Everything You Need to Know to About Finding Treatment for Your Varicose Veins
Reviewed By - Sean Byers, MD

Published: Last Updated: Category: Knee Pain
  • About 1/3 of adults will develop varicose veins at some point in their lives. If you have noticed swollen, inflamed, or painful veins, this could be a sign of varicose veins.
  • With venous insufficiency, the vein valves stop working correctly, which causes the blood to collect in the veins. While anyone can develop varicose veins, certain risk factors may make you more susceptible to developing this form of venous insufficiency.
  • The R.I.C.E. method is a home remedy collection that many people use for varicose vein pain. It stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation, which are excellent techniques for relieving pain and increasing circulation within the legs.
  • Hydrating your body is crucial for it to function in the ways it is supposed to. Stretching and exercise are essential wellness activities that you should frequently do, especially if you are experiencing venous insufficiency.
  • Adopting an anti-inflammatory diet could be a natural lifestyle change to help you find inflammation relief.
  • Questions your healthcare provider will ask about comprises your lifestyle, nutrition, physical activity, and any trauma you have had to the affected area that could help pinpoint your discomfort. Any information you can give your healthcare provider will help design your treatment plan or recommend other medical professionals, such as physical or massage therapists.

Varicose veins can make it difficult to change position and move about the day as you deal with leg pain, discomfort, and stiffness. 

At Health Report Live, we provide you with comprehensive lists of certain conditions so you can learn to live more comfortably, even with a chronic condition.

  Review our outlined information below to discover why you are experiencing varicose veins and how to ease your discomfort.

Varicose Veins Pain Relief

Varicose veins typically occur in the lower extremities and can cause the veins to become twisted and enlarged. 

Considering they are not necessarily a “severe” or “serious” condition, they could potentially lead to more serious issues if left untreated (such as blood clots).

If you have noticed swollen, inflamed, or painful veins, this could be a sign of varicose veins. Consult with your doctor to receive a proper diagnosis and learn treatment methods for relieving your pain and inflammation.

What Are Varicose Veins?

Venous Insufficiency

If you are experiencing varicose veins, it likely originated from venous insufficiency. Nevous Insuffciency means that blood pressure builds up in the veins, which can cause them to bulge at the surface of the skin.

 With venous insufficiency, the vein valves stop working properly, which causes the blood to collect in the veins. 

Your healthcare provider can diagnose varicose veins and venous insufficiency in general and lead you in the right direction of the best treatment plan(s) for your needs.

Who Gets Varicose Veins?

While anyone can develop varicose veins, certain risk factors may make you more susceptible to developing this form of venous insufficiency. Some factors that may increase your likelihood of developing varicose veins include:

  • Pregnancy – varicose veins are a common side effect of pregnancy or postpartum.
  • Age – as we age, it can become more difficult for blood to circulate as it should. The older you get, the higher your chances are of developing varicose veins.
  • Geneticsif people in your family have developed varicose veins, you may also have an increased risk of developing it.
  • Sexwomen are more likely to develop varicose veins due to fluctuations in hormones (such as during pregnancy or menopause).
  • Obesityadded weight on the extremities can cause blockages in circulation (leading to venous insufficiency), increasing the risk of varicose veins.
  • Prolonged standingdo you have a job that requires long periods standing on the legs? You may be at a higher risk of developing varicose veins. 

Possible Causes of Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are very common – in fact, 1/3 of adults will develop varicose veins at some point. Because of this, it is a good idea to know what causes varicose veins (also known as spider veins) to develop.

The valves that keep blood flowing in one direction in your vein can’t perform as well as they should if your vein becomes stretched. See the section above to discover what risk factors may be resulting in your venous insufficiency.

With varicose veins, you may also be experiencing cramping, general leg pain, or a feeling of heaviness within the legs, which is your body’s response to blocked blood flow.

Pain Relief Remedies for Varicose Veins

Stay Hydrated and Try Hydrotherapy

Hydrating your body is crucial for it to function in the ways it is supposed to, so it is essential to ensure you are getting the recommended eight glasses of water (or more!) a day. 

Hydrated veins allow for better blood circulation and decrease the risks of the veins bulging and becoming varicose.

  Additionally, hydrotherapy has been proven effective in helping decrease the pain of varicose veins since you are weightless while performing light exercises in the water. 

Keep Your Legs Elevated

Keeping the legs up is a great way to ease the pain you are experiencing in your lower extremities; in fact, the R.I.C.E method is a collection of home remedies that many people use for varicose vein pain. 

It stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation, which are excellent techniques for relieving pain and increasing blood circulation within the legs.

Your leg veins get quite the workout throughout the day, leading to leg swelling and muscle cramps, especially if you are dealing with vein problems. Elevation can help significantly.

Do Stretches and Other Exercises

Stretching and exercise are essential wellness activities that you should frequently do, especially if you are experiencing venous insufficiency.

These activities promote blood flow and circulation, allowing your veins to get the movement they need to function properly and feel less uncomfortable.

Soak Your Legs in Cold Water

An ice bath, in particular, maybe just what you need for your sore and swollen legs. As previously mentioned in the “Stay Hydrated and try Hydrotherapy” section above, veins need hydration and cool water, among other easy home remedies, can provide some pain relief to ease your discomfort (see “Keep Your Legs Elevated” section above).

Give Your Legs a Massage

Massaging the legs will help get the blood flowing once again and may help ease up some tension. If needed, a physical therapist or licensed massage therapist may also recommend manual therapy (a form of massage therapy or movement therapy) to lightly move the affected area and aid in circulation/pain relief).

Pay Attention to the Clothes You Wear

Ensure not to wear anything too restricting on the legs, as this could inhibit blood flow. If your veins are bulging, you may also want to avoid rough fabrics so they do not rub against the affected area.

Tight clothing can cause your venous insufficiency to worsen and increase your pain. It is best to stick with softer materials like cotton or simply wear shorter garments to let the affected area breathe.

Other Potential Remedies to Eliminate Painful Varicose Veins

  As you may have realized, there are many different varicose vein treatments. Some additional vascular treatments may include, but are not limited to:

Compression Stockings

Compression stockings or compression wraps are a great tool for varicose veins and dealing with venous insufficiency.

These garments improve blood flow by gently squeezing the leg and generating an easy movement of blood throughout the affected veins.

Over-the-Counter Anti-inflammatory Medications

Certain over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications (such as Ibuprofen, Advil, or Tylenol) can help with pain management. If you are dealing with a nagging discomfort, this may be a good option.

Herbal Remedies

A few types of herbal remedies, such as plant-based serums, supplements, or CBD treatments, could help ease your varicose vein discomfort.

If you are looking for natural alternatives to Western pain relief methods, these may be a good choice for you.

Dietary Changes

Nutrition plays a key role in inflammation and the severity of pain. Adopting an anti-inflammatory diet could be a natural lifestyle change to help you find inflammation relief (and may also help you lose weight if that is also a factor contributing to your venous insufficiency).

Certain dietary changes you can make to ease inflammation within your body include:

  • Adding in more vegetables
  • Reducing grain and dairy intake
  • Avoiding red meat and instead opting for leaner meats

Topical Therapies

There are a lot of certain medicinal lotions, moisturizers, and oils you can purchase that help aid in pain relief. Topical therapy could be an especially beneficial treatment method for varicose veins since they appear on the skin’s surface.

  Topical therapies might include lidocaine to numb the area and help ease tension, so you can get some relaxation from nagging pain.

Plant Extracts

Also, see “Herbal Remedies” and “Topical Remedies” above – much like any other herbal remedy, there are myriad versions of plant extracts with healing properties meant to target your discomfort and help you find relief.

Non-invasive Procedures for Removing Varicose Vein Pain

There are a lot of non-invasive procedures that can aid in pain relief from the varicose vein and venous insufficiency you have been experiencing. These may include, but are not limited to:

  • Endovenous Laser Ablation of the Saphenous Vein (ELAS)
  • Ambulatory Phlebectomy
  • Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy
  • Radiofrequency Ablation 

How to Prevent Painful Varicose Veins

In addition to the methods mentioned above we discussed for relieving your varicose vein discomfort, some other methods you can try include:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Wear low-heeled shoes and less restrictive clothing
  • Put on compression stockings

Preparing for Your Doctor’s Appointment

What You Can Do

Do your research beforehand and make a comprehensive list of all the things your healthcare provider may need to know. 

Any information you can give them will help design your treatment plan or recommend other medical professionals, such as physical or massage therapists.

Therefore, list out any risk factors you may have, underlying conditions, family history with the condition, how frequent/severe the pain is, and anything else you believe to be pertinent. 

What to Expect From Your Doctor

Lifestyle, nutrition, physical activity, and any trauma you have had to the affected veins that could help pinpoint your discomfort are all types of questions your healthcare provider will ask you.

Your doctor may also run several tests to pinpoint the source of your discomfort and what exactly is causing it. Depending on the severity of the condition and the necessary treatment options, your doctor may also recommend you to a vein specialist.

What You Can Do in the Meantime

Rest, rest, rest – the most important thing you can do when waiting to consult with your doctor. 

You can also try some of the home remedies we have listed throughout this article to help you find pain relief on your own while you wait for your physician’s advice.

For more information on varicose veins and treatment for venous insufficiency, check out the rest of Health Report Live’s articles. 

We strive to provide our readers with the answers to their questions, so they can make informed decisions concerning their health.

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