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Source: Papers On Health
The swelling of veins in the leg is a very common
trouble, especially in middle and later life. At first this may cause
no pain, one vein appearing as a little blue lump. Then as the trouble
increases, knots of veins seem to rise, especially below and behind the
knee. Great pain follows, and sometimes the veins burst, causing bad
sores, not easy to heal.
All this generally springs from overstrain upon the limbs. Long
continued standing, in circumstances otherwise unfavourable to health,
is the usual cause.
This shows the primary necessity of rest. Let the patient lie down as
much as possible, or at least sit with the sore limb or limbs supported
on a chair so as to be nearly level. If this can be done thoroughly,
all work being given up for a month or so, a cure is not very
difficult. But where this rest cannot be had, an elastic band, such as
is used by bootmakers to make strong boot gussets, about six inches
broad and one foot long, should be procured. Fasten this round above
the knee, well up the thigh. This will greatly help to relieve the
blood pressure on the lower leg, and is better than elastic stockings.
Before these bands are slipped on, the leg should be well rubbed or
stroked upwards, as described at the end of Circulation. This rubbing
empties the swollen veins, and gives great relief.
We have seen a man with both legs full of swollen veins ready for
bursting, and most painful, get on two such bandages, and go on digging
and working with perfect ease, while the veins sensibly contracted with
no other application. But it is not necessary nor wise to confine
medical measures to the use of such bandages. Rest is in some cases
Even where partial rest can be had, it is important to wear these bands
and rub as described. But if possible, the patient should rest in bed
for one week. To restore power to the relaxed vessels, a large bran
poultice should be applied across the haunches behind, rubbing olive
oil before and after. Apply this for fifty minutes each night during
the week in bed. Wear a broad band of new flannel over the parts after
the poultice. In the morning give the same treatment. If in a week the
veins are not better, continue the treatment for another week. The
elastic band is, of course, not worn in bed, but may be put on on
rising as a security against relapse.
We have seen persons over sixty years of age completely cured in this
way, when the necessary rest could be had.
If the skin give signs, by dryness and hardness, that it is out of
order, instead of treatment with the bran poultice, the SOAPY BLANKET
(see) may be applied on the first night. The patient may on other
nights be lathered with soap (see Lather; Soap), and the soapy cloth
worn on the back for a night or two, sponging all over with hot vinegar
in the morning.
Where the veins by bursting have caused sores, treat with weak vinegar
as directed for Ulcers, and after each acid soaking, bandage the whole
limb (putting lint on the sores and dressing them properly) with an
ordinary surgical bandage, just so tightly as to give relief, and not
tight enough to cause any pain. Over-pressure injures. This treatment,
with the necessary rest, will in most cases effect a cure in a few
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