Varicose veins are a severe problem that can affect anyone, regardless of gender and age. The tendency to develop varicose veins is genetically conditioned. Spider veins on the legs also form in people who regularly take hot baths, walk in high heels daily, and often fly in aeroplanes. Varicose veins undoubtedly need to be treated, and leeches therapy is effective. What impact do leeches have on varicose veins, and what does treating sore legs with leeches look like? We answer!
Leech therapy is an alternative to pharmacological and surgical treatment methods for fighting varicose veins. Leeches have been known to humanity for centuries. Their regular application to the skin can cure many ailments, including diseases such as varicose veins, venous thrombosis, or leg ulcers. Find out how leech therapy helps with varicose veins.
Varicose veins – how to recognize them?
Varicose veins of the lower limbs are thickened and twisted sections of veins resulting from disease, visible as swollen cords or possibly lumps. They are palpable when running a hand over the skin of the legs.
It’s no secret that varicose veins are pretty troublesome. Causing severe pain, they impede free walking, and in addition, they look unsightly.
Varicose veins are caused by the malfunctioning of valves in the veins, which causes blood to stagnate in the vessels instead of flowing straight to the heart. The accumulated blood expands the veins and bulges them, leading to inflammation of the legs and causing itching.
Treatment of varicose veins with leeches
Leeches therapy is used to alleviate localised conditions. Therefore, it can successfully treat diseases manifesting on the skin of the lower limbs, such as ulcers or varicose veins.
What makes leeches help with varicose veins? The secret lies in the presence of hirudin compounds in the secretion from their salivary glands. When attached to the skin, the leech bites through it, allowing saliva to enter the human body.
Leeches in the treatment of varicose veins
Varicose veins of the legs can be very troublesome – they cause severe pain while standing up and sitting down and prevent walking. After some time, varicose veins make daily life so difficult that surgical treatment becomes necessary. For those who want to avoid sclerotherapy or vein stripping, leech therapy is the solution. Regular application of leeches in the initial stage of varicose vein formation can prevent new ones from forming and simultaneously reduce the visibility of those that have already appeared.
How does leeches therapy work on varicose veins?
The blood-sucking by leeches affects the improvement of microcirculation, i.e.:
- blood supply and oxygenation of tissues improve;
- lymph flow is enhanced;
- capillary vessels expand;
- toxins are removed.
The saliva of leeches also plays a significant role in improving the condition of the legs. The hirudin compounds contained in it interrupt inflammatory processes and rebuild cells. Substances with anticoagulant effects lower blood clotting, while those with thrombolytic effects destroy clots. Moreover, they lower the level of triglycerides in the blood, which are responsible for the formation of venous thrombosis.
Leeches for varicose veins – effects
After a few treatments with leeches, legs become light, and the feeling of heaviness disappears irretrievably. The pain also subsides, and there is no trace of swelling. Varicose veins begin to be absorbed, making the skin brighter and perfectly smooth. Although large lumps formed several years ago will not diminish, the smaller ones will stop being visible. Additionally, blood circulation improves, evidenced by warm, smoothed skin.
Leg diseases – what do leeches help with?
Leech therapy is also indicated for other diseases that can negatively affect the condition of the legs. Applying leeches is recommended, among others, for:
- treating vascular system diseases;
- in inflammatory processes
- in cases of a tendency to form clots;
- in disturbances of venous and lymphatic outflow;
- for thrombophlebitis;
- in treating skin diseases;
- for joint pains;
- in cases of increased blood viscosity;
- for hard-to-heal wounds;
- in ischemia of the lower limbs;
- for edemas, hematomas, and thromboses.
How many leeches are needed?
Initially, the number of sponges needed is determined. It depends on the patient’s parameters, such as gender, age, body mass, and, most importantly, the type of disease for which therapy is to be applied, as well as the disease-affected area. Typically, 2 to 10 leeches are used (maximum 20).
Where are leeches applied?
There are various methods of applying leeches. Leeches for varicose veins are usually used locally – directly on the area where visible spider veins are present. The area is limited to about 3 cm from the leeches’ application site.
How long does the procedure last?
From the moment of application, the leech stays in the same place. During this time, it sucks blood – one leech can drink from 5 to 15 ml of blood. The procedure ends when the leech detaches from the skin. Sometimes, the leeche therapist may decide to terminate the therapy earlier. The treatment typically lasts about an hour.
How long to wait for results?
The leech therapist indicates the time and number of treatments. Usually, more than one session is needed to eliminate the problem. To achieve satisfactory results, the treatment must be repeated regularly. Typically, subsequent therapies involving leeches are conducted at weekly intervals.
In many cases, leeches cannot replace pharmacological treatment, but they can support it effectively. Therefore, if you feel heavy legs, frequently experience calf cramps, and venous spider veins are visible through the skin, consider leech therapy.