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Burning, Throbbing, Cramping or Swelling Legs? You Might Have Varicose Veins

August 6, 2020 • • Uncategorized

What is That Pain in Your Legs?

In some lines of work, or even with certain lifestyle conditions, you may find yourself standing a lot. Perhaps you’ve recently noticed a throbbing sensation in your legs that you just can’t ignore—and you’ve spotted blue, web-like veins on one or both of your legs. What does this mean? Likely, it means that you have varicose veins.

What Are Varicose Veins?

What exactly are varicose veins? Varicose veins are enlarged, swollen, and twisting veins, often appearing blue or dark purple and web-like on the calves or thighs. Due to age or increased intravenous pressure, the valves in veins become weaker over time, causing blood to pool in your extremities. The pooling blood is what shows up as the darker streaks against your skin.  For some, blue or varicose veins are nothing more than just a cosmetic blemish. For others, varicose veins come with debilitating pain and discomfort that severely impact the quality of their life. 

What Are The Symptoms of Varicose Veins?

Twisting, bulging veins are the hallmark of varicose veins. Whether they are painful or not, varicose veins will always feature with this kind of coloration. However, in more serious cases of varicose veins, aching sensations and swelling in the legs are quite common, a result of the reduced blood flow returning to the heart. Other feelings include worsened pain after long periods of sitting or standing, sensations of burning or cramping, or throbbing in the surrounding muscles.  Itching is another potential symptom of varicose veins and one that is far more dangerous. When you’re itchy, the normal reaction is to scratch, but because varicose veins are so close to the surface of the skin, the sharpness of your fingernails and the increased pressure in the area could be enough for the twisted and congested vein to burst, potentially leading to a blood loss emergency. 

How Do You Treat Varicose Veins?

There are several methods to treat varicose veins. Laser ablation, for instance, happens under local anesthesia and is done via ultrasound and laser fiber. The procedure is generally done within the hour and patients are virtually pain free afterward. Another is ambulatory microphlebectomy which is again done under anesthesia and is for “incompetent veins” that need to be removed. Once again, there is little to no pain involved in this procedure, and patients generally report a better quality of life afterwards. That being said, the best treatment is usually prevention. Understanding some of the risk factors commonly associated with varicose veins is important to lowering the chances of you getting it. Such factors include, but aren’t limited to: obesity, sudden weight gain, inactivity, injuries and other leg trauma, pregnancy and smoking. Be sure to be aware of these factors and keep your leg and veinal health in check!

Schedule An Appointment With The Kimmel Institute

If you have any of the symptoms of varicose veins, or if you have concerns about vascular health in general, be sure to schedule an appointment with our physicians at the Kimmel Institute. You’ll have a chance to meet our vein physicians in Florida, who, along with Dr. Kimmel, are vein specialists in South Florida with years of experience treating varicose veins. Dr. Kimmel is a board certified vascular surgeon, too. At the Kimmel Institute, we can diagnose, treat, and if you need further information, we’ll be happy to provide it. Schedule an appointment today!  

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