Sore And Swollen Legs? You Don’t Have To Live With Them!

Sore and Swollen Legs are a sign of a life well lived, but you don’t have to live with them. It has historically been seen as an issue that affects women more than men, but that is simply because they are happy to talk about it more. Issues around your legs, predominantly painful swelling, due to various forms is experienced by 30% of the population at some point in their life.

Upon inspection, the usual culprit here are the veins in your legs and will have visual clues such as varicose veins.  Treatment for this may be something that you haven’t considered due to misunderstandings of dated techniques of dealing with a painful or unsightly varicose or threat vein. However, there are a huge number of different varicose vein treatments on the market at the moment, and you may not know which one to choose or have any idea what the risks and benefits are of each one. Learning about these factors is something important to do, so that you can discuss all of your options with a health professional with a good understanding of the background yourself.

What Are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins occur when a problem arises with the blood flow inside your veins. If your blood is not moving properly through your veins for some reason, it can begin to pool. The most common reason this happens is that the small valves inside your veins that help to push blood back up to your heart, fail. When they fail, blood stops moving as effectively, and due to gravity it can begin to slow down and pool in your lower extremities, such as your legs and pelvis. When the blood pools like this, the vein begins to twist and swell, and it rapidly becomes sore or can have a feeling of pressure or tightness.

There are also some complications that can result from varicose veins, including eczema, skin ulcers, or blood clots. It’s important to remember that while varicose veins may be a cosmetic issue and have a cosmetic component, they can rapidly develop into a serious medical issue that requires treatment. 

What Are the Treatment Options?

There are so many different treatment options these days, it can be a little overwhelming deciding which one you want to choose. In general, there are two main categories of varicose vein treatment: heat-based treatments and chemical-based treatments. Within these categories there are different options you can choose from, and your treatment provider will definitely have recommendations for you. However, ultimately the decision is still up to you, and educating yourself about the differences in your choices can help you to make a decision that you feel happy with.

There are two chemical treatments that are both used very commonly, called foam sclerotherapy and Clarivein. They both use a chemical called Fibrovein, which is injected inside the vein to seal it off. Clarivein differs from traditional foam sclerotherapy in that it uses a dedicated tool with a rotating tip, that can do a better job of spreading the foam around a larger vein. These treatments are generally very effective, but traditional foam sclerotherapy may have as high as a 30% recurrence rate within 2 years, for larger veins or veins in larger legs. The main reason why you might choose this is that it can be more effective than heat-based treatments for tortuous veins. 

The other kind of treatment group is the heat-based treatments. All of these use a heat source to burn the vein closed. The first heat-based treatment is called endovenous laser treatment (EVLT). EVLT works by making a small incision in the vein, and then a laser tip is inserted to seal off the vein with heat. You can also look into radiofrequency ablation, which uses a different kind of heat to seal off the vein. Both of these have a very high success rate of around 98%, and are generally more effective for treating larger veins than chemical treatments. 

When you consider all of these treatments, think about where your veins are, how big the veins are, and how likely it is that the varicose vein will recur with the treatment that you choose. 

Talk to your treatment provider about which options are available to you and what they recommend, and ensure that you go into the discussion with an open mind. Most modern varicose vein treatments are very effective, and whatever you choose you will be in good hands with a high-quality medical centre or surgeon.