If you suffer from varicose veins, your legs probably itch, throb, feel heavy, and cramp. You may get some relief from compression stockings, but you might wonder if massage would be a better way to alleviate your symptoms. Can massage therapy help varicose veins? It may surprise you to know that while it can help alleviate some of your symptoms, massage is not an effective varicose vein treatment. Why not? Let’s look at some facts about varicose veins and massage therapy.
Varicose veins are caused by venous insufficiency. In this condition, faulty valves in the veins allow the blood to flow the wrong direction, disrupting circulation and pooling in the legs. This blood pooling is what causes painful swelling and makes the skin change color. When the legs are massaged, it can bring relief, easing the swelling and discomfort of varicose veins. However, massage is not useful to treat varicose veins, because it does not recirculate the blood or correct the venous insufficiency.
What’s more, massage might make your condition worse. If you have spider veins, the pressure of a massage can cause them to burst. If you have deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which can sometimes be a complication of varicose veins. For a person with DVT, massage could cause a blood clot to be dislodged from the leg and released into the bloodstream, which can lead to serious health complications, including pulmonary embolism, which can be fatal.
Does this mean that you absolutely should not get a massage if you have varicose veins? Not necessarily. It’s very important, though, that you consult with a vein specialist before scheduling massage therapy. Your specialist will evaluate your leg disease and may want to do an ultrasound to rule out DVT and make sure massage is safe for you. Then, too, you’ll need to choose a massage therapist who is experienced in working with people with venous insufficiency.
While massage is not the best way to deal with varicose veins, treatments are available to help. With the right treatment, varicose veins can be eliminated, because most treatments are surgical in nature and work by closing the affected vein so that it will collapse, and the blood will be rerouted to a healthy vein. These procedures are minimally invasive and very effective, and patients can typically resume their normal activities in as little as one day.
If you’re seeking the absolute best care for your varicose veins and other vein issues, trust the board-certified physicians at the Arizona Vein & Laser Institute. Using the most advanced technology, the vascular and cardiovascular surgeons at the Arizona Vein & Laser Institute provide care for all types of venous diseases. With over 40 years of experience, our team of experienced physicians can devise the right treatment plan to address your venous disease problems. For more information contact us through our website.