Winter is a busy time at Minnesota Vein Center as patients with varicose veins or venous ulcers find this to be a good time to seek treatment. During summer and into the fall months, the heat and humidity cause veins to dilate and even stretch. Vein symptoms are often worse at these times. One reason people seek vein treatment during winter is because most vein treatments require wearing of compression stockings.
Compression stockings are medical grade stockings designed to increase the blood return from the legs by placing pressure in a graduated fashion. Graduated compression stockings apply their strongest compression at the ankle and then gradually provide less compression up the calf and the thigh. This helps in blood flow return. They are used to control symptoms in some patients before treatment and they are used for a short period after most vein treatments. They are also beneficial to supplement medical treatment of other venous diseases such as deep vein thrombosis or venous ulcers.
In the cold months of winter, patients are easily compliant with wearing stockings for a prescribed time. Many patients find the added layer to be a welcoming protection against the cold. We know that compression stockings do not eliminate the existing vein problem, but they provide some control of symptoms and in many patients they help control the disease progression.
As temperatures drop below freezing, it’s natural to alter our activity and just stay indoors to avoid the cold weather. We also know that inactivity with less walking and more sitting may be a detriment to vein health. What activiites do our patients participate in to promote vein health during winter months here in Minnesota?
Daily walking is popular among most of our patient population. They tell us they include in their busy schedules at least a daily 15 – 30 minute walk. During our coldest months they have very creative walking schedule strategies. We have patients who do daily laps at the mall, the grocery or department store, their home treadmill or laps at their gym. By keeping the calf muscle pump healthy these vein-health conscious patients continue to work towards venous disease prevention and post-treatment recovery.
For many, winter may be a preferred time for vein treatment, but regardless of the season, when you experience symptoms of venous insufficiency it is always best to address vein issues as soon as possible. Left untreated, venous disease always worsens. Patients have the best outcomes with early detection and treatment and they report an improved quality of life. If you are concerned about possible venous disease contact our team for answers.