Walking Summer

March is less than two weeks away. If you need varicose vein treatments, time is growing short for having the major work done by summer. Plus, it’s more comfortable completing your compression stocking requirement in winter.

But enjoying healthy, attractive legs and being active in the summer without swelling, achiness, and fatigue is just one benefit of having treatments.

Another is avoiding blood clots.

March is Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Awareness Month and having varicose veins is an independent risk factor for DVT.

Blood flow in unhealthy veins is sluggish, especially in larger, bulging veins, and the slower moving blood means a greater chance of clotting. I compare it to a river. Where the river is wide, it runs slow and silt and debris can build up. Where it is fast-flowing, the rushing water helps prevent this build-up.

In addition, the spiked protein associated with Covid-19 causes damage to the endothelium, the single layer of cells that lines the interior surface of blood vessels. This is thought to be one reason the virus makes us sick. Damage to the endothelium causes inflammation and hypercoagulability, which can cause serious conditions such as deep vein blood clots, heart attacks, pulmonary embolism, and stroke.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of varicose veins, you may be at an increased risk for DVT and now is the time to get checked out, especially if you are suffering from any of the following symptoms:

• chronic leg pain

• fatigue

• itching

• burning

• inflammation

• leg cramps

• restless legs syndrome.


Dr. Sonja Stiller is a diplomat of both the American Board of Emergency Medicine and the American Board of Venous and Lymphatic Medicine. She is the founder of the Center for Advanced Vein Care, a Tier 1 provider with Lake Health Hospital System, located at 7200 Mentor Avenue, in Mentor. For an appointment, call 440-710-1140. More info can be found at


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