Very Vein

Very Vein

CHARTERED PHYSIOTHERAPIST Helen Moore tells the secret to avoiding varicous veins and how to manage them if you already have them. From Health & Living Magazine

Veins are our network of blood vessels that return blood back to the heart from all parts of our body when the oxygen is used up. Varicose veins are an inherited weakness that occurs when the valves between veins become ineffective and blood pools. If you have varicose veins the chances are at least one of your parents have them and also you will be passing them onto the next generation. They are an inherited weakness and for each person they are different and may need slightly different management plans.

However you can manage your varicose veins and so reduce your chances of having any or minimum problems with them.

FACT: It is never too soon to look after your varicose veins.

FACT: You can stay symptom-free for life.

FACT: One of the worse things that does happen without good management is a deep, painful and dirty ulcer that can take months/years to heal reducing your quality of life in your older years.

FACT: Pregnancy does not cause varicose veins and when pregnant you have 50% more blood in your system. If you have this inherited weakness in your veins, this extra blood in your vessels and the increasing weight of baby in your abdomen can be the first manifestation of varicose veins for many women. Men also can have this inherited weakness.

FACT: Medical and surgical intervention may help the symptoms / cosmetics in the short term.

FACT: Haemorrhoids are varicose veins in the back passage.

Physiotherapy intervention often occurs when an ulcer is so slow to heal that we could be asked to offer our professional services by your doctor or nurse. It is almost never too late to start and do something positive for yourself and of course the earlier the better.

One really needs to do a little, if not a lot, of everything on the list to get all the benefits available to you. The nearer you go to 100% of the advice the fewer problems in the future – guaranteed.

1. Wear support tights at all times and all year round. Light, Medium, Strong will depend on your body weight and the actual level of varicous veins you have.

2. Moisturise your legs am and pm. Allow your skin 10 minutes to absorb the body lotion before you put on your tights or get into bed.

3. Wear good footwear at ALL times. Slippers, or heels more than one and a half inches, does not constitute good footwear for either veins or good back care! If you cannot walk with a good spring in your step you footwear is certainly part of the problem and good footwear is equally part of the solution.

4. Build up your ankle and foot muscles eg. Walking, trampoline, hopscotch, cycling, swimming and skipping.

5. Postural muscle tone fatigues as we age. Gain/maintain general fitness and be one step ahead of many things! As we age we each need to take more exercise in our daily lives and the sad fact for many is that we take less.

6. Avoid constipation and straining at the toilet. This is important for many aspects of health. Eat your vegetables and drink your two litres of water daily.

7. Never stand on one spot for any length of time – be on the move. If you have to be on the spot try this: – spring up and down on toes gently

8. Never stand when you can sit.

9. Do not cross your legs when sitting for any length.

10. Walk 2-3 miles as many days a week as you can for life. It is just like washing your teeth and you would never question that bit of advice!

11. Reduce your weight if necessary and build up fitness

If you have specific problems, or if this plan does not seem to work for you, contact your local Physiotherapy Service. Your GP will give you a letter of introduction or you can introduce yourself. You will find your nearest Service in your local Health Board Directory or Yellow Pages under Chartered Physiotherapists