For many, the lockdown is little more than an inconvenience. But those with varicose veins are wondering whether it could be making their condition worse and experts are expecting a rise in enquiries as restrictions start to ease.
Could all that sitting around be causing veins to protrude further and causing even more damage?
The Lockdown Is Reducing Physical Activity
Science seems to paint a dire picture. Evidence suggests that varicose, lumpy veins are not merely passive byproducts of the ageing process, but a condition we may be able to modify through lifestyle change. Diet, exercise, quitting smoking, and so on, could all significantly reduce the chances that they form, perhaps by encouraging cells in our cardiovascular system to take better care of themselves.
Common sense, therefore, seems to suggest that COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown could be making varicose veins worse.
People stuck indoors don’t move around as much as those going about their pre-coronavirus routine. And those working from home only have to roll out of bed and walk a few feet to their office chairs, cutting out all the walking they would normally do as part of their daily commute. It all points to less exercise, fewer trips out with friends, and more time for sedentary habits to do their damage.
Lockdown May Increase The Chances Of Developing Varicose Veins, But May Not Exacerbate Symptoms
You should not forget, though, that researchers consider exercising a preventive measure for varicose veins. The more physical activity people get, the more internal shearing forces their blood vessels receive, and the better their condition becomes. This action may help keep the valves that supply the legs healthy and supple.
Interestingly, though, exercise cannot reverse varicose veins. Only surgical intervention can do that. Furthermore, activity may cause pain or make the wiggles worse. So a lack of exercise during lockdown may actually lead to temporary improvements if you already have the condition and are placing less strain on the veins.
Like exercise, dietary choices may also help to prevent varicose veins from forming by increasing the elasticity of blood vessels, reducing blood pressure and improving the robustness of leg valves. Again, though, improvements in diet – even dramatic ones – cannot reverse varicose veins that exist already. Only surgery can do that.
Interestingly, people seem to be eating better as a result of the lockdown. Early indications suggest that COVID-19 may actually be improving diets across the board by encouraging people to cook more home-cooked food and avoid high-fat, high-sugar, high-calorie restaurant meals.
You can, therefore, make a good case that the lockdown is making varicose veins better for people who already have them. Existing patients are, on average, eating higher quality food and may also be standing less due to lifestyle changes; both of which may help to reduce the visual appearance and pain associated with varicose veins in the short term.
The lockdown, however, may be increasing the chance of people who don’t have the condition yet developing it. Sitting down all day long in, cooped over laptops is not a recipe for long-term health. Thus, the picture is mixed.
The solution is to do regular, simple, short bursts of exercise to keep everything moving. Even simple stretches can help.
And if you are concerned about the appearance of lumpy twisted veins, seek advice from a company that specialise in this condition.
Varicose Vein Treatment
The London Vein Treatment Centre offers a variety of options, depending on the nature of the condition being treated:
Varicose Vein Removal Treatments
A choice of varicose vein treatment routes using the latest laser and surgical techniques, all carried out by our experienced Vascular Surgeon on a ‘walk in walk out’ basis with no overnight stay and no general anaesthetic:
- EVLA (endovenous laser ablation) treatment offers a 95% success rate. Cosmedics Skin Clinics offer EVLA treatment at their London vein treatment centre with a renowned vascular surgeon. Prices start at £1,650 per leg (1 vein)
- ClariVein® is a treatment which combines a mechanical with a chemical action to seal
- Foam sclerotherapy an injectable treatment for smaller varicose veins or larger thread veins
- Tumescent Foam Sclerotherapy combines EVLA with Foam Sclerotherapy – exclusive to The London Vein Centre
- Micro surgery for physical, surgical removal of the affected vein where necessary
London Vein Treatment Centre
Established in 2003, Cosmedics Skin Clinics offer treatment for thread veins using the latest techniques with GMC-registered doctors and surgeons. They also offer advanced laser varicose vein treatment at the London Vein Treatment Centre at a choice of two highly equipped London Vein Treatment Centres.
- 4 Disraeli Road, Putney, London, SW15 2DS
- 41 Harley Street, London, W1G 8QH
The most popular option is EVLA (endovenous laser ablation) laser varicose vein removal with a vascular surgeon with prices starting at £1,650 per leg (1 vein).
For more information, please complete the form to the right hand side or call 020 7386 0464.