What are Varicose Veins?
Veins run throughout your body and are responsible for carrying blood back to the heart. They have thin walls and valves throughout, and the valves’ purpose is to prevent blood from flowing in the wrong direction.
When these valves malfunction or stop working, varicose veins canform. These malfunctioning valves lead to blood flowing backward or getting stuck in a vein, causing an increase in pressure. This increased pressure makes the vein swell, creating the bulging appearance of varicose veins. Once a vein has gone varicose, it can’t go back to normal and must be treated. These bulging veins most commonly develop in the legs.
About Varicose Vein Pain
Some varicose veins might not cause any symptoms at all. However, it’s not uncommon to experience varicose vein pain because of the increased pressure within the affected blood vessels. As the pressure keeps increasing, you are likely to feel a dull ache, often described as a continuous throbbing pain. You will also feel it more on the surface of your leg, which should distinguish it from any deeper muscular pain.
It is very important to seek out a full vein screening if you experience any vascular pain. There are more serious venous issues that could cause your pain – such as Deep Vein Thrombosis(link) or Superficial Thrombophlebitis(link) – so it’s important to obtain an evaluation by a board-certified vascular surgeon who can provide comprehensive diagnosis and treatment.
Prevent Varicose Vein Pain
Although they won’t reverse your vein disease, there are things you can do to help alleviate the pain you experience when blood pools in the veins, increasing the pressure you feel. Staying active and stretching your legs is one way to prevent pain and swelling.Calf muscle stretches are especially helpful, as they will increase blood flow to the area. It’s also advisable to avoid sitting for long periods when possible. Any time you stop moving, the blood will pool in the veins, causing increased blood pressure.
Elevating your legs is also another way of managing varicose vein pain, as it encourages the blood to flow back to your heart. You’re effectively using gravity to make the blood move in this direction, easing and preventing any pain.
Compression socks/stockings also work really well at alleviating varicose vein pain. The added compression forces more blood to your legs, encouraging it to flow freely and return to the heart. It’s one of the easiest ways to prevent pain as you can wear these socks throughout the day without it disrupting your routine. It’s important to see a physician for prescription-grade compression stockings for true relief.