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Don’t miss your body’s warning signs

42097348 - woman relaxing in sauna. massaging legs.The older you get, the more you have to watch out for potential health issues. You have to watch what you eat, how you exercise, and pay attention to genetic conditions you may be predisposed to develop. It can be overwhelming to manage your health.

Your body has developed warning systems that can alert you to a potential problem, like how you always start to feel run down a few days before you develop a cold. The signs are there. You have to pay attention to what your body is trying to tell you.

Our patients come to us because they’ve noticed changes in their bodies, especially in their legs. They might see a cluster of dark-colored veins that indicate spider vein issues or raised bumpy varicose veins that get worse over time. By the time they seek treatment, the problem has already developed, and treatment to remove the affected area is the one way to deal with it.

Many of our patients wish they had known what to look for earlier so they could prevent unnecessary treatment. If you want to avoid vein issues before they start, you need to look for these warning signs:

  • Swelling around the legs or ankles
  • Pain after standing
  • Leg cramps
  • Feelings of heaviness in your legs
  • Poor circulation
  • Itchy spots
  • Weak legs
  • Skin color changes
  • Tight calves

It’s a good idea to check your legs for these symptoms continually. They can be early warning signs of vein issues such as varicose veins, spider veins or even vein ulcers. Have a partner check the back of your legs for any potential issues as well. Once a vein issue shows up, it will only get worse, so it’s best to catch it early.

If you suspect that you have vein issues, make an appointment at our clinic. Our doctors can perform a lower extremity ultrasound examination to check for underlying problems that may not have presented yet. Once the doctors have determined if you require treatment, they will recommend a course of action to remove the problem area.

Don’t ignore the warning signs of lower venous disease. It can come on fast, especially as you age. Perform regular checks and seek treatment if you suspect you have developed an issue.

5 ways to show your legs some love

Itching In A Woman

Vein issues such as varicose and spider veins have more than a physical effect on the body. Many patients report feelings of depression, anxiety and stress over these conditions and the appearance of their legs.

Treatment to remove the problem can help, but there is still often significant mental stress and anxiety for many patients. It takes time to address these feelings and feel better about your body.

One way to improve your feelings about your legs is to show them a little love. Small actions can have significant results and can help shift your mindset. Here are five ways you can learn to love your legs again.

  • Practice meditation. Meditation can help alleviate stress and negative feelings. Many people practice meditation for mental health issues. There are many techniques, such as body scan meditation, you can use to help you feel more appreciative of your body.
  • Buy yourself some new shoes. If you aren’t feeling up to showing off your legs yet, don’t stress. Work up to it with some new shoes. A little retail therapy can help!
  • Focus on your legs at the gym. You may have been avoiding leg day while you dealt with your vein issues, but now that you’ve gotten treatment, exercise is just what the doctor ordered. It can help improve circulation and prevent future vein issues.
  • Take the time to moisturize. Varicose veins can cause dry, itchy skin and eczema. Daily moisturizing, especially after bathing, can help keep your skin healthy and soft. It’s also a great way to show your body a little love.
  • Splurge on hair removal. If smooth legs make you happy, why not spend a little money and opt for laser hair removal? You won’t have to worry about shaving, and your legs will feel silky smooth.

Adjusting to your new normal after vein treatment can take time, but once you see how good the results can be, you’ll start to feel a lot better. Follow your doctor’s instructions and enjoy the benefits of vein treatment. A little self-love can help you begin to feel great about your legs, and soon you’ll be ready to show them off.

Do you have leg pain?

Old man knee painMost people don’t like leg day at the gym. Why? Because your legs have some of the largest muscle groups in the body, and when they are sore it’s not fun. If you overdo a workout, it can take a couple of days for that pain to subside.

But did you know that leg pain can also be a sign of vein issues? Let’s talk through the types of muscles in your legs, then we’ll delve into the symptoms that accompany conditions associated with veins.

Three main muscle groups in your legs stretch down from your hips and gluteus maximus.

  • Quadriceps are a group of four different muscles and are some of the strongest and leanest muscles in the body. They stretch from the front of your hips to your knee.
  • Hamstrings are a group of three muscles found at the back of the thigh stretching from the hip to the knee.
  • Calf muscles stretch from your knees to your ankles. They are quite flexible to enable walking and standing.

Your circulatory system provides the blood with the oxygen these major muscle groups need to function so you can stand, walk and be active. The blood is pumped from the heart down to the feet and back up again to the heart to be reoxygenated. It’s a long way for the blood to travel, and vein issues can develop on the journey. Injuries or other conditions that affect the circulatory system in these major muscle groups can cause problems as well.

As you age, leg pain can become more common. Your weight, lifestyle and other factors can cause issues that may affect these large muscle groups and your circulation. If you are experiencing pain, see your family doctor. If your doctor rules out an injury or condition, book a free consultation with our team.

Vein issues, like varicose and spider veins, can cause significant pain and discomfort before the problem is visually discernible. Our doctors will perform a thorough examination, including an ultrasound of the tissue to look for underlying issues. They will also ask you about other symptoms you may be experiencing, including:

  • Itchy, dry skin
  • Feelings of heaviness in your legs, especially at the end of the day
  • Swollen ankles
  • Aches and pains that get worse throughout the day, and the longer you stand
  • Restless legs at night
  • Leg cramps

All of these discomforts could be signs of lower extremity venous insufficiency, the condition that can cause varicose or spider veins. Vein wall issues can cause inadequate blood flow leading to poor circulation and blockages.

If you think vein issues are causing your pain, give us a call. A consultation is free, and most treatment options are relatively simple. You shouldn’t feel like every day is leg day at the gym. The major muscle groups in your legs need the blood and oxygen delivered by your veins. When blockages or issues occur, we can help. Call us today.

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.