Veins carry blood from the heart and all throughout your body. Back and forth, up and down, the blood coursing through your veins works much like a conveyer belt in a factory. You already knew that, but did you know that this isn’t always the case? Sometimes, blood has issues moving from place to place and can change direction during its course. This is known as phlebitis.
What Is Phlebitis?
Once vein disease happens, the superficial vein system gets inflamed and starts to swell. Simply put, inflammation of the veins is called “phlebitis,” and it is then when problems can start happening. The vein normally flows up and down the leg in regular intervals, but in cases of phlebitis, it becomes more complicated.
Phlebitis is typically caused by blood clots in superficial veins. Medical or surgical complications or vein injury can cause these superficial blood clots. Phlebitis can also be caused by:
- Not enough exercise
- Varicose veins
Symptoms of phlebitis
Patients suffering from phlebitis often experience pain and discomfort in the areas of the superficial veins. They may also see some redness, swelling, inflammation, and maybe even some itchiness.
Typical vein treatments for phlebitis include compression socks and anti-inflammatory medications that will help maintain and control symptoms. In rare occasions, antibiotics may be necessary since infection is possible.
At-home remedies may be the only thing necessary in a lot of cases (that is, after seeking an opinion from your local vein center). For example, taking aspirin or ibuprofen can help with pain and inflammation. Always check with your doctor first!
Make sure to keep active. The more blood flow through your veins, the less likely blood clots will form or stick around—so keep those legs moving! That means avoiding too much bed rest, as that can worsen symptoms.
It’s important that you visit a doctor to treat it right away, since phlebitis can lead to a respiratory embolism, which can be fatal.