Varicose veins in the legs - problem number 1 for a modern person. The disease hides not only cosmetic defects, but also formidable complications that, in the absence of effective therapy, can be irreversible.
Varicose veins of the lower extremities have specific symptoms and treatment that every person needs to know. Treatment can be carried out at home or in a hospital, and therapy can be conservative or operative, depending on the degree of vascular damage.
The main thing in this pathology is to diagnose varicose veins in the early stages. This guarantees the patient's safety and makes it possible to adjust the treatment if necessary.
Causes of the disease
Varicose veins occur when there is an insufficiency of the vascular valve apparatus. Unlike arteries, veins do not have muscles and the ability to contract. If there is a congenital or acquired defect in the valves of the veins, the blood stagnates in them, and a reverse blood flow occurs. This causes an increase in pressure in the vessels of the limbs, which leads to their expansion.
Reasons leading to varicose veins:
- Prolonged static position of the body,which leads to stagnation of blood in the veins of the lower extremities;
- Heredity.There is a congenital abnormality of the valves of the veins, which can occur in both women and men. This pathology of a hereditary nature manifests itself at a young age and can even occur in children;
- Hormonal disorders and endocrinological diseases.Teenage hormonal surges, the onset of menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, lactation, menopause - all these fluctuations in the hormonal background in the presence of factors predisposing to varicose veins can lead to the development of the disease. Pathology affects women several times more often than men.
There are factors that can lead to the development of varicose veins:
- gender - women are prone to varicose veins more often than men;
- physique - varicose veins of the lower extremities are more common in overweight people;
- race - the disease often affects the light-skinned race;
- chronic foci of inflammation in the body and small pelvis, which leads to inflammation of blood vessels and disruption of their work;
- physical activity, static work, which leads to stagnation of blood in the veins;
- diseases of the nervous system. The development of varicose veins of the lower extremities is due to the fact that in the pathology of the nervous system, there is a violation of innervation and a change in vascular tone.
Symptoms of varicose veins of the lower extremities
Varicose veins of the lower extremities have different symptoms. Depending on the severity of the disease, CEAP (Clinical Etiology Anatomy Pathology), or the international scientific community, classifies varicose veins into 6 degrees.
This stage of the disease development is characterized by the presence of:
- feelings of heaviness in the lower limbs;
- swelling of the legs;
- painful sensations in the legs;
- seizures, the occurrence of which is typical for the night time.
All symptoms at stage 0 are not visualized: the veins look normal, and the methods of examination do not reveal varicose veins.
The appearance is added to the characteristic symptoms:
- spider veins;
- vascular network on the limbs.
Attached to the described symptoms:
- visible expansion of superficial veins on the lower extremities;
- varicose veins.
At this stage, in the absence of adequate treatment, blood clots may form.
4 - 3 stage.Regular swelling of the legs joins.
5 - 4th stage.
Disorder of tissue trophism appears, which is accompanied by:
- atrophy of the skin;
- maceration on the skin;
- the appearance of pigmented areas on the skin of the legs.
6 - 5 stage.History of a healed trophic ulcer.
7 - 6 stage.It is characterized by the presence of a non-healing trophic ulcer.
Diagnosis of varicose veins of the lower extremities
Diagnosis of varicose veins of the lower extremities Diagnosis of varicose veins in the legs can be carried out:
- carrying out functional tests;
- ultrasonic research methods with dopplerography: scanning color duplex or triplex;
- contrast phlebography with the introduction of a contrast agent into the veins followed by X-ray images.
The gold standard for diagnosing varicose veins is currently Doppler ultrasound. This research method allows to identify the development of the disease in the early stages, as well as to monitor the effectiveness of the therapy. Ultrasound has no contraindications and is allowed even during pregnancy.
Varicose veins in the legs: treatment at home and in the hospital
Therapy for varicose veins of the lower extremities can be:
Varicose veins in the legs, treatment at home allows in cases where the disease is amenable to conservative therapy.
In case of complications, trophic disorders or other dangerous symptoms, treatment of varicose veins of the lower extremities is recommended stationary. Also, you must be in the hospital at the time of the operation and the rehabilitation period.
Conservative treatment does not eliminate the cause of varicose veins. It is used as:
- a comprehensive treatment method;
- in preparation for surgery;
- in the postoperative period as a prophylaxis;
- in case of contraindications to surgical treatment.
Conservative treatment is aimed at:
- prevention of disease recurrence;
- elimination of varicose veins symptoms.
Among the conservative methods of treating varicose veins are distinguished:
- compression therapy;
- drug therapy;
- traditional methods of treatment.
Compression underwear is capable of achieving the following results due to the pressure exerted on the lower limbs:
- to reduce congestion in the lower extremities;
- increase lymphatic drainage;
- improve the performance of deep veins.
Compression knitwear is selected by the attending physician and dispensed strictly according to prescriptions. The exception is linen for the prevention of varicose veins. Depending on the degree of pressure exerted on the lower extremities and the severity of varicose veins, the phlebologist selects the necessary jersey. The use of linen depends on the level of vascular damage.
Compression underwear used:
- elastic bandages;
Of the drugs, drugs that have the following effects are most effective:
- increase the tone of the vascular wall;
- reduce the permeability of the capillary network and improve lymphatic drainage;
- normalize blood rheological properties;
- relieve inflammation in the affected vessels;
- have the maximum effect at the lowest dosage;
- have no adverse reactions.
From medicines to relieve the symptoms of varicose veins of the lower extremities and treatment, tablets and topical preparations are used in the form of ointments or gels.
The main drugs used in the treatment of varicose veins are:
- phlebotonic drugs;
- venotonic drugs;
- fibrinolytic therapy;
- antioxidant therapy.
From traditional methods of treatment, drugs are used based on:
- horse chestnut extract;
- grape leaf extract.
Surgery for varicose veins
If indicated, the operation of varicose veins of the lower extremities is performed. Surgical treatment is radical, capable of eliminating not only the symptoms of the disease, but also the cause of its occurrence.
Surgical interventions include:
- laser therapy;
- radio frequency obliteration.
Sclerotherapy is the introduction of special sclerosants into the affected veins of the lower extremities, which clog the vessels and prevent venous blood from moving along them.
Phlebectomy refers to a radical surgical operation of varicose veins, which is performed under anesthesia and is accompanied by the removal of the affected veins through incisions in the lower extremities.
Laser therapy of varicose veins is a cauterization and adhesion of the affected vessels by means of a laser device. Treatment does not require anesthesia or surgical procedures.
Radiofrequency obliteration allows you to eliminate reflux in the saphenous veins using a radiofrequency device. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia without surgery under ultrasound control.
Lower limb massage
Massage for varicose veins in the legs is a preventive method of treatment. It is used in the initial stages to eliminate symptoms and in the postoperative period.
Application of massage is possible with:
- absence of trophic disorders in the lower extremities;
- absence of trophic ulcers;
- presence of mild lesions.
Massage allows you to unload the microvasculature and improve lymphatic drainage. The massage starts from the buttocks, goes down to the thighs, legs and feet. Apply stroking with the capture of the affected areas, as well as light shaking, pinching. During the massage, the patient is in a supine position with bent and raised legs.
You can read about all the benefits of massage and how to perform it and watch the video on this page.
Among the contraindications to massage are:
- decompensated concomitant diseases;
- cardiovascular diseases;
- grade 3 arterial hypertension;
- trophic disorders in the lower extremities;
Before starting a massage or using medication, you should consult a qualified specialist. Self-medication for varicose veins is unacceptable, as this can lead to irreversible consequences.