While nobody wants purple building veins across their ankles or legs, did you know that over 40 million people in the US suffer with varicose veins? What’s more, if both parents suffer with varicose veins then there’s is a chance that you’ll suffer too in later life. However, because this issue is so commonplace, there have over the years been many myths built up around them.
In this post we’re going to take a look at some of them and expose them for what they really are, pure fabrication! Let’s take a closer look…
Myth 1 – Crossing your legs can trigger varicose veins
While crossing legs can exacerbate various veins if you already have them, there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that it causes them. While increased blood pressure to a certain area can cause the blood to collect inside a vein making it bulge, acts like leg crossing produce minimal pressure, so those yoga converts who like to practice their Lotus pose, can continue to do so safe in the knowledge that it’s unlikely to cause problematic varicose veins.
Myth 2 – A great cure for varicose veins is a good massage
Unfortunately while a good massage is relaxing at best and can reduce any swelling and/or discomfort that varicose veins present, it won’t make them disappear. Instead, there are better and proven ways to treat them, especially when they cause symptoms such as
- Heavy legs
- Throbbing, muscle cramps
- Swollen legs ankles and feet
Non-surgical treatments include sclerotherapy and vein ablation, both of which can make veins disappear.
Myth 3 – Tattoos are bad for varicose veins
With the increase in body art (particularly tattoos) once question or concern is that tattoos can be bad for varicose veins. The good news is that there’s no evidence to support the fact that this is the case. As the tattoo needle itself shouldn’t go anywhere near deep enough to affect veins, there’s no risk from spider veins, thread veins, or varicose veins. In fact some people choose to build a tattoo pattern around their veiny problem to disguise it, but for others they may decide to remove any problem veins before getting a tattoo.
Myth 4 – With new non-surgical technology, I don’t need to wear compression stockings
Even with the latest non-surgical treatments such as vein ablations or sclerotherapy patients should be advised that they will still need to wear compression stockings after treatment usually for 3-7 days, or in some cases up to 6 weeks longer.
Myth 5 – Varicose veins are a hereditary problem
As already mentioned there is a chance that if both parents suffer from varicose veins, then it’s more of a likelihood that you too will suffer from this problem. However that doesn’t mean it’s a hereditary problem. On the contrary, it’s thought that diet, exercise and lifestyle all have a part to play and in fact, out of the 40 million varicose vein sufferers less than half the people say that varicose veins run in the family.
Now for a truth or three!
While you may not be able to avoid varicose veins altogether, you can delay their onset or make them less unsightly. Ways to do this include:
Maintaining a healthy weight – stay active!
There’s a lot to be said for maintaining a healthy body weight and unfortunately being overweight can increase your risk of developing varicose veins. Also avoiding a sedentary lifestyle is known to limit problems with varicose veins, so try to keep active
Avoid bad lifestyle choices
It’s true that smoking also increases the risk of varicose veins, but in addition it increases the risk of developing complications associated with the problem such as ulcers.
Avoid sitting or standing in one position for long periods of time
If your job involves standing for long periods of time in one position, then intersperse it with regular breaks to sit down. Alternatively, if you sit deskbound for hours on end, try getting up and moving around frequently. Remember, regular movement can help improve both circulation and ultimately, vein health.
If you have varicose veins, then you shouldn’t have to suffer. Here at the Midwest Institute for Non-Surgical Therapy (MINT) we use the latest state-of-the-art treatment options designed to optimise vein health and eradicate any vein problems. Call today for a consultation with Dr Akinwande and the team and take the first steps towards a healthier happier you!