Despite what many people believe, spider veins and varicose veins are not the same thing. Spider veins are a milder version of varicose veins and may be treated by using alternative methods to surgery. Massage is one form of treatment for cases of spider veins. Special care must be taken with massage therapy to avoid worsening the condition instead of improving it.
Spider veins are a series of broken blood vessels. They are most recognizable by the way they typically appear to crawl up the legs and feet, although they can form anywhere on the body. This web-like pattern develops under the surface of the skin and can be attributed to a number of things. A common symptom is pain that ranges from dull and throbbing to a burning sensation.
Gender, age, heredity and hormones are contributing factors to spider veins, according to WomensHealth.gov. The condition occurs more in the legs because leg veins endure the most pressure when carrying blood to the heart. When the pressure is stronger than the one-way valves in the veins, the vessels break down. Massage therapy provides relief from tension and stress and soothes sore and aching muscles. It also helps the body relax and can improve circulation. Poor circulation is what weakens blood vessels, so regular massages can help alleviate the discomfort and unsightly appearance of spider veins.
A professional massage therapist is recommended, but it is possible to do the massage yourself. Get in a comfortable sitting position on a sofa or bed and use a pillow to elevate your legs slightly. The key to using massage therapy as a treatment for spider veins is to use a light touch. You only want to massage the surrounding area of the vein, especially if there is a slight bulging. Gently massage the entire leg, starting at the ankle and ending at the upper thigh. Do this for about five minutes on each leg. Repeat this routine daily to help reduce any swelling in the veins and eliminate the throbbing pain.
Massage therapy can be a relaxing and effective way to get rid of spider veins, however, not all cases are the same. The severity of each person's condition is what determines the course of treatment. The objective is to get the blood moving to improve circulation. Exerting too much pressure on or near the injured vessel can worsen the condition.
It is a good ideal to talk to your doctor before starting a new routine that involves your physical health. Additionally, it is wise to consult a professional massage therapist. She can help develop a treatment plan with your specific condition in mind.