What is vascular massage therapy?

Venous diseases are caused by poor circulation and malfunctioning valves. Varicose veins, ulcers, blood clots, chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) are among the most common venous diseases. They can cause pain, swelling, and discoloration in your legs. Since most venous diseases are in part due to circulation problems, one of the interventions being used in the treatment of venous diseases is vascular massage therapy.

What Is Vascular Massage Therapy?

Vascular massage therapy is a type of massage done on the legs to help improve blood circulation. Good circulation means oxygen and nutrients are being delivered to the cells throughout the body and waste products are being removed from the blood.

Massage therapies such as vascular and lymphatic drainage massages that aim to increase circulation and improve tissue nutrition are beneficial to patients with varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency. The technique used to improve circulation involves short strokes to move blood from the valves to the veins. The technique used for better lymphatic drainage involves light strokes to move lymph fluid — containing water, proteins, fats, and white blood cells — into lymph vessels located throughout the body.

Perhaps what makes vascular massage therapy a great complement to treatment is that there is little to no risk associated with it. It is noninvasive and has practically no negative side effects. However, vascular massage therapy is at best complementary and not a standalone therapy, much less treatment. Vein disease is usually caused by a combination of many factors, including faulty vein valves. Therefore, for example, treating spider and varicose veins may involve elevation, compression, lifestyle changes, and in really severe cases, sclerotherapy or laser therapy.

At best, vascular massage therapy can provide relief from pain, fatigue, swelling, and discomfort associated with certain vein diseases. The effects, however, are temporary, especially if the patient only gets massage therapy.

Who Should Not Get Massage Therapy?

Massage therapy is not safe for all patients with vein diseases. Massage therapy is not recommended to patients with advanced-stage vein disease, in which big and bulging veins, ulcerations, and discoloration are present. Massaging the area can cause the already weakened veins to burst, worsening the condition. Massage therapy is also not safe for patients with deep vein thrombosis (DVT), as it could dislodge a clot and cause it to travel.

Massage therapy on the wrong patient can be dangerous. If you want the safest treatment and complementary therapies, make sure to see a board-certified vein doctor for treatment.

Vein Doctor in Liberty and Marshall, MO

At Missouri Vein Specialists, massage therapy is included in the many conservative vein disease treatments we offer our patients. We take extra precautions and make sure all patients receiving massage therapy are safe to receive it and can actually benefit from it. All our treatments are recommended and supervised by Dr. Scott Darling, certified by the American Board of Venous and Lymphatic Medicine. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment with Dr. Darling, call (816) 792-3400 or use our online request form.