Can Varicose Veins Cause Swelling in LegsMany patients come to the vein specialists at Premier Vein Clinics of Knoxville complaining of leg pain, which they often describe as an achy “heaviness.” Some experience symptoms of throbbing or cramping in their legs, while others suffer from extremely painful, swollen legs.

Understandably, our patients often wonder why varicose veins—in addition to being unsightly—sometimes cause pain.

According to the National Institutes of Health, varicose veins are swollen, ropy enlarged veins that you can see under the skin. They are often red or blue in color, and they usually appear in the legs.

Normally, one-way valves in your leg veins keep blood moving upwards toward the heart. The valves work against gravity that would pull blood in the veins back down the leg. But when a valve becomes weak or damaged—due to age, obesity, genetics, pregnancy, or other factors—blood pools in the vein. The vein swells as the blood backs up over time, causing pressure, which is the source of the “heaviness” or pain.

When painful, signs and symptoms may include:

  • An achy or heavy feeling in your legs
  • Cramping or throbbing in your legs
  • Swelling of the lower leg and/or ankles
  • Worsened pain after sitting or standing for a long time

Fortunately, detailed diagnosis through ultrasound enables your vein specialist to pinpoint which veins are diseased and causing discomfort. Minimally invasive, in-office procedures are available to treat those veins and relieve the pressure that’s causing the heaviness, cramping, or swelling.


Your vein specialist may also discuss lifestyle changes or the use of compression stockings to  alleviate some symptoms or decrease your chances of developing more varicose veins. Certain factors such as obesity, or standing or sitting for long periods of time increase pressure on the legs, which may exacerbate your varicose vein symptoms.

If you experience painful symptoms of varicose veins, consult one of the board certified vascular surgeons at Premier Vein Clinics of Knoxville. Our vein specialists can help you determine the best course of treatment for your varicose veins. Request a consult online or call (865) 588-8229 and schedule an appointment today.