Does Ocean Water Help Varicose Veins?
It's common for people suffering from varicose veins to consider non-medical treatment methods to find relief. One such method is the use of ocean water. The belief is that the movement of the water's waves against the legs massages them, helping blood flow and providing compression.
Unfortunately, while it sounds promising, it simply doesn't work. The reality is that ocean water itself doesn't positively impact varicose veins. Furthermore, spending too much time in the sun (a natural consequence of being in the ocean), can actually be detrimental because the heat generated by the sun and sand tends to worsen varicose vein symptoms.
Does Salty Seawater Cure Varicose Veins?
Salty sea water is beneficial in many ways, but it has no magical healing powers when it comes to varicose veins or spider veins. Varicose veins are veins that have become diseased and cannot allow proper blood flow, increasing pressure inside the vein. This is why varicose veins tend to bulge and look unsightly. Ocean water can be good for the skin, but these properties don't penetrate into the vein to help it to heal. Only medical intervention and lifestyle changes can reverse the effects caused by varicose veins.
Why Swimming Helps Varicose Veins
While the ocean water itself can't cure varicose veins, swimming in it (or in any other body of water, including chlorinated pools) is beneficial. Swimming is a low-impact aerobic activity that can help people suffering from varicose veins in many ways, such as:
- Provides pain relief caused by varicose veins.
- Lowers the effect of gravity on the lower leg veins, relieving pressure.
- Improves circulation in the legs and helps muscles work to push blood back to the heart.
- Encourages overall health, which in turn serves to prevent future varicose veins from developing.
Water exercise helps improve flexibility and mobility because it loosens stiff joints. The aerobic nature of swimming improves lung and heart health while working all of a body's muscles. It's important to understand that, while very beneficial, exercise and water activities alone also cannot cure varicose veins.
Treatments for Varicose Veins
While ocean water won't help cure varicose veins, fortunately, there are several varicose vein treatment options. Your doctor may recommend one of the following methods.
Varithena is a minimally invasive and non-surgical treatment. Your physician will insert a catheter or directly inject a needle into the affected vein to administer a small amount of microfoam. This will collapse the vein and redirect blood supply to healthier veins.
VenaSeal is a proven safe and effective vein treatment option that doesn't require the use of heat, tumescent anesthesia, or sclerosants. Your doctor will use a proprietary medical adhesives administered through a thin catheter to close off the varicose vein and redirect blood to nearby healthy veins.
Ultrasound Guided Foam Sclerotherapy
Ultrasound Guided Foam Sclerotherapy is a rapid treatment option with minimal recovery time. Your doctor uses ultrasound technology to guide a needle into the vein to administer a sclerosant medication which has been made into a foam. The foam initiates a reaction in the vein to close it shut, forcing blood to flow into healthier veins.
ClariVein is a quick, painless, and minimally invasive process. Your doctor uses a mechanochemical ablation device to inject a sclerosing agent into the vein. This process closes and destroys the problematic vein. Blood then naturally reroutes to other veins.
Laser ablation is a process involving a thin laser fiber that is gently inserted into the affected vein. The laser heats the vein and forces it to close, and your body's blood flow is naturally rerouted to nearby healthy veins.
Radiofrequency ablation is a technique where your doctor inserts a thin catheter into your vein where it emits radio waves to heat targeted areas of the vein before closing it. Once closed, blood will naturally flow to healthier veins.
During ambulatory phlebectomy, your doctor makes tiny incisions, followed by the removal of the diseased varicose vein. Once removed, the body will naturally reroute blood flow to healthier veins.
Book a Consultation with Our Vein Clinics in Anchorage or Fairbanks Alaska
Swimming in the ocean is excellent for exercise, blood flow, and overall health, but it won't cure varicose vein issues. However, vein treatment by a qualified specialist can. Meet Dr. Peter Liao, MD, PhD, and Cynthia "CJ" Smith, PA-C. They offer expert vein care at Center for Vein restoration clinics in Anchorage, AK, and Fairbanks, AK. They have extensive experience relieving patients of the discomfort of varicose veins and spider veins. Contact Call 1-800-FIX-LEGS ((1-800-349-5347) to make an appointment or visit our website to schedule an appointment online.