LETTER V- VARICOSE VEINS

Varicose veins is a condition where veins of the body especially the superficial ones become twisted and enlarged. Lower limb veins are most commonly affected.

According to the National Vascular Society, 6 to 7 out of 10 Women suffer from different stages of Varicose Veins at some point in their lives. They are commonly known to occur during or after pregnancy. It is more prevalent in females than males but can develop in any person whose routine involves sitting and/or standing for prolonged hours.

Those dark blue or purplish , large and swollen veins which appear on legs or feet results from back flow of blood due to incompetent valves in veins and poor micro-circulation. The symptoms include swelling, heaviness, fatigue, itching and discoloration of legs.

Varicose veins tend to cause a myriad of problems ranging from mild discomfort to severe painful conditions like Venous Ulcers.

Once developed, they cannot be reversed and no medicinal cure for it has been pioneered till now. Surgical treatments for varicose veins too fail to show long-term improvement. Physiotherapeutic management can be a breakthrough in non-surgical treatment of Varicose Veins!

The painless and non surgical approach to management of varicose veins includes following aspects:

This is a therapeutic technique that helps restore venous circulation. With its intermittent cycles of inflation and deflation and direction being from distal to proximal aspect(as shown in figure below).It can help broadly in reducing swelling, enhancing venous circulation and in turn clearing debris responsible for formation of varicosities.

Pain relieving technologies and healing mechanisms:

A revolution in non-surgical management of Varicose Veins is the application of technologies like LLLT(Low Level Laser Therapy) that can help stimulate healing by improving blood flow at micro cellular level and reduce inflammation and in turn pain.

Exercise Therapy:

One of the important factor that maintains the venous blood flow is Muscular Pump.

Structured and customised exercise protocol that focuses on maintaining venous flow from distal to proximal direction, using muscular pumps at different junctures, can bring huge improvements.

Prevention Strategies & Lifestyle Modifications:

Varicose veins is a pure mechanical disorder and a smart play with gravity can help counteract its effect on valves. Ergonomic modifications and measures like frequent ankle pumping, frequent intervals between sitting and standing, elevating legs above heart level, footwear modifications, weight management ,etc. can accelerate the process of recovery and help prevent further complications.

This article is written by one of the most efficient physiotherapists of Ahmedabad who has treated many national and international patients with great success.

Dr. Priyanka Modi Shah[PT],
Ahmedabad.