Do you often experience a dull, throbbing and aching sensation in your legs? Do your notice your legs swelling after prolonged periods of sitting or standing? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you may need treatment for varicose veins. Lower leg pain can be caused by a number of things from an injury to an issue of circulation. If the pain becomes chronic or if your symptoms continue to worsen you should consult with your doctor.
Veins are blood vessels responsible for returning blood to the heart and lungs. Varicose veins occur when veins become abnormally thick or enlarged, full of twists and turns often leading to pain and swelling. Varicose veins are often found in the leg and thigh. Within a healthy vein, valves keep blood moving in the right direction and stop blood from accumulating or flowing backwards. Over time valves can become worn out and dysfunctional, leading to the pooling of blood thus, turning into varicose veins. “Varicose” is a reference to the interruption of blood flow that occurs when a valve inside the vein disrupts the return of blood to the heart leaving it enlarged or swollen.
When you are standing, blood in your legs must work against gravity to return to your heart. The muscles within your legs tighten the veins deep within your legs causing valves to open up aiding the return of blood to your heart and lungs. When your legs relax, the valves close and prevent blood from flowing incorrectly back down the legs. Individuals who sit or stand for prolonged periods will experience pooling of blood in the veins. Over time, if this continues to occur, veins will stretch due to this increased pressure and weaken the vein walls and valves.
Many people with varicose veins do not experience any physical symptoms in the early stages, but may have more concern over the appearance of their legs. When pain and discomfort begin to inhibit daily function, it is time to consult a physician.
The first line of defense for varicose veins is a conservative approach of exercise, elevation of the legs and/or wearing compression stockings. These techniques will help support good circulation in the legs. Incorporating one or all of these into your routine can help alleviate symptoms and possibly prevent varicose veins from getting worse.
Take our online self-assessment, Premier Vein Clinics: Vein Treatment Self-test and find out if it is time for you to consult a physician about treatment for varicose veins.
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