Why You Should Stop Ignoring That Pesky Leg Pain

Do you have varicose or spider veins, or heavy, painful or swollen legs? If you do, you’re just like a fifth of Canadian adults who suffer from these same symptoms. But don’t ignore the signs; while these symptoms might not seem like a big issue in themselves, they are actually indications of a condition called chronic venous disease.

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What’s chronic venous disease anyway?

Dr. Beverley Chan, a vascular surgeon in Canada, explains: “Chronic venous disease, sometimes called chronic venous insufficiency, is caused by poor blood circulation through the veins in your legs. Our veins have small valves that make sure that our blood flows in only one direction. Chronic venous disease means the internal walls of our veins and valves aren’t doing their jobs properly. Blood then starts to pool in the affected veins causing them to deteriorate even further, which may lead to the disease progressing.” This is why we need to stop ignoring leg pain.

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How do I know if I have it?

You might notice a general ache, pain or discomfort in your legs, swelling in your ankles, or a heavy, tired feeling in your lower limbs. Those bulging, bluish and painful varicose veins that you might have are also a sign of chronic venous disease. A lot of people dealing with chronic venous disease reported that it often had a real impact in their lives. There is of course the aesthetic factor that can weigh on someone’s mind because of these apparent and not so good-looking varicose veins, but the pain and discomfort can be so burdening that some may even refrain from going out or from tackling daily activities because of it. If the first thing you crave when getting back home is to elevate your legs, it might be worth to look into this.

There are several risk factors can make you more susceptible to chronic venous disease: women are more at risk, and a family history of the disease can increase your chances of getting it. Your lifestyle may also be a risk factor because excess weight and a lack of exercise are key targets for chronic venous disease. If you stand for long periods at work like nurses, teachers or flight attendants do, your risk is increased. The same is true for those who sit for long periods (looking at you office workers!).

The solution?

A great place to start is changing a few of your lifestyle habits. Achieving a healthy weight and even light regular exercise like walking or bicycling are simple and excellent ways to improve circulation in your legs right away. Elevating your legs when they ache is another way to get quick relief. You can also avoid certain everyday things that you may not realize are making your symptoms worse: refrain from prolonged exposure to heat (like saunas or hot baths), standing or sitting still too long (take a short walk or stretch your calves) or wearing high heels or socks that are too tight.

But what else?

These tricks can help keep symptoms at bay for some people, but not for all. The best way to stop this condition from running your life is to relieve chronic venous disease symptoms at their source.

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Photo Credit: Venixxa

Veno-active treatments are excellent ways to do just that. For example, Venixxa is a natural health product available in pill form and made from immature oranges. Clinical studies have shown that this treatment can offer a 50 percent reduction in feelings of heavy or swollen legs after only 4 weeks. After 8 weeks, up to 63 percent reduction in pain and 72 percent reduction in feelings of swelling have been achieved.i

Other alternatives are also available, like compression socks or medical procedures such as sclerotherapy.

Last but not least, act quickly. “Chronic venous disease is a progressive inflammatory disease, so it is important to recognize the signs and take action as soon as possible,” concludes Dr. Chan. Stop ignoring that pesky leg pain! It’s not nothing; if you suffer from some of these symptoms, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the best treatment for you. You can even assess your symptoms and learn whether you are at risk at Venixxa.ca/veniscore-assessment.

i Gilly R, et al. Evaluation of a new venoactive micronized flavanoid fraction (S 5682) in symptomatic disturbance of the venolymphatic circulation of the lower limb: a double-blind study. Phlebology. 1994; 9: 67-70.

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