Varicose veins of the lower limbs: stages, causes, symptoms and treatment

Varicose veins of the lower extremities – the problem of the female sex, which covers all of the younger age group. However, approximately 10% of the male population also face this problem.

The disease has a very obvious external signs, so for the ladies, varicose veins, primarily cosmetic disease that affects the appearance. However, don't underestimate the situation, because the problem lies not in what is the varicose veins and the problems within the legs.

varicose veins of the extremities


Varicose disease of the lower extremities is a pathology of the veins. They lose their former elasticity, begins to expand. Gradually failing valves, which are necessary for regulation of blood flow. As soon as the valves cease to function normally, a significant problem with blood flow. Varicose veins of the lower extremities the most frequent problem faced by physicians, although the disease can affect other parts of the body.

Until about 2000, there was a huge number of different classifications of varicose veins of the legs. However, after the conference in Moscow was adopted a uniform system for the notation of varicose veins of the lower extremities. It is largely intersected with a more sophisticated international system, which operated at that time:

  1. Stage 1 – mild form with minimal changes, which hardly affect the functionality of the valves.
  2. Stage 2 – segmental form, when the problem starts with the saphenous valves.
  3. Stage 3 – widespread type, when the subcutaneous valves deteriorate and they no longer work.
  4. Stage 4 – failure of valves including in the deep veins.

Classification does not work alone, so in addition to it indicates the degree of chronic venous insufficiency. This makes the exact diagnosis more accurate, usually points to the degree of venous insufficiency coincide with the stage of varicose veins:

  • 0 degree – failure not.
  • 1 degree is characterized by heaviness in the legs.
  • 2 degree causes swelling of the limb that morning almost completely disappears.
  • 3 degree can be determined by permanent edema of the feet, to which is added the increased temperature of the affected areas and skin.
  • 4 degree – this is the stage at which the skin forms an ulcer.

In 2004, the unified classification of varicose veins has been extended. To date, the number of types of varicose veins of the lower extremities, which is used in the international format of treatment has about 40 points. Among them are some category related to performance, severity of disease, anatomic anomalies, and so on. The final diagnosis entry in international format consists of a sequence of alphanumeric symbols that are understood only by a specialist.


Often the main cause of varicose veins of the lower extremities is called the hereditary factor, therefore, in the diagnosis of the disease consider the cases of varicose veins and the next of kin. However, not all scientists believe that heredity affects the condition of the veins, so long as in academia is not clear on this, decided to allocate other reasons.

If we exclude the possibility of inheritance of the varicose veins of the legs, the only "innate" factor in the development of the disease can only be considered weak walls of blood vessels. The lack of connective tissue, which subsequently, will develop varicose veins, can be called the only genetic factor, on which scientists agree.

symptoms of varicose veins

Other causes are acquired, so often associated with the lifestyle of the person, and therefore, in most cases they can be avoided:

  • Weight

Obesity is becoming the most common cause of varicose veins of the lower extremities, as a person with a high body mass index increases the pressure on the feet when walking.

  • Long static load

Excessive load can be obtained and not having excess weight, so the second list risk category are people who are working have to sit or stand. This can be attributed to all office workers, shop assistants and certain other occupations. Varicose veins lower leg for them almost an occupational disease associated with lack of mobility.

  • Highly slinky clothing

I should add that uncomfortable tight clothing plays into the hands of venous disease, increasing its chances of development, so those who wish to maintain healthy feet you should refrain from corsets, belts, and pants that are tight around the groin area.

  • Improper diet

Unhealthy lifestyle, which becomes a cause of varicose veins, mainly for the food. There is a certain program a healthy and varied diet, so the diet do all the required elements. One of the important points is the presence of vegetables and fruit in raw form. These products – sources of fiber, which not only helps the intestines to do their work, but also affect the integrity and elasticity of venous walls.

  • Hormonal changes

Problems with hormones are also poorly affect the overall health and condition of the venous walls. This is usually associated with the intake of special drugs, for example, contraceptives, treatment for infertility or during menopause.

  • Pregnancy

There are other causes of changes in hormone levels that leads to varicose veins. For women pregnancy is one of these factors. In fact pregnancy is almost always accompanied by varicose veins. This is due to hormonal changes in the first trimester and an increase in weight and increase the pressure in the abdominal region in the coming months. If most of the reasons can be influenced from the outside, changing the diet or lifestyle, the pregnancy is for many an insurmountable obstacle. However, pregnancy does not mean that varicose veins of the legs will have to develop. It only increases the risk of injury legs.


The main symptoms of varicose veins of the legs in women relate to the condition of the veins – they expand and bulge. Their expansion is very noticeable as they protrude in the standing position. The veins under the knees and in other areas it's easy to probe, they are easily compressed, that is determined by their level of elasticity.

Varicose vein is not necessarily developing in both legs, it is likely the outcome when the lesion affects only one limb. The most obvious bulging varicose veins in the upper part of the tibia.


When inspecting the affected limb can also notice the increased temperature of the skin, compared to healthy areas. With a more severe course of the disease to an elevated temperature is added to change the hue of the skin and probable appearance of spots or eczema, which subsequently transformirovalsya in ulcers, which require local treatment.

Symptoms of varicose veins of the legs in women often begin to suffer even before the moment when the first signs of varicose veins. The usual heaviness in the legs, which the patient complains to the end of the day, are the reason for the diagnosis. The symptom needs to grow in hot weather. Often together with heavy legs edema people watching. In the first stages of varicose veins becomes a cause of transient edema, which disappears in the morning. However, the situation changes swelling will become permanent.

In addition to the listed symptoms you should mention night cramps in the legs.


Despite the fact that varicose veins has quite obvious symptoms, they are not enough in order to treat the varicose veins. The primary parameter that study doctors during diagnosis is the valves and the patency of the veins. However, before you go to the hardware methods, the doctor will gather family medical history, asks questions about lifestyle, diet, then proceeds to external examination.

In a horizontal position most of the symptoms less obvious, therefore the tests when the diagnosis is performed when the patient is standing. External examination does not only affect the lower leg that are most often affected. During the examination, the doctor palpated both limbs along the entire length to find the varicose veins behind the knee or on the Shin, inspects groin areas, as well as the stomach. Sometimes due to palpation of the veins to detect the complication of varicose veins in the form formed of a dense clot.

There are diagnostic methods that do not require additional equipment. For example, test Troyanova-Trendelenburg position when the patient initially rests and elevates the leg at an angle of 45 degrees. When the vein behind the knee and throughout the leg quite empty in the opinion of the doctor, the thigh harness is applied. With the harness, the patient must stand up, and the doctor at this time pinpoint how quickly the veins are filled again with the harness and without it. The standard filling time of the veins is 15 seconds, a smaller result indicates a problem with the valves.

another method is based on the tremors of blood that can be felt by palpation of the veins while coughing. Similar methods of diagnosing venous disease quite a lot, but they are used only as an initial stage, which can not replace the hardware analysis.

The most common definition of patency of veins using ultrasound, veins of the lower extremities. Both methods allow you to track the permeability of the veins and to assess the condition of the valves, especially in patients who have developed complications of varicose veins. Almost all complications of varicose veins associated with worsening of outflow of blood from the lower extremities. Rarely, the disease may cause deep vein thrombosis, which is already characterized by the development of life-threatening pulmonary embolism.


All methods of treatment of varicose veins of the lower extremities are divided into:

  1. Invasive.
  2. Non-invasive.
treatment of varicose veins

Division is conditional for the reason that comprehensive treatment of varicose veins at home non-invasive methods do not produce tangible results for the patient. The appearance of the first symptoms of varicose veins in the swollen veins will not go away, so the combination of complex therapy is mostly used as a preventative method in order to prepare for more radical methods of struggle or to avoid relapse.

Invasive surgical methods for the treatment of varicose veins of the lower extremities today is very diverse. In addition to standard surgery to remove the veins – phlebectomy, are less traumatic procedure.

  • Laser photocoagulation is a surgical treatment of varicose veins of the lower extremities, but on the skin almost does not remain traces from the surgery. The essence of this method is exposed to the heat of a laser beam of a certain length. After the procedure the patient still during the week occurs in the hospital, then at home conservative treatment. Observation in the hospital should confirm that complications of varicose veins after surgery in the form of infections will not happen.
  • Radiofrequency coagulation is similar in effect to a laser, but instead of the heat wave ultrasound is used, and thereby the whole operating period is shortened to 1 day without the need of patient care in hospital after the procedure.
  • One of the most progressive methods, which appeared relatively recently, considered sclerotherapy. The essence of this method lies in the introduction of a special drug in the vein. The drug glues the vein, after which she leaves under the skin, which solves the cosmetic problem. Sometimes this method is executed after certain surgical correlations, and the full spike walls occurs within a few weeks and about a month is required in order to remove "track" from the veins on the skin.

The conservative fight against varicose veins is a complex that consists of medication and compression methods, which are prescribed after the surgery of varicose veins of the lower extremities.

  • Drug treatment is assigned exclusively by the physician, as the drugs are selected depending on the degree and severity of the disease. This is usually phlebotrophic drugs in the form of tablets, capsules, there are gels and ointments. What if my legs ache from varicose veins – along with the specific remedies that must act on the walls of the veins, the doctor may Supplement the list of drugs means a systemic effect. For example, corticosteroids. Most often, the pain goes away within a few minutes.
  • While the medication is being taken under medical supervision, non-pharmacological treatment is more reminiscent of the preventive procedures from varicose veins and many other diseases. The main message of this therapy is to change lifestyle. You need to lose weight, move more, that the blood does not stagnate in the veins, to revise the diet. The emphasis is on the factor that provoked the disease.
  • However, this non-drug treatment of varicose veins before or after the operation ends. The change lifestyle is not enough, so it helps knit the special slimming underwear: stockings, tights. For more local use you can use elastic bandages.
how to treat varicose veins

This linen is chosen for virtually every specific customer, as the size affect the volume of the lower leg, ankle and so on. The use of bandages suitable for a larger audience, as it does not require measurements like linen, but you need a proper bandaging that covers the heel and toes.

Therapeutic slimming underwear helps to reduce the bulging veins, helps proper distribution of blood in the extremities reduces the pressure on the feet. The compression garment can be worn not only by the doctor, so it can be used as an effective method of prevention of varicose disease of the lower extremities.