What are varicose veins: causes, treatments and prevention

Today varicose veins is a common disease. Statistics show that it is found in each 4 people. The appearance of varicose veins depends on heredity, individual characteristics and lifestyle of people. What is this disease and what are the types and stages, you can learn from reading this article.

what are varicose veins

What are varicose veins?

Varicose veins is an extension of venous vessels, which is accompanied by reduced elasticity of the vessel wall, thinning and breakage and formation of knots. In the future if not given proper treatment, there are capillaries, veins thicken and narrows their lumen. All these pathological changes lead to disruption of the vascular valves and poor blood circulation.

The causes of the disease, risk groups

The disease is not caused suddenly, it is contributed to various reasons:

  1. The hereditary factor. The risk of developing varicose veins in children whose parents suffer the disease, increases to 70 %. It can be transmitted through the male and female line.
  2. Professional activitiesrelated to the long sitting position or standing on her feet (computer work, long driving, hairdressers, salespeople, teachers).
  3. Physical activity. This can be attributed to some sports, classes at the gym lifting weights, heavy physical work.
  4. Disruption of valvular vessels. On the walls of blood vessels are the functional valves that allow blood to go up not to go back due to their slams. Insufficient closure of the valves the blood flows back and there is stagnation of blood that leads in turn to the expansion and relaxation of the veins.
  5. Regular walking in heels, tight clothing (corsets, spanx), excess weight can also be a contributing factor to the development of varicose veins.
  6. Vascular disease (phlebitis, thrombosis, atherosclerosis), damage and inflammation in the veins.

Knowledge of the precipitating factors in most cases would prevent the disease early in its manifestations or not to let it get worse.

Types and stages of the disease

There are several classifications of varicose veins. Consider the main:

1. Classification of varices according to localization of pathological process:

  • Varicose veins of the upper limb – the cause may be heredity or heavy physical strain on the hands, for example, irrational incile of the muscles in the gym, but inappropriate use of dietary Supplements.
  • Reticular varices – is manifested by veins and veins on the legs. If you do not take into account complicated internal varicose.
  • Varicose veins of the lower extremities is the most common type. Accompanied by swelling and heavy legs, bulging veins and venous ulcers. Often the initial signs do not pay attention and go to the doctor with advanced form.
  • Varicose veins of the pelvis – occurs in women. The reason for the development can be frequent and difficult birth, hormones, incorrect positioning of the uterus, inflammation of internal genital organs, sedentary work, hemorrhoids.
  • Varices of the genital organs in women beyond the above authorities can still meet the varicose veins of the labia and vagina, and men have a varicocele and varicose veins of the penis.
  • Dilatation of the internal organs – could be varicose veins of the esophagus, stomach, intestines and rectum (hemorrhoids). Usually are the consequence of comorbidities after.

2. Classification according to the depth of the pathological process:

  • intradermal;
  • subcutaneous;
  • the large and small varicose veins.

3. International classification, which is used today all phlebologists:

  • Class 0 – varicose signs are absent, but the patient may complain of pain or heaviness in the legs;
  • Class 1 – visible vascular mesh and star, muscle cramps;
  • 2nd grade – during the inspection are visible, swollen veins;
  • Class 3 – swelling of the lower leg, ankle and foot, which persists even after rest;
  • Class 4 – skin lesions (discoloration, itching, blisters);
  • Grade 5 – education of trophic ulcers;
  • Grade 6 – non-healing ulcers, scars. They increase in size and quantity.

There are several stages of the disease (V. S. Savelev):

  • the compensation stage may be complaints of fatigue or discomfort in the legs, you can objectively notice a swollen vein on one or two legs, spider veins;
  • stage subcompensation – manifested in the form of complaints about the feeling of pressure inside vessels, night cramps, numbness in calf, swelling of calf and ankles towards evening;
  • stage of decompensation – existing symptoms increase the changes of the skin in the form of pigmentation, predjisone and ulcerative lesions, convexity in the form of bumps on the veins, burning and pain in the limbs.
symptoms of varicose veins

Symptom of varicose veins

The clinical picture is varicose veins is determined by the extent of the disease. The initial stage can occur in a latent form or with minor symptoms, which are usually not paying attention. Varicose veins typically begins with heaviness and pain in the legs, formation of vascular veins and the veins. Then join symptoms such as swelling of the soft tissues, night cramps, sensation of heat in the course of the veins, tingling and feeling of pins and needles. During the inspection, you may notice an increase in painful areas, swollen veins and varices.

With the progression of severe stages of the skin of affected areas becomes dark in color, becomes rough and can appear vulnerati skin areas (wounds, which are very long time to heal). All these changes are accompanied by pruritus.


Typical manifestations of varicose veins is usually no doubt about the existing varicose veins. But for precision vascular surgeon or phlebologist needs to send the following types of diagnostics of the disease:

  1. Ultrasonic dopplerography – determines the status of blood flow and vascular permeability.
  2. Angiography – is performed by inserting into a vessel a contrast agent, and then chest x-ray.
  3. Duplex angioscanning. – allows you to determine the condition of the vessels, to detect the presence of blood clots. Includes 2 methods: ultrasound soft tissue and dopplerography of blood vessels.
  4. Clinical analysis of blood.

Often do not require special methods of investigation, as the patient's complaints and the objective examination do not allow to doubt the presence of varicose veins.

Methods of treatment of varicose veins

The fight against varicose veins is a lengthy process that requires complex therapy. It includes methods of traditional, not traditional and folk medicine.

Compression therapy

Antivaricose socks, stockings or tights are an effective tool in the treatment of varicose veins the initial stage and as maintenance therapy during the entire treatment and prevention. There are several classes of compression underwear that are applied at different stages of the disease.

Drug therapy

Consists of drugs for oral administration, gels or ointments for topical use:

  • angioprotectors;
  • drugs to thin the blood;
  • anti-inflammatory means.


Treatment with leeches. This therapeutic method is applied in advanced stages of varicose veins with complications (thrombophlebitis). Leeches secrete into the blood a special substance that acts on blood clotting.

Physiotherapy and exercises

Swimming, gymnastics, walking, exercise prevent the stagnation of blood and improves blood flow. Correctly selected therapeutic exercises helps to improve venous and arterial circulation, to restore vascular tone and to prevent stagnation of blood. Varicose veins useful even ordinary walking or Cycling. And there are also special exercises that are used in this disease.

A set of exercises that are applicable for varicose veins of the upper and lower extremities, pelvis and groin area:

  • the exercise "Bicycle". Performed in the supine position, you need to "pedal" before the onset of fatigue;
  • in the supine position raise legs to the top and hold it for a few seconds, then a few seconds in the flexed position. Get on the floor and again to repeat action;
  • in a sitting position legs lowered to the floor. To carry out rotational motion of a foot in different directions, while the heel should rest on the floor. Do 15-20 times;
  • to stand up and do the rolling from the heels to the socks, to repeat the movement 20 times;
  • to do stepping movements in place, while socks are not lifted from the floor. Motion to do 10-15 minutes;
  • jump on the socks 15-20 times, then stand fully on the foot for a few seconds and again repeat the movement;
  • in the supine position, the arms lie along the body, legs to lift and twist your feet clockwise and back on themselves and from myself, to wiggle your toes. To do to of fatigue, after a short rest repeat the exercise.

When convenient or while relaxing you should try more often to raise his legs above his head or chest. Therapeutic exercises stimulate the muscles of the body to work harder, which is good for the vessels and movement of blood in them.

Traditional methods

There are many home recipes that facilitate the patient's condition in the early stages and go in parallel as an additional treatment. Funds can ease the accompanying symptoms of the disease, but to cure it they are not capable. That can be applied in this case:

Apple cider vinegar for varicose veins
  • Apple cider vinegar. You can spread it over the affected area 2-3 times a day. Also hold vinegar wraps: moistened cloth applied to the affected veins, top cover with polyethylene and wrap for fixation. Then the legs should be kept elevated for 15-20 minutes. The procedure is carried out morning and evening.
  • Green walnut. You want to cut the nuts, folded into a jar and pour olive oil. Composition put on 40-45 days in a bright Sunny place. After a time the solution to wipe the affected areas.
  • Tincture of Kalanchoe. In dimidium-liter jar folded leaves of Kalanchoe and pour the brim with alcohol or vodka. Let stand for 6-7 days in a dark place, turning the jar occasionally. Ready tincture to wipe the sore spots before bed, this treatment is carried out for 3-4 months.
  • Garlic ointment. For chopped garlic, add the vegetable oil in a ratio of 1:2. Bedtime tool to smear on the sore veins, spider veins and sprockets and top to secure the bandage. In the morning the bandage is removed and the treated area rinsed with warm water. Effective in the early symptoms of the disease, should be used 2-3 weeks.
  • Nutmeg. Take 1 teaspoon of powder chopped nuts and pour boiling water. Let stand for half an hour, then add to it a spoonful of honey and drink the decoction in the morning on an empty stomach. For efficiency, you can drink the broth in the same amount in a few hours. This means you can take during the year.

The use of home therapies require the consent of the doctor-phlebologist. It, evaluating the stage and extent of disease, select the most successful recipe in the treatment of varicose veins.

Surgical intervention

Used in severe and advanced stages of varicose veins. These include:

  • sclerotherapy is performed by injecting into the affected vein special substance that fills the lumen of the vessel and disables it from General circulation. To consolidate the effect it is necessary to wear compressive underwear. The number of such procedures is determined by the doctor depending on the severity of the disease;
  • laser therapy is irradiation of the affected veins with a laser beam leads to its overlap, and blood moves through a healthy blood vessels;
  • phlebectomy – surgical method of removal of the affected varicose veins, which is carried out in such cases, when these therapies will not have effect.

In any course of the disease and its extent, treatment must be carried out under the supervision of a physician. Under his direction, and in the future, following preventive measures, can get rid of this disease forever.


What are the preventive measures to prevent disease in healthy people and for those who are at risk?

  • handling your labor day (particularly those who work is prolonged sitting or standing stay you must do physical workout);
  • to wear compression stockings preventive degree for all those who are at risk;
  • women can not often fond of shoes with high heels;
  • do not take too hot baths and long in the sauna;
  • often to walk, ride a bike, go swimming;
  • stop Smoking and alcohol consumption;
  • keep your weight within healthy norms;
  • get rid of the habit to sit, throwing one leg over the other;
  • to regulate hormonal balance of the body;
  • useful to arrange walking barefoot.

By following simple recommendations you can protect yourself from this insidious disease and to prevent its development in the early stages.

Drawing conclusions it can be noted that varicose veins is a very dangerous disease that progresses rapidly and leaves behind unpleasant consequences. Timely access to competent doctors and a comprehensive treatment stop the disease process and prevent complications.