Painful, swollen legs, ankles and feet can be cause for alarm. Standing on your feet all day can cause a lot more than aches and pain. If your job or lifestyle requires you to stand for a majority of the day, your circulation will be affected; when this happens, you have a higher risk of venous insufficiency. Venous insufficiency is inadequate functioning of the vein valves in the leg, causing swelling, pain, varicose veins and skin issues.
Various forms of venous issues affect 25 million Americans. Their legs are swollen, achy and they have a heavy sensation. When our veins are working correctly, they pump blood back to the heart. Valves in the veins are made to open and close in one direction if these valves or the wall of the veins are damaged, the blood is unable to work against gravity, and the result is a pooling of the blood in our legs. This pooling is called stasis and can present significant risks to our health. Varicose veins are one of the indicators of major damage to your circulatory system; venous symptoms should not be taken lightly. A medical professional will be able to report whether or not your symptoms are superficial, moderate or severely dangerous and in need treatment.
Symptoms of Venous Insufficiency:
• Leg pain while standing or sitting, which subsides after resting for an extended period of time
• Sensations of tightness & burning may occur in the leg or foot
• Swelling of the calves, which dissipates after elevation
• Dark veins
• Varicose veins
• Dry, itchy skin
• Ulcer near the ankle (often painless, but with a dark rim)
Although it can happen to anyone, the most common factors that put you at risk for vein issues is being a female over the age of 50, pregnancy, sitting for extended periods of time, a family history of varicose veins, smoking, being overweight, and a sedentary lifestyle.
Some people develop ulcerations, or sores on the lower legs and ankles, due to the low level of oxygen in the veins and the uptake of white blood cells. These ulcers can be extremely painful and are often quite resistant to healing.
Because the veins and arteries balance each other out, when a person experiences chronic symptoms, it’s critical to see a physician. If the veins are damaged, it’s not unusual that the arteries are not pumping blood efficiently either. Chronic venous insufficiency must be treated to prevent further damage to your circulatory system and your overall health.
Both chronic and acute symptoms could be a sign or lead to a DVT (deep vein thrombosis). DVTs are life-threatening and should be treated immediately. Deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot in the veins that are formed deep in within the legs. Vascular malformations, pelvic tumors or sitting for long periods of time are some of the risk factors that go along with DVTs. Speaking to your physician is vital if you or a loved one have any of the venous symptoms or risk factors discussed above.
Sometimes venous insufficiency is more of a cosmetic issue and poses little health concerns. This is usually noted in spider veins, which is when the tiny capillaries are damaged, but when the veins are damaged, this can cause varicose veins, which can lead to more severe health issues such as DVTs and cardiovascular disorders. Varicose veins and symptoms of venous insufficiency should never be taken lightly. A medical professional will be able to report whether or not your symptoms are superficial, or dangerous and in need treatment.
Treatment Options for Venous Insufficiency
• Compression Stockings
• Gradient Compression Devices
• Increased Exercise
• Surgery (Usually through minimally invasive catheters, or ultrasound)
If you have either spider veins or varicose veins that you would like to be less noticeable – or to have them removed completely – contact the skilled medical team at Premier Vein & Vascular. Dr. Saiyad is triple board-certified in internal medicine, cardiology, and vascular medicine, so he is triply qualified to successfully treat unsightly or painful spider veins or varicose veins.
If you have symptoms of varicose or spider veins, it’s important to have a medical examination. Early treatment is optimal, and if your condition is more than just superficial, it can be lifesaving.
Contact Premier Vein today in the Tampa and Largo area by calling (888) VEINCARE (834-6227) or request a consultation online now to take the first step to getting healthy legs and a proper diagnosis.