Heavy, painful legs are often caused by weak veins. Find out in this article what other symptoms may indicate weak veins, and what to do if you have discovered them or your physician has diagnosed them. We will also explain the benefits of compression garments as part of vein therapy and clear up the most common misconceptions when it comes to compression stockings.
Why vein problems are a very common condition
Tired legs, swollen ankles or spider veins (small veins in the shape of a web or fan that are quite visible under the skin) are often the first indication of weak veins. Among young people in particular, the subject of vein problems is not usually discussed, even though they are increasingly affected by venous disorders. According to the German Society for Vascular medicine, more than 30 million Germans suffer from mild vein problems, with varicose veins (blue, knotted tortuosities or clusters of skin veins) on the legs occurring most often. Work with little physical activity that mainly involves standing or sitting, as well as little exercise during leisure time increase the risk of getting this condition. In addition to advancing age, other risk factors of vein problems include obesity and a hereditary predisposition. Women are affected by chronic vein disorders more frequently than men, which may be attributed to hormonal changes, for example during puberty, pregnancy or menopause.
Signs of vein problems: taking tired, heavy legs and spider veins seriously
Vein problems are rarely diagnosed among young people, in particular because most of those affected will not visit a physician in the event of heavy legs, even though a progression of the condition and therefore serious health risks can be alleviated and sometimes prevented if initial symptoms are taken seriously. In the beginning, those affected may mainly have tired legs, with pain and the sensation of heaviness increasing over the course of the day or after long periods of standing or sitting. Others may even have to deal with cramps or restless legs. Typical signs also include swollen ankles, especially during the summer.
Socks marks from constricting the skin, brown spots or spider veins are also visual warnings for weak veins.
Treatment: what to do about heavy legs?
If you notice one or more of the above signs, you should definitely discuss this with a physician and have your legs thoroughly examined. The diagnosis of a venous disorder means it is highly likely that you will be prescribed compression stockings that help with tired, heavy legs if they are worn regularly. In case this is the first time you’re facing the subject of compression stockings, we have summarized the most important information in our checklist. In this way, you will be perfectly prepared when you visit a medical supply retailer to get your first pair of compression stockings.
Even without being diagnosed, support stockings can be used for prevention; especially if you have to stand or sit a lot during everyday activities. These stockings provide a vitalizing sensation and make your legs feel pleasantly light – even if you’re getting little physical activity at the moment. Hot days are also more exhausting for your veins than cold days.
“Do I really need compression stockings?”
Unfortunately, compression stockings often have a negative image, among young people in particular. Many of those affected don’t feel comfortable at the thought of having to wear the stockings day in and day out. That’s why we believe it’s time to clear up some common misconceptions and fill potential gaps in knowledge. Katharina Heinrich, Bauerfeind Marketing Manager for Phlebology makes some excellent points for all those still in doubt.
Misconception 1: “Compression stockings aren’t for young people, are they?”
Katharina Heinrich:Vein disorders can affect everyone. They have become a wide-spread problem. If young people have to battle with heavy legs, medical compression stockings can help. They improve venous activity and counteract venous leg problems. It’s worth wearing the stockings during everyday activities: compression stockings generally help with active and healthy legs. Men benefit just as much as women, by the way. These stockings are also recommended for long-haul flights to prevent thrombosis based on a lack of movement. Many young women should also find out more about the subject of compression during pregnancy because the venous system is under a lot of strain during this phase. Wearing compression stockings is recommended from the twelfth week of pregnancy. Their precisely defined pressure gradient supports the veins in the legs as they work, without influencing the mother's hormone balance.
Misconception 2: “Compression stockings are uncomfortable, aren’t they?“
Katharina Heinrich: Not at all! Today, modern technologies and materials are used to ensure a very high degree of wearing comfort – such as a high microfiber content. The fabric of our stockings is lightweight, thin, elastic and breathable. After a short time getting used to them, most people don’t even notice they’re wearing compression stockings. That means they’re suitable for everyday use. The gentle massage effect also feels beneficial. With the right design and fit, the stockings will feel like a second skin. The difference compared with conventional stockings becomes obvious after a long day’s work when you can be pleased how light your legs feel in the evening. If you need help finding a suitable model, simply speak to your physician or a specialist consultant at a medical supply retailer. They will also give you practical tips to help with donning and doffing, as well as stocking care.
Misconception 3: “Compression stockings look terrible, don’t they?”
Katharina Heinrich: I have to disagree again. Modern compression stockings can barely be distinguished from conventional stockings. That’s why looks are no longer a reason to do without this valuable medical aid. In the VenoTrain range, Bauerfeind offers a wide variety of designs, colors and patterns. Our Fashion Colors are a visual highlight among many classic, subtle models. These colorful compression stockings are always right on trend and can easily be combined with different styles and outfits. This means there’s no need to make a choice between fashion and health.
And don’t forget about the body-shaping effect! Our VenoTrain compression stockings make legs look beautiful, meaning you’ll feel great in your skin and radiate that, too. See our article about the Fashion Color Wild Berry for more product information and cool styling tips for the fall.
Enjoy your new favorite stockings!