Aging is inevitable and unfortunately, it’s also a common cause of varicose veins… in fact, varicose veins affect many as one out of every two people over the age of 50.
As we age, all the blood vessels in the body tend to become less flexible and less elastic. This means that your veins could expand, but not necessarily return to their natural shape. This expansion can cause the veins to become damaged or not close properly, which then results in abnormal backward flow through the open valves.
This is more commonly known as venous reflux, which causes blood to collect, leaving veins expanded and resulting into those unwanted varicose and spider veins. If untreated, these varicose and spider veins can lead to swelling, leg ulcers and changes in the skin surrounding the lower leg and ankle.
Luckily there are minimally invasive treatments available to help treat and prevent problematic varicose veins.
Dr. Robert Merchant and Dr. John Daake of the Reno Vein Clinic can provide a consolation to determine the best treatment for you.
Visit www.renoveinclinic.com or call 329-3100.
It’s a new year! Meaning that it can be the ideal time to adopt healthier habits into your ongoing routine.
Healthy habits can protect you from the harmful effects of stress. Here are 10 positive healthy habits you may want to develop. (Via The American Heart Association)
Talk with family and friends.
A daily dose of friendship is great medicine. Call or writer friends and family to share your feelings, hopes and joys and ask them to share theirs.
Engage in daily physical activity.
Regular physical activity can relieve mental and physical tension. Physically active adults have lower risk of depression and loss of mental functioning. Physical activity can be a great source of pleasure, too. Try walking, swimming, biking or dancing every day.
Embrace the things you are able to change.
While we may not be able to do some of the things we once enjoyed, we are never too old to learn a new skill, work toward a goal, or love and help others.
Remember to laugh.
Laughter makes us feel good. Don’t be afraid to laugh out loud at a joke, a funny movie or a comic strip, even when we’re alone.
Give up the bad habits.
Too much alcohol, cigarettes or caffeine can increase blood pressure. If you smoke, decide to quit now. If you do drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
Try to “pace” instead of “race.” Plan ahead and allow enough time to get the most important things done without having to rush.
Get enough sleep.
Try to get six to eight hours of sleep each night. If you can’t sleep, take steps to help reduce stress and depression. Physical activity also may also improve sleep and quality of life in general.
- Use “to do” lists to help you focus on your most important tasks. Approach big tasks one step at a time. For example, start by organizing just one part of your life — your car, desk, kitchen, closet, cupboard or drawer.
Practice giving back.
Volunteer your time or spend time helping out a friend. Helping others helps you.
Try not to worry.
The world won’t end if your grass isn’t mowed or your kitchen isn’t cleaned. You may need to do these things, but right now might not be the right time.
Blood travels through veins to get from your cells back to your heart. When blood is in the veins of your legs, the contraction of your leg muscles helps the blood flow against gravity to the heart. During pregnancy, the volume of blood in your body increases to support the baby, but blood flow between the legs and pelvis decreases. This causes pressure to build up in the veins, forcing them to expand outward. The result is large, often visible, varicose veins. Watch this video for the full scoop on pregnancy and varicose veins, via:
In only 10 minutes you can improve blood circulation in your legs by doing these five exercises. Consider doing them several times a day, making sure to rest in between.
Walk briskly for 10 minutes, making sure to take long strides to stretch and extend the leg muscles. If you sit most of the day at work, consider taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking a few laps around the halls.
Lie flat on your back and raise both of your legs straight up. Hold them in place for two minutes; and then slowly lower them back to the floor. Rest for a few seconds and then repeat the leg lifts for two more minutes. Continue until you have completed five two-minute sets.
Circular Leg Exercises:
Sit on the edge of a table or bench that is high enough for your legs to dangle but not touch the floor. Make circular motions with both legs going in the same direction for two minutes. Rest a few seconds and then reverse direction for two more minutes. Continue until you have done five two-minute circular leg exercises, and then lie flat on your back once more to rest.
Toe and Ankle Flexes:
While sitting, bend and flex your foot and ankles with your toes stretched out and pointed upwards to work leg muscles and improve blood circulation. Do several repetitions of this for 10 minutes. This exercise is especially effective when done throughout the day while sitting in an office chair, on a couch or on the side of a bed.
Poolside Leg Exercise:
Sit on the side of a pool with only your legs in the water. Briskly, move your legs back and forth and up and down in the water for two minutes at a time with a few seconds rest in between. Do five two-minute sets and then remove your legs from the water. Stand and walk around a bit. Repeat the exercise as desired.
Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is a neurological condition that is characterized by the irresistible urge to move the legs. This may sound strange but it is a very real disorder that affects 10 percent of the population. The inability to control the movements of your own legs is very frustrating.
To be officially diagnosed with RLS you must have a strong urge to move your legs which you can’t resist or control. This is often accompanied by uncomfortable sensations- itching, tingling, or a creepy crawly feeling. Many patients find that symptoms start or become worse when resting and symptoms get better during activity and leg movement. Symptoms also tend to be worse in the evenings and can cause difficulty falling or staying asleep. This is usually the main complaint of people with RLS. RLS not only affects your legs but can also cause jerky movements during sleep that can awaken you and your spouse. These uncontrollable movements can cause sleep deprivation, which seriously impacts your work, relationships and health.
The causes of RLS are unknown, but some of the common symptoms have a connection to varicose veins. Researchers think there may be many different overlapping causes of RLS. RLS does run in the family but can also appear as a result of other conditions. A substantial number of women also develop RLS during pregnancy.
There is currently no cure for RLS, but there are options to help ease symptoms. There are pharmaceutical drugs that offer help but doctors will also advise you to look at your daily routines. Monitor your diet, make sure it is healthy and balanced and consider cutting out caffeine and alcohol. Take daily vitamins and have your doctor check for an iron deficiency. Find an exercise schedule and physical activities that help. Maintain a good sleeping schedule and try to find things to occupy your mind when you feel RLS coming on.
If you experience any of these symptoms or think you may be affected by the condition, schedule an appointment with your doctor right away.