Veins in cold season
Veins do not only bother us on hot summer days. It may sound astonishing, but even the cold season has many dangers for our leg veins. Also in winter the leg veins cause problems, there are risks like thrombosis or phlebitis. Or the existing varicose veins hurt, swell and are greatly dilated.
The only difference to summer is that in winter we prepare ourselves for the high temperatures that are a strain on our leg veins – in summer it is the sun.
We already reported in one of our news in this blog about vein problems in summer:
Even in winter unexpected vein disease lurks
1. Too little movement, wrong movement
2. Winter boots, winter stockings
3. Hot baths, sauna,
4. Overheated living and working rooms, underfloor heating systems
5. Weight gain, beginning overweight
Swollen, aching legs or feet – such complaints are a daily burden for many people in winter.
And you should take them seriously. Even in winter there are signs or symptoms of venous insufficiency!
Especially in the cold season it is advisable to train your vein system to prevent varicose veins.
Heating air and tight shoes make legs thick. The reason for the „thick“ legs is a blood congestion in the veins. In addition to the hard work our veins do in transporting the blood back to the heart, there are additional stresses in winter such as overheated rooms, shoes that are too warm or too tight and a lack of exercise. The result is that fluid penetrates the tissue and the legs swell.
Movement helps the veins.
Those who often suffer from swollen feet and legs should pay particular attention to comfortable shoes in winter. For special stress situations, such as longer car journeys, there should always be a light replacement pair. Regular exercise is just as important. Running activates the calf muscle pump and supports venous return.
Downhill skiing: great feeling, enormous filling of veins
From our point of view also very important: Skiing, especially downhill, is a great sport.
However: The ski boot completely prevents an activation of the muscle – vein – pump.
And so comes what is also logical….the muscle needs a lot of oxygen – rich blood from the arteries during the downhill skiing – and the blood accumulates in the muscle veins and trunk – / skin veins of the lower leg almost completely back.
This means a considerably increased risk of thrombosis or venous inflammation in already existing and known varicose veins. First of all, the wearing of sports compression stockings should be considered.
However, it is better to have the vein function checked before a winter holiday and to check the risk of thrombosis.
Too little movement
In the cold season we tend to settle down at home. The lack of exercise causes the blood to spill faster into the legs. If you still don’t want to leave the house, foot gymnastics can make sure that the blood is pumped better in the direction of the heart.
A short walk, take the stairs or walk is ideal to help the veins through the winter strains.
Even if winter boots and winter stockings keep the feet nice and warm, for the veins the stocking and footwear can become a problem. If the legs overheat in the long winter stockings and boots, the veins slacken. Boots that are too tight also hinder blood return.
Hot bath, sauna
A relaxing bath or a visit to the sauna are popular with many of our patients. However, you should rather place your legs on the edge of the bath. After the bath the legs should be sprayed cold so that the vessels contract again. When visiting a sauna, it is important to make sure that several short sauna phases are chosen alternately with the cold bath. Two long sauna phases also lead to extreme extensions of the entire leg vein system.
A cosy warm living room is nice in winter, but an overheated room unnecessarily stresses the veins. The ideal temperature for living rooms is 21 – 22 degrees.
Winter weight gain, overweight
We are all aware of a recurring increase in weight during the cold months of the year. Unfortunately, overweight is also a risk factor. Excess pounds favour venous diseases, but cannot be trained down so quickly, because on the one hand the eating habits in winter and on the other hand the metabolism is not quite so active.
Our recommendation: point of view venous specialists
Vein examination before a winter holiday, or a long flight during the cold season.
Wearing sports compression stockings for winter sports such as downhill skiing or ice skating.
Wearing compression stockings in the car or bus on the long journey to the ski resorts.
Taking / injecting thrombosis inhibitors with a corresponding risk profile (tested by a specialist).
In addition, all general information on travel – or sports thrombosis, as summarized in our news blog.