How to Treat Varicose Veins Behind Knees
Those bulging, rope-like varicose veins in your upper thighs, calves, and behind your knees are more than just aesthetically displeasing. These veins can actually become painful and cause serious discomfort. Although varicose veins don’t usually cause serious problems, there are cases that can put you at risk for complications, such as blood clots. This is why it’s important to monitor and seek treatment for varicose veins behind the knees if needed.
So how do you actually treat varicose veins behind the knees? There are various treatments available for varicose veins, from wearing compression stockings to actual therapies. The best course of treatment for your varicose should be recommended by an experienced vein specialist who will thoroughly evaluate the visible veins behind your knees.
Why Do We Get Visible Leg Veins?
Spider veins and varicose veins are actually damaged veins that are developed when the tiny, one-way valves inside weaken. When healthy, these valves push blood in one direction, which is back to your heart. When it comes to weakened valves, some of your blood can flow backward and accumulate in the vein.
The walls of the vein get pressure from the extra blood. When this pressure in the blood vessel continues, the vein wall gets weak and bulging, which results in varicose or spider veins later on.
Learn More: When To Worry About Varicose Veins
Who Is Likely to Get Varicose Veins?
There are people who are at higher risk of having this vein problem. If your relatives have these veins or if you stand or sit for long periods of time, the higher your risks are of developing these veins. Other factors such as aging, pregnancy, sunlight exposure, injury, and hormonal changes can also cause spider veins.
- Age — As you get older, your vein walls and valves will start to weaken naturally and won’t work as well as they used to. The veins tend to stiffen and lose their elasticity.
- Gender and family history — Having varicose veins is inherited, so if your blood relatives have them, chances are, you’ll get them too at some point. If you’re female, your hormones allow the walls of the leg vein to stretch. If you’re pregnant, taking birth control pills, or going through menopause, the changes in hormone levels put you at a higher risk of developing varicose veins.
- Health and lifestyle — Certain health conditions, such as certain tumors and severe constipation, can increase your chances of developing varicose veins, and so does sitting or standing for long periods since this decreases blood circulation. You increase your chances too if you tend to wear restrictive clothing, such as pants and girdles, all the time.
- Weight and tobacco use — Excess weight and obesity put pressure on your blood vessels. If you’re a smoker, you’re also more likely to develop varicose veins.
What Are the Symptoms of Varicose Veins?
The gnarled purple or blue veins are easy to spot as they’re located just under the skin’s surface. The symptoms of varicose veins include bulging veins that develop in clusters, plus tiny red or blue lines that signify the presence of spider veins. Your legs tend to feel heavy as the muscles may feel tired or sluggish especially after doing physical activity.
Pain, itching, and swelling also happen. Varicose veins can also cause skin discolorations and ulcers if they’re left untreated.
What Is the Difference Between Varicose Veins and Spider Veins?
Varicose veins and spider veins are both regarded as venous disease although they look different. Spider veins are generally smaller than varicose veins. These look like red or blue spider webs of tree branches and they’re close to the surface of the skin.
Unlike varicose veins, spider veins aren’t usually painful. These can appear anywhere on your body, mostly on the feet, face, or behind the knee. Varicose veins normally appear on a person’s feet and legs. This can be in the popliteal vein or reticular veins.
Treatment Options for Bulging Veins Behind Knees
There really is no cure for varicose veins, but there are various treatments that can reduce their appearance and provide more comfort. Elevation is the most basic and increases the blood flow and decreases the pressure in the veins. This is why you should make it a habit to elevate your legs above your waist several times throughout the day. Wearing elastic stockings will also help because supporting socks and hosiery compress your superficial vein and lessen the discomfort of leg pain.
Your doctor may recommend foam sclerotherapy, also called injection therapy. This involves injecting a solution into your vein which causes the solution to stick together and eventually turns the vein into scar tissue that will naturally fade away.
Laser therapy is another option. Endovenous ablation or radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive solution that uses a catheter and laser to close off your damaged vein.
In more severe cases, a varicose vein surgery may be needed. Ligation and stripping involve tying off the affected vein to stop the pooling of blood. The vein may be stripped to prevent the swollen vein from appearing again.
Complications of Varicose Veins
If left untreated, varicose veins in the lower leg can cause open sores or skin ulcers, bleeding, and skin discoloration. If you have severe varicose veins, you may have chronic venous insufficiency. Blood clots are something that people who have varicose veins are vulnerable to since these can affect the ability of the veins to pump blood smoothly to the heart.
Clotting disorders include superficial thrombophlebitis, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism. Superficial thrombophlebitis is painful, but it's treatable and not usually dangerous. Pulmonary embolism, however, is a blood clot that usually results from having deep vein thrombosis and can become lodged in the lung. It requires immediate treatment as this is a life-threatening condition.
Varicose veins aren’t usually dangerous, but there are certain signs that can make enlarged vein and venous reflux a more serious concern and require immediate medical attention. If the skin and veins are bleeding, discolored, swollen, painful, reddish, or warm to the touch, you should get in touch with your doctor immediately.
Millions of people have varicose veins, and most of the time, they live normal lives without having to worry about serious health problems. Home remedies and lifestyle changes usually help relieve the symptoms and prevent the veins from getting worse.
If the pain and appearance of your varicose veins are bothering you, ask your doctor to recommend safe and minimally invasive treatments for you.
Learn More: Ways You Can Treat Varicose Veins At Home
Lay Your Vein Disease Fears to Rest at Vein Center Doctor
Vein Center Doctor is the preferred vein specialist in New York and New Jersey. It’s home to the best solutions for any vein-related problems. The clinic addresses common vein problems such as venous eczema and venous ulcer, saphenous veins, thread veins, and phlebitis.
Call now for your spider vein treatment and varicose vein treatment and work towards reclaiming your confidence from veins and pains.