Varicose Veins and Golf: Is Pain affecting your Game?

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Varicose Veins and Golfing

Do you feel that leg pain—especially from varicose veins— is forcing you to use the golf cart? Are you wearing long slacks, despite warm weather because you are embarrassed by your varicose veins? Or are you wearing compression stockings which can be uncomfortable in warm weather?

Golf puts a lot of strain on the muscles, tendons, and joints in our shoulders and make us prone to overuse injuries such as inflammation of the rotator cuff tendons, impingement syndrome and arthritis, and strain and sprain injuries.

But, many men and women, find that their legs hurt, feel tired and heavy, or seem swollen, especially after a long game of golf.

While golf-great Bobby Jones was an icon who dominated golf during the 1920’s despite an agonizing case of varicose veins, today your golf game doesn’t have to include discomfort when standing, ​swing​ing ​a club, or just walking to the next hole.

Many believe that aches and pains are an inevitable aspect of aging. Although it may appear that everyone experiences leg pain, the majority of people do not. Leg pain, especially caused by untreated varicose veins, can be quickly and easily treated successfully than that you may think because of modern technology and medical advancements.

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Know the Signs

Varicose veins are a sign that the blood flow from your legs to your heart is restricted. This can make your legs feel itchy, painful, and, if left untreated, and places you at an increased risk for several serious health conditions, including blood clots and venous ulcers.

In addition to swollen, discolored, and enlarged veins, symptoms of venous insufficiency include:

Common vein disease symptoms include:

  • Swelling in the legs, ankles, and feet
  • Tired, aching legs
  • Burning in the calf or thigh
  • Leg pain that improves with walking or elevation
  • Itchy, dry skin
  • Numbness or tingling sensations
  • Difficulty standing for prolonged periods
  • Open, non-healing leg wounds
  • Varicose veins and spider veins

If you experience any of these symptoms, reach out to a specialist to learn more and to ease your discomfort.

It’s Not a Superficial Problem

A lot of people, men especially, don’t treat their varicose veins simply because they are unconcerned with the appearance. But leaving your varicose veins untreated is actually pretty dangerous and can lead to pain, swelling, and even ulceration.

Think about it: Healthy veins pump blood up to your heart. If those veins don’t work properly, blood will sink and pool, resulting in twisted, swollen blood vessels. Doesn’t sound superficial, does it?

You may not care the way they look, but there are underlying health issues that need to be addressed. So, it’s important to book a consultation with a vein specialist to determine the status of your vein health

Simple Changes

While new habits might not result in you getting a hole-in-one, there are things that you can do to improve your health. Once you talk with your doctor about your vein health, they may suggest some lifestyle adjustments.

These simple changes can make a huge difference in your vein health:

  • Lose weight
  • Quit smoking
  • Move your body (walk, bike, or dance)
  • Eat more fiber, eat less salt
  • Drink plenty of water

However, since veins don’t improve on their own, you still may need to fix the root cause of the problem.

What Causes Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are caused by any number of factors, including age, obesity, prolonged standing or sitting, family history, pregnancy, and hormonal influences. What happens is that when your veins are not working properly moving the blood back up the leg towards the heart, the blood flows backward (or refluxes). Then you get venous pooling in the legs, and pressure builds up, leading to venous hypertension. The blood needs to go somewhere, so the body starts forcing it out through side branches and channels. As those branches come to the surface, they start bulging out. That’s when you see big, dilated, ugly veins on the surface, and begin to feel pain in your legs.

However, one of the problems with varicose veins is that you can’t always that they’re there. Dilated veins, skin thickening or discoloration, as well as any ankle or leg swelling, may be visible, but non-visible symptoms can include pain, heaviness, itching, throbbing, cramping, burning or restlessness.

These signs should not be ignored. Varicose veins are progressive, meaning that, in most cases, they will get worse with time. They don’t get better, or go away on their own, and this can lead to serious health problems like chronic swelling, ulcerations, and even blood clots. If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, you need to seek treatment immediately.

Today’s Minimally Invasive Vein Treatment

At USA Vein Clinics, all of our minimally invasive vein treatments are performed as outpatient procedures. This means you can receive expert vein treatment in a comfortable office setting without an overnight stay in a hospital. After treatment, you can go home and resume most normal activities.

Also, most vein treatments can be performed in under an hour, from start to finish. The actual procedures take between 15 and 30 minutes. Before getting started, your targeted area will be numbed with a local anesthetic to minimize any potential discomfort. Afterward, our patients do not require stitches and go home with only a bandage.

Your vein specialist may suggest one or more of the following vein therapy options depending on your particular situation:

Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT). For over a decade, EVLT has been recognized as the gold standard for treating varicose veins and other symptoms of vein disease. Using real-time ultrasound guidance, a skilled vein specialist inserts a very thin laser fiber into the targeted vein. Then, laser energy is applied to close the diseased vein.  Blood flow is naturally and immediately rerouted to surrounding, healthy veins. Over time, the treated vein(s) are reabsorbed by your body.

ClariVein® Treatment. This non-surgical vein treatment can be recommended to treat venous insufficiency. A unique, catheter-based technique simultaneously uses mechanical and chemical methods to seal off damaged veins. Patients are able to immediately return to most normal activities.

Varithena Vein Treatment. A special foam treats venous issues associated with the Great Saphenous Vein (GSV) and surrounding veins. During Varithena Treatment, a vein specialist uses ultrasound imaging to guide a small catheter into the diseased vein. Foam is then administered through the catheter. As with other non-surgical methods, the targeted vein quickly becomes irritated and collapses, allowing healthy veins to take over.

VenaSeal™ Treatment. Our latest vein treatment, VenaSeal™, provides immediate varicose vein closure through the use of a specially-formulated medical adhesive. With the help of real-time ultrasound imaging, a small amount of adhesive is delivered through a catheter into the targeted vein. Once sealed off, blood flow is automatically rerouted and a bandage is placed over the injection site. After VenaSeal™ treatment, patients do not usually need to wear compression socks to aid healing.

Because varicose veins are caused by a significant underlying venous problem and can lead to long-term complications, treatment is considered medically necessary and is covered by most insurance plans.

What to Expect After Vein Treatment

As Arnold Palmer once said, “Success in this game depends less on strength of body than strength of mind and character.” So while we can’t promise that you’ll suddenly be getting “eagles”, after treatment you should feel more comfortable walking and enjoying your game.

Following vein treatment, you can resume the majority of your regular activities, but there are a few crucial items to avoid. For instance, you shouldn’t take a shower for the first 24 hours, go swimming or bathe in a tub for the first week, or engage in any intense exercise before your doctor gives the all-clear.

Additionally, your vein specialist may ask you to wear compression socks for several days to several weeks after vein treatment. This can help alleviate swelling and discomfort, promote better healing, and reduce your risk of developing post-treatment blood clots.

How Soon Can You Get Back to Golf?

After vein treatment, you can look forward to recovering and returning to all normal activities about two weeks. Most importantly you should almost immediately feel:

  • Less pain, if any
  • Less swelling, if any
  • The ability to stand for longer periods of time
  • The ability to walk greater distances
  • Improved quality of life

 Book An Instant Appointment

If you have leg pain especially while golfing and other signs of vein disease, please contact us at 888.768.3467. You can also schedule an appointment online.

We offer a choice of in-office or telemedicine consultations. No matter where we meet, we look forward to helping resolve your painful, uncomfortable vein symptoms.

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