Vein disease symptoms can be improved by alternative therapies. These work by diminishing symptoms, but they do not eliminate the underlying vein abnormality which is still present. They also do not prevent the worsening of the vein condition which occurs with all patients with vein disease. To eliminate the underlying vein abnormality, the diseased veins need to be excluded from the circulation by closing them down or removing them.
Alternative therapies can be started immediately for most people, and they can get quick relief. Compression stockings can reduce leg and foot symptoms and also decrease the fatigue often associated with vein disease.
Leg elevation periodically can reduce swelling and decrease symptoms, but after resuming upright activities, symptoms return. Overall, symptoms are decreased by the end of the day if you are able to periodically elevate your legs if this is a practical option. Walking and exercising the calf muscle helps pump the blood out of your leg and reduces pressure there. If one can periodically walk regularly during the day and it can help decrease symptoms. Pain medicines can help, and they work in different ways. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) acts to block the pain pathway and can help with pain.
Non steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or Naprosyn work by blocking the inflammation pathway and also the pain pathway. Since inflammation is created by the vein disease process, these medications are very helpful in reducing symptoms and decreasing the fatigue associated with vein disease. Finally, horse chestnut extract is a medicine which helps reduce inflammation and pain by mild constriction of the veins. This allows the veins to improve their flow so that stagnant circulation is reduced. The amount of constriction is limited so that this medicine works best for veins early on in the development of vein disease – as the veins become more abnormal they are not able to constrict enough any more. All these treatments can help but none of them eliminates the problem or prevents the progression and worsening of the condition which occurs in all patients with vein disease.