild form of varicose veins that appear as thin red or blue lines, typically on the legs. They sit near the surface of the skin. These thin lines often form a web-like network, hence the name.

They occur when the valves within the veins stop working properly. The exact cause of spider veins is unknown, but it is believed that heredity, pregnancy, trauma, aging, hormones, and even sun damage can play a role. Typically, spider veins do not pose a health risk and are more of a cosmetic issue.

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins can be blue, red, or even flesh-colored and look like bulging cords above the skin. These veins lie deeper within the body, and, like spider veins, are caused when valves in the vein stop working.

This valve malfunction causes blood to flow back into the veins instead of traveling to the heart. This increased blood volume causes the veins to expand. Varicose veins can cause pain, aches, restless legs, and burning and itching of the skin.

If varicose veins go untreated, they can worsen and lead to chronic venous insufficiency. This condition can cause leg swelling, skin damage, and ulcers.

Fixing These Veins Requires a Doctor

While many sites may boast of home remedies such as herbal teas or dietary changes and exercise, it is recommended that you consult a varicose vein doctor near you to treat these veins and rule out any additional risks. Treatments for spider veins and varicose veins include:

  • This treatment involves injecting a solution into spider veins in order to shrink the vein and clot the blood.
  • Endovenous Thermal Ablation. This treatment involves a small catheter placed inside the vein that uses heat to seal the vein closed. Once closed, and over time, the vein shrinks and is absorbed by the body.
  • VenaSeal™️. This treatment option for varicose veins uses an advanced medical adhesive to close the affected vein. Like with endovenous thermal ablation, the treated vein typically shrinks and disappears.
  • Microambulatory Phlebectomy. This procedure occurs when the closed vein does not disappear. It is a minor surgical procedure to remove the targeted vein.

If you are bothered by spider or varicose veins, look for a varicose vein doctor near you and make an appointment for a consultation. Not only will you make those bothersome lines disappear, but you will help reduce your risk of any possible complications that could arise.

 

How A Standing Desk Can Save You From Spider Veins

With recent health studies finding concerns over excessive time sitting in a car or at a desk, standing desks have become a new trend in many workplaces.

Recent studies have linked too much time in a chair with everything from coronary disease to liver disease, and health experts are in agreement that too much sitting is not healthy.

But too much standing might also be a problem.

Finding a Balance Between Sitting and Standing

Excessive periods of standing have long been known to be a contributing factor to the severity of varicose veins.

So how is a person supposed to deal with studies that show sitting is bad for your health in some areas while standing might cause its own share of health troubles?

Find a Good Balance

As with many health-related issues, the key is in avoiding the excessive and striking a good balance.

Stand-up desks are great for a lot of reasons, but standing all day is not the solution to the problems caused by sitting all day. Finding a happy medium is the right answer.

Many stand-up desks on the market can be raised or lowered. This allows people to avoid a situation where they stand or sit all day but can find a good balance. If you have a stand-up desk, you should take time during the day to find a place where you can have a seat.

The opposite is true, too. If you sit at a desk all day, it’s good to get and walk around or stand in place for a while.

Regular exercise, drinking plenty of water, and eating healthy are just as important as your choice to sit or stand. But you should realize that excess is often the problem. Regardless of your work environment, you should never sit all day or stand all day. Varying your routine is important and will make you more productive and healthier in the long run.

Asclera For Sclerotherapy

One option for patients who have issues related to varicose or spider veins is a treatment known as sclerotherapy.

Varicose veins are essentially just bulging veins that have become incompetent. The way sclerotherapy works is by injecting a solution into the veins. The solution irritates the lining of the blood vessel and causes it to collapse.

Typically in sclerotherapy, the solution used is a hypertonic saline solution. While effective, the saline solution does have some drawbacks.

Drawbacks of Saline

Some patients express feeling some discomfort or stinging sensations when a hypertonic saline solution is used. Patients may also experience cramping during the process, and that cramping can be uncomfortable for patients.

Another drawback to the hypertonic saline solution is that it can cause some short-term or even lasting staining in the legs where the collapsed veins are. Obviously, for patients who are seeking treatment for varicose veins due to aesthetic issues, staining is an issue that causes concern for them.

Advantages of Asclera

Another option for sclerotherapy is Asclera. Asclera is a detergent solution that works in the same way as the hypertonic saline solution.

While Asclera is a higher-priced option than traditional hypertonic saline, Asclera carries some advantages that patients find are worth the extra cost.

For instance, Asclera does not cause any stinging sensations. Patients using Asclera have not reported any discomfort from cramping, either.

Also, Asclera leaves little to no staining, and for those patients who are concerned about the aesthetics of treating varicose veins, this can prove to be a very important issue.

Asclera may not be the right choice for all patients, but to avoid the issues related to using hypertonic saline solutions, it is definitely an option worth considering.

Consult With Your Physician

Asclera is a premium product, and patients seeking treatment for varicose veins should consult their care provider to determine which route will be the best for them.

Endovenous Thermal Ablation

Endovenous thermal ablation, also known as endovenous ablation, is a big-sounding name for a varicose vein treatment commonly called “laser therapy.”

Patients suffering from varicose veins or incompetent veins have a variety of options for treatment available to them, and one of the newer techniques utilizes a laser or high-frequency radio waves to create intense local heat in the varicose vein.

The use of radio waves or laser energy can cauterize and close the varicose veins in the legs.

Benefits of Endovenous Thermal Ablation

There are several reasons patients prefer endovenous thermal ablation over other kinds of treatments. The procedure offers a variety of benefits making it one of the most convenient choices available.

Minimally Invasive

Endovenous thermal ablation is less invasive than other kinds of treatments used to deal with varicose veins, and laser therapy leaves virtually no scars.

Pain Relief

Patients who are suffering from pain caused by varicose veins will find that endovenous thermal ablation can relieve them of the pain and discomfort of varicose veins.

No Scarring

Endovenous thermal ablation will also dramatically reduce the unsightly disfigurement caused by varicose veins, leaving patients with virtually no scarring or staining.

Quick and Convenient

Laser therapy is a relatively quick treatment that can be performed in an outpatient setting with only local anesthetic. It treats varicose veins by damaging the walls of the incompetent veins, shrinking them, and closing them off so that blood cannot flow through the varicose vein.

How Does It Work?

The treatment requires mapping the vein with an ultrasound. After a local anesthetic is given, a thin fiber is inserted through a tiny entry point. The thermal energy or laser is delivered to treat the faulty vein.

Patients should plan to have a relative or friend drive them home after the treatment, but recovery time is very fast. Patients are typically encouraged to walk immediately following the procedure and normal daily activities can be resumed immediately.

Some patients may experience minor, temporary soreness and bruising, but that can be treated with over-the-counter, non-aspirin, pain relievers.

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.