Symptoms and treatment of varicose veins in the legs

Varicose veins are a systemic disease that can affect blood vessels in any part of the body. Its essence lies in the dysfunction of the valves that control the direction of blood flow. Because of this, an excessive amount of fluid accumulates in the veins, under the influence of which the walls stretch and lose their elasticity.

Clinical presentation

Dysfunction of venous blood flow develops due to damage to the valves of the perforating (connecting) veins, their overload and deformation. When the work of the deep (internal) arteries is disrupted, blood circulation becomes chaotic, which leads to it entering the superficial vessels and the formation of characteristic nodes. Such defects are clearly visible with the naked eye or on palpation of the lesion site.

Varicose veins are progressive pathologies that, without timely treatment, are fraught with serious health complications and disability. In advanced cases of varicose veins in places of vascular damage, the formation of wounds, ulcers and blood clots is possible.

What makes

what causes varicose veins

Various factors are responsible for the appearance of venous dilatation. They can be conditionally divided into major and minor. The main sources of varicose veins are:

  • Constant heavy physical activity;
  • Prolonged stay in a static position - sitting or standing;
  • Unfavorable environmental conditions - for example, constantly high air temperature;
  • Weight fluctuations or chronic obesity;
  • Hormonal imbalance - during pregnancy or menopause;
  • Diseases of the endocrine system;
  • Hereditary and genetic predisposition, manifested in the features of the structure of blood vessels, namely, congenital anatomical inferiority of venous valves and weakness of the connective tissue of the arterial walls;
  • Neuroses.

In anamnesis, the development of varicose veins, as a rule, stimulates not one, but a complex of factors.

Tips for everyday life

If you are constantly sitting, for example, because of work, then you can put a low bench under your feet. This way you will significantly reduce the strain on your legs.

It is advisable to give up high heels. Wearing such shoes will significantly limit the contraction of the calf muscles, and will also prevent the joints from springing. As a result, the blood will simply stagnate.

A sudden change in temperature can greatly affect the filling of veins with blood. For example, when the temperature rises, the veins are very filled with blood, thereby increasing the load on the valves. It is advisable to reduce the number of hot baths, sunbathing on the beach, and so on. Remember, the temperature drop should be gradual.

Cycling, swimming and, of course, a daily brisk walk are very useful. It is worth remembering that while walking you need to give your preference to shallow water or sand, and avoid hard roads as much as possible. A two-minute contrasting drenching of the legs will help you easily get rid of the feeling of heaviness and numbness. Moreover, this dousing can be done with the help of a shower.

Remember that when you cross your legs, you obstruct blood flow and constrict blood vessels.

When resting, place your feet so that they are at the level of your heart. You can also raise one side of the bed slightly so your legs are slightly higher than usual.

Symptoms of the disease

Varicose veins can have various manifestations, which depend on the degree of complexity of the pathology and physiological characteristics of the patient's body. In accordance with the stages of varicose veins, the following symptoms of vascular disease are noted:

symptoms of varicose veins

  • Venous patterns or "stars" (telangiectasias) on the skin;
  • Swelling of the limbs, especially at the end of the day;
  • Pain in the legs or along the veins when probing them;
  • Recurrent seizures;
  • Rapid fatigability, especially when walking;
  • Visual manifestation of veins on the surface of the skin;
  • Feeling of heaviness in the legs;
  • Burning in venous lesions;
  • Muscle itching;
  • Pain of different nature and aches;
  • Winding veins in the legs and feet;
  • Dermatological changes in the skin - the appearance of dryness, pigmentation, darkening;
  • Development of dermatitis, eczema and trophic disorders in the form of non-healing wounds and ulcerations;
  • Skin tightening at the sites of varicose veins progression;
  • Hematoma formation.

Symptoms can begin as early as adolescence. Developing imperceptibly, after a while the disease makes itself felt with a mass of unpleasant health consequences. If at least one of the above signs is present, you should immediately undergo an examination. A phlebologist or surgeon treats diseased veins.


Based on the decision of the international scientific community, pathological dilatation of the veins of the lower extremities is usually classified according to a special classifier CEAP or Clinical Etiology Anatomy Pathology. Based on this typology, varicose veins have 6 clinical stages:

classification of varicose veins

  1. Zero. There are minor subjective complaints of the patient about some of the symptoms of varicose veins, but with visual examination and medical examination, there are still no obvious signs of the disease.
  2. I degree. On the surface of the skin, small vascular networks appear, rare edema, heaviness, burning, sensation of "buzzing" in the legs.
  3. Grade II. It is considered the starting point of true varicose veins. It is characterized by an external clear manifestation of enlarged vessels, the formation of venous nodes, aggravated after a long stay in a static state or walking in high heels. Starting from this stage, the possibility of thrombus formation is observed.
  4. III degree. Symptoms of the second group are accompanied by regular swelling, most noticeable by the end of the day and a pulling, aching pain in the calves.
  5. IV degree. There are trophic changes in the skin. Due to the excessive accumulation of pigment in the epidermis, the skin begins to change its color from dark brown to black. It is also possible to develop small local inflammations in the form of erythema or wet wounds, leading over time to dermal atrophy and ulcers.
  6. Grade V. Has the same course as the fifth stage, but with healed trophic ulceration.
  7. Grade VI. It is characterized by severe progression with the formation of unhealed wounds and ulcers.

Varicose veins are a serious disease. Without timely treatment and constant prophylaxis, it progresses rapidly and leads to irreversible consequences and dire consequences, up to and including death. Just 10 years from the diagnosis of varicose veins is enough for the pathology from stage I to develop into the VI.


The first signs of varicose veins on the legs appear at progressive stages, when the venous valves perform their functions by less than 50%. At the first or zero stage of varicose veins, which is known as the "stage of compensation", unpleasant sensations do not arise, as well as visible changes. The detection of the initial stage of varicose veins on the legs occurs with a close examination of the limbs by a phlebologist.

In the second stage of varicose veins, which is known as "subcompensation", the changes are quite well expressed:

  • large veins are visible under the skin, but they may not protrude above the skin surface;
  • on the surface of the skin on the thighs and under the knees, a pattern of a thin varicose mesh of capillaries of blue or red color is clearly visible;
  • legs become swollen in the evening;
  • Calf muscles cramp at night.

This stage of varicose veins of the lower extremities is distinguished by increasing symptoms, which weaken after rest.

At the final stage of varicose veins, decompensation occurs: the body cannot replenish the tissue's oxygen demand, and the valves in the veins lose their function by 90%. The condition of the limbs worsens due to insufficient blood supply. This stage of varicose veins is characterized by a decrease in the ability of tissues to regenerate. The abundance of complications worsens the general condition of the patient. Symptoms at the final stage of varicose veins persist constantly.

Pathology in men

varicose veins in men

Vein pathology has no gender. However, according to the pathogenesis, the disease is conventionally divided into male and female varicose veins, with each of them inherent in their own specificity of formation and development. So, the features of male physiology do not contribute to the formation of problems with veins in the representatives of a strong half of humanity, however, there are a number of factors that favor this. Among them:

  1. Hard physical work or professional sports involving carrying or lifting a load;
  2. Sedentary lifestyle;
  3. Poor nutrition;
  4. Genetic propensity;
  5. Long-term use of hormonal drugs;
  6. Bad habits.

Varicose veins develop in men more often after the age of 40 and is accompanied by increased leg fatigue, pain in the legs, visible edema, venous pattern on the surface of the skin, frequent cramps and itching of the skin like allergic dermatitis. In some advanced cases, blood clots and vascular infection are possible. And if at first the disease is invisible, then over time its manifestations become obvious. But the main changes occur inside the veins, the walls of which weaken so much that any, even minor, exposure to a toxic substance or infection provokes their damage. The method of treating varicose veins in men is the same as in women and does not have any specific features.

Pathology in women

The beautiful half of the population suffers from varicose veins several times more often than men. Favorable factors for this are:

varicose veins in women

  • Wearing shoes with high heels or shoes that are not matched to the size and fullness of their feet;
  • Slimming or overly tight clothing that interferes with blood circulation;
  • Work that requires being on your feet all day - salesperson, receptionist, hairdresser, teacher, cook, etc . ;
  • Hormonal changes due to pregnancy, childbirth and age-related changes in the body (menopause);
  • Weight experiments - frequent fluctuations in body weight, extreme diets aimed at dramatic weight loss, uncontrolled gain of extra pounds.

It is women who are frequent patients of phlebologists and cosmetologists. In an effort to preserve the aesthetic appearance of the skin as long as possible, women are more responsible in the treatment of varicose veins than men, and they achieve visible improvements in the clinical state of the arterial system.

Given the increased natural tendency to varicose veins, the appearance of symptoms such as swelling of the legs, excessive tiredness of the legs, itching and burning sensation, the manifestation of small vessels and venous pattern should seriously alert a woman and become a reason for an immediate visit to the doctor.

Treatment of varicose veins with folk remedies

When studying the presented disease, one should not give in to panic, because with proper and timely treatment, varicose veins are practically cured.

Why practically? Because after the termination of certain actions, including preventive methods, the ailment can reappear and cause no less problems than it was originally.

treatment of varicose veins by alternative methods

How to treat varicose veinsquickly and painlessly? You should turn to traditional medicine.

Infusions and tinctures

First of all, the disease must be treated from the inside. To do this, you should prepare infusions or tinctures using natural products, herbs and other ingredients that will improve blood circulation. Some of them can be cured here:

  • Nettle. Dry and grind the grass in any convenient way. To prepare the infusion, 2 tablespoons of the herbal component are poured with a glass of boiling water. The contents are kept for an hour and filtered. Then they drink ¼ glass during the day at least 3 times. The course of treatment lasts six months with one month intervals.
  • Horse Chestnut. The crushed horse chestnut kernels are placed in a three-liter jar by half and poured to the edges of the vessel with vodka or alcohol. Within a month, the jar is kept in a dark place, periodically shaking the contents. After the time has passed, you can start rubbing the legs with the resulting tincture. Do such procedures 2-3 times a week without interruption.

Treatment of varicose veins at home with folk remedies involves the use of any medicinal herbs that can improve blood circulation in the human body.

Apples for varicose veins

Apples have an excellent healing effect. Here you can use the fruits in their pure form and as additives to other products.

How to get rid of varicose veins with apples:

  • Prepare the apple infusion. To do this, soak apples in hot water in the amount of 1 liter for 4 hours. Then pass the fruits through a meat grinder or sieve, mix with the water in which the soaking was carried out. Squeeze the water out of the mixture and drink it twice a day in the amount of 50 g.
  • Apple cider vinegar for varicose veinscan be used as a rub or inside. For treatment, simply rub a small amount of vinegar overnight into problem areas. You can also use diluted vinegar with a little honey, drinking вып cup before meals half an hour.

Be careful when using diluted vinegar internally. This method is prohibited for people with gastrointestinal diseases.

Treatment of varicose veins at home, video:

Disease Diagnostics

To make an accurate diagnosis of varicose veins, as well as to determine the degree of its severity, special research methods are used. The standard examination scheme when contacting a phlebologist consists of the following procedures:

diagnosis of the disease

  1. Collecting an anamnesis of the disease, which determines possible risk factors and causes;
  2. Visual examination of the patient by changing the last position, as well as palpation of venous lesions;
  3. Laboratory blood test;
  4. Ultrasonic color duplex sonography of the arteries of the lower extremities, which allows to correctly carry out a medical opinion, measure the speed and direction of the blood flow, draw up a map of its movement, obtain a characteristic and a clear image of blood vessels;
  5. Vascular X-ray (phlebography) using a contrast agent to determine the appearance and shape of the veins, the functionality of the valves and the direction of blood flow.

Often, these research methods are quite enough to determine the exact clinic, but in certain cases they resort to using additional diagnostic methods:

  • 3D CT (computed tomography) with phlebography;
  • Photoplethysmography, using infrared and light radiation from a photoresistor or phototransistor;
  • Phleboscintigraphy, based on the use of radionuclide isotopes, and phlebomanometry, a dynamic study of the venous pressure of the lower extremities;
  • Lymphoscintigraphy, showing the condition and degree of changes in the lymph nodes.

The need for a particular diagnostic method is determined by the doctor based on the complexity of the situation and the individual clinical parameters of the patient.

Timely and well-chosen research method allows to determine the position of superficial and deep veins and to form an exact scheme of the therapeutic course in accordance with the indicators.

Conservative treatment

In the initial stages, varicose veins are reversible and with a responsible approach to treatment, it is completely eliminated. In other cases, to combat varicose veins, they resort to conservative therapy using drugs, intravenous corrective agents and special compression underwear. Each of this type of treatment has its own indications for the appointment and the specifics of the impact on the diseased organ.

  1. Medication therapy. It implies oral use for a certain period of phlebotropic drugs - phlebotonics, anticoagulants and antioxidants - that help to strengthen blood vessels and reduce their fragility, better thin blood and normalize blood flow, and remove accumulated toxic substances from the body. For local treatment, tonic, pain relieving, soothing and swelling gels and ointments are used. Also, vitamins of groups B, A, K, etc. are introduced into the therapeutic complex. The decision on the duration of treatment is made based on the results of diagnosis and the nature of the dynamics of the disease.
  2. Arterial sclerotherapy. The method involves the use of special medications acting on the type of gluing of the vein affected by varicose veins from the inside. As a result, reflux is stabilized and carried out through healthy vessels. The procedure is carried out invasively by intravenous administration of a solution. It is prescribed for a certain state of blood vessels and small sizes of venous nodes.
  3. Ozone therapy. It is a part of cosmetology medicine and consists in exposing the inner space of the vessel to cold ozone in order to glue the defect site. The method is also actively used to remove unaesthetic vascular networks from the skin surface. Effective at the initial stage of the disease. To achieve the desired result, just a few procedures are enough.
  4. Compression therapy. It consists of wearing special medical underwear that creates pressure of varying intensity on different parts of the legs, which in turn helps to reduce the load on the veins and restore blood circulation. The constant use of corrective underwear protects blood vessels from stretching and the development of thrombosis. According to the purpose, compression underwear can be prophylactic (minimum compression force), medical (worn only during exacerbation of venous disease) and hospital (used in the postoperative period in a hospital). Available in tights, stockings, knee-highs and elastic bandage. The choice of compression underwear is carried out only on the recommendation of a doctor

Surgical methods of influencing dilated veins

surgical treatment of varicose veins

Operation for varicose veins is carried out only as a last resort, when a deep vein lesion is diagnosed, aggravated by concomitant complications. The indications for the appointment of a surgical intervention are:

  • Noticeable aggravation of pathology;
  • Thrombophlebitis development;
  • Visible enlargement of the saphenous veins;
  • Severe swelling and fatigue of the lower extremities;
  • Pathological reflux disorder.

The operation is performed under general anesthesia using modern surgical techniques, such as:

  1. Radiofrequency obliteration of blood vessels. Restoration of vein structure from the inside using disposable catheters and automatic generators of radio waves.
  2. Endovenous Thermal Steam Impulse Occlusion (SVS). Impact on the vessels of an abundant flow of heated steam. Allows you to penetrate into the most inaccessible areas of the venous bed and directly influence the deformed vessels.
  3. Laser coagulation of veins. It involves the use of a laser beam directed to the diseased vein. The procedure does not leave cuts, burns or scars.
  4. Venaseal Technique. It consists in gluing the valves of the vessels with a special biological glue.
  5. Varadi's method. The most difficult method of treatment, involving the removal of the affected vessel. Due to its 100% efficiency, it is one of the priority methods of neurosurgery.

Despite the high efficiency of surgical treatment, it often takes place in combination with conservative methods of therapy. This approach allows you to speed up the healing process and reliably consolidate the result.

Self-massage of the legs from varicose veins

  • First you need to massage your thighs. Further, with light stroking and kneading, rise from the knee area to the groin area. Using a spiral, rectilinear and circular motion, stretch the knee joint with your fingertips. Press the popliteal fossa with your fist several times, and knead this area using circular motions.
  • Lie on your back, relax your muscles and bend your knees. Grasp your shins with your hands and rub the skin with strokes. Shake your leg muscles.
  • Stretch each toe with light strokes. From the bottom up, rub your ankle and both feet. Massage your feet and heels in a circular motion, and with a little force, rub your ankle.

Repeat this whole self-massage complex 2-3 times.

Rehabilitation period

During the recovery period and in the future, in the fight against varicose veins of the lower extremities, a competent rehabilitation program, including periodic drug therapy, as well as adherence to the rules of a healthy lifestyle and the implementation of therapeutic exercises, helps.

In addition to sanatorium physical education, a patient diagnosed with varicose veins, regardless of the stage of development and the period of rehabilitation, to improve blood circulation and prevent stagnation of blood in the veins, it is useful to wear corrective medical underwear.

Nutrition for varicose veins of the lower extremities

Diet is very important in this disease. The following food products should be present in the diet:

  • bell pepper;
  • carrots;
  • white cabbage;
  • citrus;
  • apples;
  • nuts;
  • rosehip;
  • currant;
  • sea fish;
  • eggs;
  • lean meat;
  • legumes
  • cereals;
  • cheeses;
  • liver.

Diet for varicose veins of the lower extremities involves the rejection of such products:

  • canned food;
  • semi-finished products;
  • muffins and pastries;
  • caffeinated beverages;
  • smoked meats;
  • pickled foods;
  • jellied meat;
  • chicory;
  • alcoholic beverages.


prevention of varicose veins

In order to prevent the development of varicose veins of the lower extremities, it is necessary to monitor your health from a young age. Prevention of the disease is more effective than treating the legs when complications develop.

In order to have good blood circulation, it is necessary to ensure sufficient physical activity. If a person at work stays in the same position for a long time, you should regularly do a little warm-up. You need to take a responsible approach to the choice of shoes - it should be with a small heel (no higher than 6 cm), comfortable, not squeeze your leg.

Weight should be monitored. Excessive weight is one of the predisposing factors for the development of the disease. In addition, it leads to increased stress on the blood vessels. Clothes should be made from natural fabrics. The use of too tight underwear should be avoided in order to avoid squeezing the great vessels in the groin area.

During hygiene procedures, it is advisable to use a shower, which makes it possible to change the pressure and temperature of the water. With the help of these tricks, you can tone blood vessels, activate blood flow.

It is advisable to exercise or exercise daily. It is not necessary to run several kilometers at a time; it is enough to visit the pool, walk or cycle for pleasure.

Before using hormonal contraceptives, you should consult not only a gynecologist, but also a phlebologist, get tested for hormones. If you change the level of female hormones in the blood, this can adversely affect the condition of the vessel walls.