Written By: Emma Squillace
Varicose veins are a problem that affect millions of adults. They’re not only painful and unsightly, but they can be dangerous. So of course it makes sense that people are always looking for a tool, gadget, or device that can either help prevent varicose veins, or help treat them once they’ve formed. Let’s look at a few of the common tools people ask us about, and talk about whether they have any hope for helping out with varicose veins.
The Standing Desk
Standing desks gained popularity a few years ago. With all the warnings we hear about the dangers of sitting, a standing desk seems to make sense. A standing desk allows a worker, who would otherwise be sitting most of the day, to stand at their desk instead. It raises the computer to a height where the worker can type comfortably while they stand still in front of the monitor. However, standing desks can be expensive, ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Furthermore, are they healthy? While we know that sitting all day is not good for varicose veins, standing at your desk all day is not likely to be any better. In fact, standing for long periods of time is also linked to varicose veins. Instead of investing in a standing desk, focus on getting short bursts of movement in, as frequently as possible throughout your day. If you can walk for 5 – 10 minutes every hour or two, this can combat some of the dangers of sitting most of the day. If you have a standing desk, this is not going to count as exercise and does not increase the blood flow in your legs. So even if you were to start using a standing desk, the recommendation to take short, frequent walks would still be relevant.
Compression stockings are one of the most commonly used ‘home remedy’ for varicose veins. Are these stockings actually helpful? Yes – if you think of compression garments as a way to temporarily reduce the symptoms of varicose veins, then these can be helpful. However, no compression stockings are able to cure a varicose vein. The reason compression stockings can help alleviate discomfort from varicose veins is that the pressure they provide may reduce swelling and pain. Compression stockings are also beneficial in helping to lower the risk of developing a potentially deadly blood clot for people who are not able to walk much, or will be on a long flight. They may be worth buying, but only for temporarily reduction of symptoms.
We often have patients ask us if they can get massages in order to cure their varicose veins. This is a reasonable question, because it is known that massage can help improve circulation, and varicose veins are a problem with circulation. However, just like compression stockings can alleviate symptoms of varicose veins – that is all that massage can do as well. Gentle massage by a trained practitioner may reduce the aching in your legs, but there is no possibility of the varicose vein returning to normal without medical treatment. Additionally, massage that is too hard or performed by someone who is not adequately trained, my aggravate varicose veins.
Unfortunately, you cannot reverse a varicose vein with treatments like massage or compression stockings. In addition, you will not be able to prevent varicose veins with a standing desk. The good news is that you can lower your risk of developing these painful and visible veins by maintaining a healthy weight, getting sufficient exercise, and avoiding high heels as well as overly tight clothing. If you do have varicose veins, the only way to get rid of a them is with a treatment like those we offer at West Medical. Our expert vein team can treat your varicose veins quickly and effectively with a range of solutions from laser vein removal to sclerotherapy. If you would like to learn more about these options, call our expert vein team at (855) 690-0565.