Varicose veins can be irritating at best and extremely painful at worst. Varicose veins is a condition caused by weak valves in the superficial veins, typically of the leg, that prevent blood from returning to the heart. When one valve is damaged, it causes more stress and work for the next valve, thereby resulting in a domino effect of damaged valves.
There are several treatments for varicose veins, including some home remedies. One of the remedies most mentioned is the wearing of a compression garment. The other is massage. However, there are contradictory claims when it comes to massage for varicose veins. However, there are some techniques that a masseuse can use to temporarily relieve the pain due to varicose veins. In this article, we’ll discuss everything about massage for varicose veins, as well as the different treatment options for varicose veins…
Varicose Veins Massage Treatment Do’s and Don’ts
There are certain techniques to employ when massaging varicose veins. Some of them are:
- Massage should not be deep or specific over the area affected by varicose veins.
- Massage should only be gentle and towards the heart.
- Massage should be done with a repeated, circular, stroking movement using the palm of the hand (effleurage).
- Massage is contraindicated if the area is painful.
- Massage is contraindicated for at least 24 hours after saline injections.
- Massage is contraindicated if Homan’s sign is positive. Homan’s sign is a dorsiflexion sign test, used to test for Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). If positive, it may indicate the presence of DVT.
- Perform Manual Lymphatic Drainage on the lower extremities.
- Perform Effleurage on the unaffected leg and then on the affected leg.
- Perform passive stretching of the legs.
- Do not compress the abdominal aorta when doing Manual Lymphatic Drainage.
- Use lubricants, such as oils and creams when massaging varicose veins.
Massage may relieve the pain associated with varicose veins, but it will not “cure” the condition. At best, massage around the area affected by varicose veins will make the patient feel better temporarily and will relieve the swelling and discomfort associated with chronic venous insufficiency.
Also, massage is contraindicated if you have spider veins or DVT. The former, because spider veins may burst due to the intense pressure of the massage, and the latter, because the blood clot in DVT may dislodge, and travel to the lungs or other organs, causing serious complications. Before beginning a massage treatment plan, do consult with your vascular surgeon as to whether this plan is best for you.
Treatment for Varicose Veins
Treatment for varicose veins may range from conservative treatment procedures to invasive treatment procedures. The conservative treatment procedures include compression therapy; elevating your legs; weight control; exercise, and over-the-counter (OTC) medication, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin.
The following are some minimally invasive procedures to treat varicose veins:
- VenaSeal: This is an industry-changing procedure, which uses a medical adhesive that is delivered intravenously to treat varicose veins of the legs. This procedure seals off the vein and redirects the blood flow from damaged veins to nearby healthy veins. The sealed-off vein is absorbed by the body and disappears over time.
- VeinGogh: This is a revolutionary treatment for spider veins on the face and legs. A very fine insulated needle delivers a microburst of energy to the damaged vein. The resulting heat causes the vein to disappear. This treatment only takes about 30 minutes, with minimal discomfort and irritation.
- Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA): This is used to treat incompetent, superficial veins just below the skin. In RFA, ultrasound is used to guide the procedure. Your vascular surgeon will use a needle to access the vein. He will then insert a tiny, radiofrequency catheter (tiny wire) into the vein. Numbing medicine is pumped into the space surrounding the vein. After this, the catheter delivers heat, which causes the vein to collapse and seal shut. Blood flow is naturally directed to the healthy veins and over time, the body absorbs the treated vein.
- Phlebectomy: This is a procedure that removes varicose veins that are close to the surface of the skin. In this procedure, several tiny cuts or incisions are made in the skin, through which the varicose vein is removed. After a phlebectomy, you may need to wear compression stockings for several weeks while your veins heal. Recovery after this procedure is a gradual process.
- Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT): This is a minimally invasive non-surgical treatment for perforating veins. The latter carry blood from the superficial veins to the deep veins. This procedure is conducted using local anaesthesia, with 1 to 2 hours of recovery time. An incision is made and a catheter and guidewire are inserted into your skin. A laser fibre is then passed through the catheter until it extends approximately 1 to 2 centimeters from the end, at which point it is secured in place. Blood flow is redirected to the healthy veins, after the laser energy seals the faulty vein. The entire process takes approximately an hour.
- Sclerotherapy: In this procedure, your vascular surgeon will use a tiny needle to make multiple injections of a solution, called a sclerosant, into your vein. This solution causes the vein walls to stick together and then seal shut. This vein can no longer hold blood and is absorbed by the body. However, it takes several weeks for the treated veins to fade and disappear.
So, now, as you may well know, massage is not a cure for your varicose veins…at best, it can help relieve the discomfort associated with your varicose veins. It is imperative that you get a massage done from a trained massage therapist, so that your condition does not worsen.
You should also consult with your vascular surgeon every step of the way. Dr. Abhilash Sandhyala, of the Flow Vascular Clinic, is a renowned endovascular surgeon in Hyderabad, India. He is a varicose veins specialist and will work with you to come up with a highly individualized treatment plan just for you.
Dr. Abhilash Sandhyala, one of the best vascular surgeons in Hyderabad, believes in working with his patients’ vascular problems, so as to enhance and improve their overall vascular health. He provides comprehensive healthcare services to his patients in a friendly and empathetic way to achieve the best results. So, if you have varicose veins and have questions and concerns regarding their treatment, including massage therapy, do consult with Dr. Abhilash Sandhyala and be reassured that you will be well taken care of!
For more information about massage for varicose veins, as well as the treatment for DVT, or other vascular conditions, contact Dr. Abhilash Sandhyala at (+91) 9989649498 or 9959033037, or at email@example.com or visit our website at www.drabhilash.com