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5 ways to stop nighttime leg cramps

Tired businesswoman working overtime at home at nightThere are a lot of things that can interrupt your sleep. A bad mattress, a snoring partner, bad dreams, insomnia—the list goes on and on. But one of the most annoying and painful sleep interruptions can be leg cramps, and they can be very common at night.

Some people are more prone to cramps at night. Some of the risk factors include:

  • Too much sitting
  • Dehydration
  • Overworked muscles
  • Too much standing
  • Wearing footwear that isn’t supportive
  • Varicose or spider veins

You may also be more prone to leg cramps if you suffer from medical conditions like diabetes, Parkinson’s and other illnesses and disorders. Even if you don’t have any of these risk factors, a painful leg cramp can still strike during the night. How can you stop this from happening? Try a few of these tips:

  • Stretch before bed. Leg cramps occur when the muscles contract. A quick stretching session before bed can loosen up tight muscles.
  • Drink lots of water. Dehydration can cause muscle constriction. Make sure you drink plenty of water and avoid caffeinated beverages a few hours before bed.
  • Take a cold shower before bed. Your blood vessels shrink in cold temperatures. Cooling down before you sleep can help cut down on swelling and leg cramps during the night.
  • Use loose covers. As lovely as it can feel to swaddle up in your sheets during the night, the constriction can be hard on your body. Loose bedding will help you feel more comfortable.
  • Eat a banana. The old wives’ tale is true! Bananas can help combat cramps. They are a rich source of potassium which can help stop cramps before they start.

Nighttime leg cramps are painful and can interrupt your sleep. There can be many reasons why you may be experiencing them, and vein issues may be one of the reasons. If you are continually suffering from cramps, especially in the same area of your legs each time, it could be a sign of an underlying vein problem.

Book an appointment with us, and our doctors will perform an examination and ultrasound to check for any signs of vein disease. They can then recommend treatment to deal with the problem. Stop letting painful leg cramps wake you up at night. Let’s get you checked out!

Keep your heart healthy with these tips

28283250_MFebruary is Heart Health Month, a great time to learn more about keeping your heart healthy. Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States? Every year, 1 in 4 deaths nationwide are caused by heart disease. The good news? Heart disease can often be prevented with a healthy lifestyle and proper management of health conditions.

It’s also important to know that heart disease doesn’t happen just to older adults. Younger adults are increasingly developing heart disease as well. Here are the most important ways to keep your heart healthy:

  • Schedule regular checkups and physicals with your doctor. Regular checkups and health screenings are vital to preventing a wide range of medical conditions, including heart disease.
  • Know your blood pressure. About half of people with high blood pressure don’t have it under control, placing them at greater risk for heart disease. Having uncontrolled high blood pressure is one of the biggest risks for heart disease and other harmful conditions, such as stroke.
  • If you smoke, consider the benefits of quitting. Smoking damages blood vessels and can lead to heart disease.
  • Reduce sodium intake. Diet high in sodium, trans-fat, saturated fat, and added sugar increases the risk factor for heart disease.
  • Get exercise. Being a couch potato puts you at greater risk for heart disease. Staying physically active helps keep the heart healthy. Exercise and a healthy diet can help you lose extra weight. Being overweight or obese puts stress on the heart.
  • Adopt a healthier diet. Try to fill at least half of your plate at each meal with vegetables and fruits. Try to incorporate more vegetarian meals into your diet.

Take this opportunity to help others embrace heart health as well. If you have family members who have heart disease or are at risk for heart disease or have high blood pressure, help them meet the same goals you are setting for yourself.

Vein issues can ruin travel

29445344 - blonde casual caucasian lady napping while traveling by trainAAA forecasted in 2018 that nearly ⅓ of Americans traveled for the holiday season. If this past year, you were one of the many crowding the airports and highways, you are not alone. Holiday travel is a time-honored tradition and one that is often unpleasant. Many of us feel tired and sore after long days of travel. Those feelings usually fade, but sometimes they don’t. If you have undiagnosed venous issues like varicose, spider veins or even a vein ulcer, the pain of travel can linger for long after you return home.

If you have vein issues, you may experience a few of these common symptoms after a long day of travel:

  • Swollen legs or ankles
  • Painful spots or sores on your legs
  • Bulging veins
  • Itchy spots on your legs
  • Painful muscle cramping
  • Heavy, sore legs

Most of us have a few of these issues after a long day of travel. It’s not fun to stand and wait in long lines at ticket counters or crunch your feet up in the ever-shrinking airplane seat. Sitting in a car for hours at a time is hard on your back and your legs. But if you are always sore after even just a few hours in a car or plane seat, it may be a sign of a more significant vein problem. The cramped position of sitting for hours at a time can be hard on your circulation, which can damage the valves in your veins. This damage can cause blockages or clots that can lead to varicose or spider veins. Over time, the blockage can get worse and more painful until you notice a purple or blue vein cluster.

Once varicose or spider veins clusters appear, the problem will get worse. Many of our patients report feelings of embarrassment, shame and anxiety over showing their legs in public with obvious vein issues. They forgo tropical vacations, swimming activities or even wearing shorts or dresses in warm weather because they don’t want people to see their legs. That’s no way to live or travel. We offer treatments that remove the problem areas over time so you can feel confident showing off your legs and enjoying your trips.

Don’t wait until the problem is apparent. If traveling is becoming more uncomfortable for you, come in and let us take a look. We can identify potential issues before they get worse and offer timely treatment. Travel should be fun. Don’t let vein issues ruin your trip.

Women are more likely to have vein issues than men

Pain in legsDid you know that venous disease issues like varicose vein and spider veins are twice as likely to occur in women than men? For women with this issue, the problem can cause significant emotional distress. Women are more likely to show off their legs in their everyday lives. So dealing with unsightly varicose or spider veins can make women self-conscious and embarrassed.

Vein issues like varicose veins and spider veins occur because the vein walls begin to weaken over time. This weakening causes small clots to form as the blood pools in the lower part of the vessel instead of moving through the vein back to the heart. The more the blood pools, the more pressure is placed on the vein wall, which compounds the problem.

Women experience this issue more than men because of a few risk factors, including:

  • Pregnancy. When a woman is pregnant, her average blood flow increases. This extra blood causes veins to swell, which can result in varicose veins and spider vein issues.
  • Estrogen. This hormone weakens vein valves. Women on birth control containing estrogen may face an increased risk of developing varicose and spider veins.

Treating vein issues starts with lifestyle changes. Making sure you are healthy, and your weight is under control can help. A diet low in sodium and rich in potassium can help reduce water retention in the body, which is good for your veins. Regular exercise improves circulation and blood flow. But these changes are sometimes not enough to fight back against vein issues.

At Precision Vein Therapeutics, we offer leading treatments to help remove troublesome vein issues. Dr. Michael and Polly Anna Barlow have trained with some of the best vein specialists to provide our patients to find the relief that they want. Our goal is to help you feel your best by using minimally invasive procedures that remove vein issues.

The symptoms of vein disease are more than just uncomfortable. Achy, swollen legs are not fun for anyone. But large varicose and spider vein bundles can be unsightly and cause significant emotional distress. We’ve seen patients who are afraid to show their legs in public out of fear of being ridiculed. You don’t have to feel this way. You should feel confident to wear a skirt, go to the beach, or show off your legs without fear or judgment. Check out our before and after photos on our website. They speak for themselves. We want to help you get the same results. Call to book your appointment today.

Five ways to make the most of your vein treatment recovery

40871244_MCongratulations! You’ve chosen to seek treatment for your vein issues. At Precision Vein Therapeutics, we do our best to ensure a positive treatment experience for our patients. We keep wait times short, and we can answer any questions you may have about your treatment. One of the major concerns our patients often have is how long it will take to recover from a procedure. We make sure to thoroughly provide all the answers our patients need to prepare them for the recovery process.

Recovering from vein treatment typically doesn’t take long. Depending on the type of treatment you receive, it may even be just a few days. Our doctors will always do their best to ensure that you have all the proper aftercare instructions, and our office will be in touch to follow up on how you are feeling after treatment. Even though recovery is fast, it can still be uncomfortable, so we encourage our patients to do their best to relax and allow their bodies to heal. Here are five ways to ease the recovery process.

  1. Bring someone with you. After many of our treatments, you wouldn’t be able to drive for a day, at least. If you’ve had sedation, you may also feel nauseous or dizzy. Ask a friend or loved one to drive you to the clinic and stay with you after the procedure.
  2. Put your feet up. The best thing you can do to speed up the healing process is to rest your legs. Watch some movies, take a nap, and stay off your feet.
  3. Wear compression stockings. Compression stockings will help your body to heal faster. Wear them as much as possible, even at night if you can. Your doctor will outline the recommended wearing guidelines for your specific case.
  4. Make sure to stretch. Maintaining flexibility and blood flow will be a crucial part of your recovery process. Add light stretching, yoga, or other flexibility exercises to your workout in between treatments to keep your blood flowing.
  5. Stick with your treatment schedule. Many varicose and spider vein issues require multiple treatments. Your doctor will outline a treatment plan that will help you get the best results. Stick with your timeline, and you’ll see results in no time.

Recovering from a medical procedure is often uncomfortable, but that shouldn’t be a reason to put off treatment. Vein treatment has a speedy recovery time, especially if you follow aftercare instructions correctly. We want to help you feel and look your best, even during recovery. If you have any questions, ask us. We are here to help!