There are many types of varicose vein treatment, including both clinical treatment and home treatment. Unfortunately, many home treatments for varicose veins don’t have scientific research to back up the claims of those who recommend it. However, myofascial release techniques (MRT or M.R.T.) have been methodically and scientifically evaluated. There’s also interest among varicose vein researchers to do more research into this “alternative treatment” since the early results look so promising.
There is one caveat that must be stated before we continue. There is no home treatment for varicose veins that can ever replace, or trump, clinical varicose vein treatment such as sclerotherapy or laser treatment. Having said this, home treatments for varicose veins are an excellent way to manage the symptoms, such as edema and pain, that people who suffer with chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) deal with on a daily basis. Home treatment can also be an amazing “complementary treatment” to the clinical treatment you’ll receive at a varicose vein treatment clinic.
In 2008, a Spanish team of researchers at the University of Granada recruited local volunteers to participate in a study on the effectiveness of myofascial release techniques to ease the symptoms of varicose veins. The results of the study were published in 2012 in the journal, “Complementary Therapies in Medicine.” The title of the paper was a bit of a mouthful, “Comparative Study on the Effectiveness of Myofascial Release Manual Therapy and Physical Therapy For Venous Insufficiency In Postmenopausal Women.”
While more than one hundred women volunteered, sixty-five of them met all the criteria of the study. They ranged in age from forty to seventy-five years old and all of them were Stage 1 or Stage 2 for venous insufficiency, i.e. veins not returning blood back to the heart in a normal or efficient way. These sixty-five women were split into two nearly equal groups, one with thirty-three women and other with thirty-two women.
One group was given kinesiotherapy only. Kinesiotherapy is a type of “movement therapy” whereby a therapist assists the patient to perform active muscular movements. The therapist also provides passive muscular movements through massage to help restore mobility, movement, endurance, and strength. This therapy was done in fifty minute sessions, twice a week, for ten weeks.
The other group was given kinesiotherapy AND myofascial release. So, the difference (or scientific variable) was that myofascial release was added in addition to the kinesiotherapy. This therapy was also done twice a week for ten weeks.
Various measurements were taken multiple times during the ten week period and a questionnaire was given to all participants to gauge improvements in pain, movement, and overall quality of life. After the ten week period, the results for both groups were compared and statistically analyzed to determine if there were significant differences between the two groups.
The results were quite telling. The group of women who had received myofascial release in addition to more traditional kinesiotherapy had more improvements than the group that only received kinesiotherapy. Their blood velocity had improved more dramatically than the other group (analyzed with doppler ultrasound so very accurate). Their edema, swelling due to excess fluid, was significantly less. Related to this, the hydrostatic pressure in their veins was significantly less so there was less blood pooling in the veins.
Perhaps most important difference discovered was that the participants who received myofascial release personally reported less pain, better movement, and an improvement overall in their quality of life. This study, therefore, yields scientific evidence that this form of “alternative treatment” or “natural” varicose vein treatment can be a valuable complementary treatment to clinical varicose vein treatment like EVLT and sclerotherapy. Furthermore, in most cases, a patient can be taught how to perform myofascial release on themselves. If not, a family member can be taught to perform these valuable techniques.
It should be stressed too that previous research had already proven that myofascial tissue helps move venous blood back to the heart. Thus, it is both muscle contractions and myofascial connective tissue that moves the blood against gravity back toward the heart, not just muscle contractions as many think. In light of this, it makes perfect sense why myofascial release, a technique that restores the function of damaged myofascial tissue, gives such positive therapeutic benefit to those with chronic venous insufficiency (varicose vein disease).
If you suspect you have chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), or varicose vein disease, it’s important you get fully evaluated by a varicose vein treatment clinic that has a good reputation and has been around a long time. Metro Vein Centers is a good example of such a clinic. The vein doctors and staff at Metro Vein Centers consistently get good reviews from patients. Further, doctors in other fields of medicine, such as general practitioners, often refer their patients to Metro Vein Centers. You can also get a free evaluation by Metro Vein Centers without a doctor’s referral by simply calling them.