As an avid golfer, I really look forward to the days when weather and work allow me to get out and spend some time working on my short game. I sympathize with my patients with varicose veins when the pain and that heavy feeling prevent them from comfortably standing and walking, or even just sitting as they ride to the next hole. Varicose veins affect both men and women and, without treatment, can not only interfere with the activities you love but can be a health risk that may lead to serious complications.
Varicose veins are caused by any number of factors, including age, obesity, prolonged standing or sitting, family history, pregnancy, and hormonal influences. What happens is that one or more of your veins are not working properly — not moving the blood back up the leg towards the heart, the way they’re supposed to, and so the blood flows backward (or refluxes). Then you get venous pooling in the legs, and pressure builds up, leading to venous hypertension. The blood needs to go somewhere, though, and so the body starts forcing it out through side branches and channels, and as those branches come to the surface, they start bulging out. That’s when you see them on the surface — those big, dilated, ugly veins.