Many people suffer from multiple manifestations of chronic venous disease. Athletes, fitness enthusiasts and people who spend a lot of time standing up often experience tired and aching legs, but that's the least they are faced with. Varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis, and many other conditions stem from inadequate blood flow to the legs, fatigue accumulation, and complications accompanied by inflammation and swelling.
Professional medical treatment works in most cases, but the key to good health is prevention. And you can prevent any manifestation of chronic venous disease by exercising regularly, promoting blood flow to the legs, and making sure you rest enough so that your legs recover from muscle fatigue. Another excellent way to prevent chronic venous disease manifestations is to wear a good pair of compression socks.
What is Chronic Venous Disease?
Chronic Venous Disease (CVD) embodies all chronic conditions caused by or related to diseased or abnormal veins such as varicose veins, spider veins, leg swelling, leg pain, venous insufficiency, leg skin changes etc. Out of all, the first, and most common manifestation of CVD is the varicose veins condition, which if left untreated, causes venous insufficiency. This can lead to further complications, such as deep vein thrombosis, leg ulcers, pulmonary embolism, and even death.
Varicose veins are blood vessels that are thickened, elongated, dilated, and twisted, and in many cases, they appear as small spider veins or grape-like clusters under the skin. These abnormalities prevent proper blood flow to your legs. Varicose veins occur more often in women than men, especially during pregnancy, and it equally affects both men and women who spend a lot of time standing because of their jobs or other activities.
- aching pain
- chronic leg fatigue
- leg heaviness
- itching or irritated rashes
- skin darkening (in severe cases)
Venous insufficiency is a condition where blood flow to the legs is obstructed, which causes blood to pool in the legs. It is most often caused by blood clots and varicose veins in the legs. Other risk factors that can lead to venous insufficiency are pregnancy, smoking, leg muscle weakness, obesity, inactivity, and more.
- edema (swelling of the legs or ankles)
- pain (especially when you stand)
- leg cramps
- leg heaviness, aching or throbbing
- leg weakness
- skin thickening and discoloration (especially around the ankles)
- varicose veins
- calf tightness
If you are in need of treatment, consult your medical care provider for professional advice, as CVD treatment depends on your specific symptoms, age, the severity of your condition, and how tolerant your body is to certain medications and procedures. The most common treatment for this is prescription compression stockings, that your doctor will choose for you based on the compression level you need. However, if you are someone who doesn't want to deal with CVD, or you may be noticing mild symptoms on your legs, it's time to take measures and prevent future occurrences.
- Keep your legs elevated whenever you have the possibility to do so.
- Wear compression socks for enhanced blood flow and adequate pressure on your lower legs.
- Avoid crossing your legs when you are seated.
- Exercise regularly and take at least a 30 minutes walk every day.
- Don't spend too much of your time in one sitting or standing position.
- Move frequently, stretch your legs at every chance you get.
- Don't smoke.
- Develop clean eating habits to help you keep your weight in check.
- Drink plenty of water to promote proper blood flow and flush out excess water.
Designed to treat venous insufficiency, these special stockings apply adequate pressure on your ankles and lower legs to improve blood flow and reduce leg swelling. They've grown in popularity with the fitness community, thanks to their ability to prevent CVD and the many health benefits they provide athletes with. Furthermore, you don't need to be an athlete to wear them. They are recommended for people who spend a lot of time traveling, sitting or standing, to help increase their blood flow through the legs and prevent swelling.
Vein Compression - they compress veins, on the surface of your leg, as well as arteries and muscles, so that blood flow through your legs and smaller circulatory channels is increased.
Enhanced Circulation - they help blood get to your heart and back faster for enhanced blood regeneration, which decreases the risk of blood pooling into your feet. They help even in cases of limited mobility by increasing circulation in the legs, such as in the cases of people with jobs that demand a lot of traveling, sitting, standing, and bedridden patients.
Multipurpose Usage - as mentioned above, it works for people who spend a lot of time sitting, standing, traveling, or bedridden patients. But it's a great tool for athletic performance, rest day recovery, and rehabilitation from an injury.
Athletic Aid - by improving circulation and blood flow, they help limit exercise-induced peripheral edema of the lower extremity. Compression socks supply the muscles with more oxygen, enhance lactic acid removal, and decrease muscle soreness during and after exercise.
Protection and Prevention - they have the ability to protect your legs from abrasions and scratches, and the ability to prevent future injuries to your lower legs. Additionally, wearing them for your outdoor activity will prevent dirt from collecting on your legs.
Warmth and Coolness - they don't just provide you with warmth on colder days, but they also keep your calves warm during exercise. Plus, they look cool as a health statement garment.
Compression socks can be prescribed to relieve or used to prevent the following conditions:
- Leg Fatigue - tired and aching legs caused by slow blood flow to the legs.
- Edema - swelling caused by excess fluid in your legs or feet.
- Venous Insufficiency - blood pooling in the legs, which prevents blood from flowing back to the heart.
- Varicose Veins - may cause painful venous inflammation and weakness.
- Spider Veins - bluish or reddish blood vessels that show through the skin
- Deep Vein Thrombosis - the formation of blood clots that obstruct proper blood flow.
- Lymphedema - abnormal accumulation of lymph fluid that causes leg swelling
- Phlebitis - inflammation and clotting caused by an infection or trauma.
- Economy Class Syndrome - occurs in inactive travelers due to long flights and cramped seating.
- Pregnancy - when the pressure on the inferior vena cava (the major vein returning blood to the heart) can affect leg veins.
Sitting and Standing - if you spend a lot of time on your feet or bum, whether it's because you're working or traveling, compression socks can help you benefit from increased blood circulation to your legs. Teachers, nurses, and long-haul truckers and pilots love them!
Smashing Goals - whether you are a runner or weightlifter, if your goal is to go further with your leg training, rocking a pair of compression socks after your workout helps you accelerate your recovery, so you can train sooner and better to smash your goals.
Training and Recovery - wear them when you train, especially if you're a runner or a weightlifter who uses a lot of compound movements that rely on your legs, such as deadlifts, and squats. And of course, if you're going to hit the gym on your leg day - as you should - take your socks with you!
Injury Prevention and Rehab - compression socks help prevent future leg injuries, but they also help your rehabilitation and recovery from chronic injuries.
In conclusion, whether you are a fitness enthusiast, high-performance athlete, a pregnant lady, someone who travels or works a lot and is required to spend long periods of time sitting or standing, you should wear compression socks to prevent any and all manifestations of CVD. Furthermore, if you are an athlete, they will keep your muscles warm during your workout and accelerate your post-workout recovery.
Do you wear compression socks? If not, you should! Give them a try – you can train, work, travel, and recover in them. Wear them when you are active to prevent soreness and aching, but wear them especially during your inactive time periods, in between workouts, when you work, travel, or rest to benefit from improved circulation!