How Do You Get Varicose Veins?

Approximately half of the U.S. population suffers from painful varicose veins. Varicose veins occur when the valves inside a vein become damaged, causing blood to flow backward, and pool inside the vein.

How do varicose veins occur?

There are many factors that increase a person’s risk for developing varicose veins, including:

  • Age
    With age, your risk for varicose veins increases, as your vein valves may have weakened over time.
  • Medical history
    Often, an increased risk for varicose veins cannot be avoided. For example, you might have been born with weak valves, or have family members with varicose veins.
  • Hormonal changes
    Factors like puberty, pregnancy, menopause, and taking birth control pills, or other hormone medications may contribute to the forming of varicose and spider veins.
  • Obesity
    Being overweight can put excess pressure on your veins, which often leads to vein damage and varicose veins.
  • Inactivity
    Sitting or standing for a long time has a negative effect on your circulation. It makes your valves and veins work harder to get blood back to your heart.

How can you keep your veins healthy?

Maintaining a healthy diet, and a regular exercise routine can help promote vein health. To protect your legs from spider veins and varicose veins, try running, walking, cycling, and swimming to help strengthen your calf and thigh muscles. Strong leg muscles promote good circulation.

If you have a job that requires you to sit or stand for long periods of time, be sure to take frequent brief walks to stimulate circulation in your legs, and elevate your legs above your heart when you return home. This will encourage blood flow back toward your heart, and may reduce any swelling you have.

The vein care experts at Carolina Vein Specialists offer safe, effective, outpatient varicose veins treatment in two convenient North Carolina locations including Greensboro and Winston-Salem. Call 336-218-8346 to schedule an appointment.