Vein problems explained!
Most vein issues can be traced back to Venous Reflux, or Venous Insufficiency. Venous reflux is a medical condition where blood within the veins no longer flows in one direction, against gravity, towards the heart.
Venous reflux occurs when the one-way valves and vein walls become damaged or weakened allowing blood to flow the reverse direction back towards the ankle and feet. Over time this causes pressure to build within the veins causing symptoms such as varicose veins, leg and ankle swelling, leg pain, night cramps, restless legs, and many other symptoms that can ultimately lead to skin breakdown, skin darkening or ulcers/wounds on the legs.
Venous reflux is a progressive disease that gets worse over time if left untreated.
- Spider & reticular veins
- Varicose veins
- Ankle & leg swelling
- Skin darkening/discoloration
- Skin changes/thickening
- Ulcers/wounds that won't heal
- Leg pain & heaviness
- Restless Leg Syndrome
- Night cramps in the legs
- Leg aching & throbbing
- Exercise intolerance & leg fatigue
Why do I have vein problems?
While in some cases we simply don’t know why these issues occur, there are some common causes that have been found to contribute to Venous Reflux.
Genetics & Family History
The most common contributing factor is a family history of vein problems. If your parents, grandparents or family members suffered with vein problems then the likelihood that you might develop vein problems is high. There is evidence of a genetic tendency that causes the vein walls to weaken and wear out over time causing Venous Reflux.
Gender & Pregnancy
Statistics show women have a higher likelihood of vein problems. Women tend to have more vein issues than men because of hormone changes and pregnancy. Pregnancy creates a lot of pressure in the vein system due to weight changes and blood flow increase during pregnancy, both for mom and baby.
There is little scientific evidence that shows that this is a major factor, however, experience has shown us that significant weight loss of 40 pounds or more can sometimes trigger vein problems to surface. The fat tissue around the vein acts as natural compression, and when this tissue is gone the veins no longer have that natural support system.
Occupation (Long Sitting & Standing)
Occupations that require a lot of standing or sitting can contribute to vein problems. When you are sitting or standing for long periods of time, you are not activating the calf muscle pump which is responsible for the majority of the blood flow back to the heart.
If you’re in an occupation where you are stationary for a long period of time, make sure to get up and move around or do calf raises or pedal pumps (moving your foot like you are pushing a gas/brake pedal). If that isn’t an option, compression socks also act as a natural support system for your veins. They don’t activate the calf muscle but they do provide important support to the Venous system.
Looking for a great vein clinic in Arlington, TX?
We’d love to speak with you and see how we can help you get back to living your life. Keep in mind, the first appointment is just a consultation. We won’t push any treatments on you and there’s no commitment. The first meeting is all about getting to know you and making a plan that’ll get you looking and feeling better as quickly as possible.