Varicose veins are more common than you might think. They are one of the most under diagnosed and under treated conditions in the U.S. Unfortunately, varicose veins will only continue to get worse if left untreated. Have you ever wondered why varicose veins are most commonly found in the lower extremities? The answer to that question is actually very simply if you think about veins, blood flow, and the hurdles veins in your legs must overcome to do their job well.
Here are three things you may not have considered when wondering why your leg veins often exhibit signs and symptoms of varicose veins:
- Body Weight: Your legs, ankles and feet endure a lot of pressure day in and day out, regardless of your weight. If you are overweight or obese, your leg veins are experiencing even more pressure, which can cause faster wear and tear on the vein walls and valves.
- Gravity: The lower extremities understandably withstand the most amount of pressure due to the natural force of gravity. Your legs experience the pressures of gravity in both the standing and sitting position, directly increasing the amount of force on the superficial veins. The more you weigh, the more pressure your extremities will experience.
- It’s a tough job to be a vein in the legs: In comparison to other veins within the body, the leg veins have the difficult job of working against gravity to return blood from your feet back up to your heart.
As veins in the legs over time undergo increased amounts of pressure, they begin to show signs of aging. If vein valves become damaged, they are no longer able to carry out their intended purpose of keeping the blood flowing in one direction and preventing blood from traveling down the leg veins. As a result, pressure in the leg veins increases and symptoms will begin to surface: burning, throbbing, aching, cramping, fatigue, heaviness, restlessness, tiredness, itching, swelling, and discoloration of the legs and feet. If you are already experiencing some of these symptoms there are some home care steps you can take until medical treatment is deemed necessary.
If you are looking for relief from varicose vein symptoms and are ready to bare your legs again, then request an appointment today and take the first step towards treating your varicose veins. The board certified vascular physicians and staff at Premier Vein Clinics would welcome the opportunity to help you love your legs again!