You don’t have to wonder about the leg pain you feel after standing for long periods of time. This type of pain is a common sign of vein disease, the underlying health condition that causes varicose and spider veins.
Vein disease, also known as venous insufficiency, develops when tiny, one-way valves in your veins begin to malfunction. These valves are responsible for sending blood back to your heart. When they’re damaged, these valves can’t move blood to your heart. Instead, the blood pools in various regions of your body, such as the legs, ankles, and feet.
Over time, venous insufficiency can lead to ugly, enlarged leg veins and a range of painful and uncomfortable symptoms. Along with experiencing leg pain when standing, you may notice:
- Swelling and aching in the legs and ankles
- Burning in the calf or thigh
- Leg pain that feels better when you walk or raise your legs
- Itchy, dry skin
- Difficulty standing for long periods
- Non-healing wounds on your legs
You may be tempted to ignore leg pain after standing for long periods of time. You might even go so far as to avoid standing altogether. However, these approaches are not recommended. Vein disease is progressive, and your symptoms are likely to get worse.
Vein disease can also lead to dangerous health conditions when left untreated. For example, you may be at increased risk for developing a type of blood clot called Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), which is life-threatening and requires immediate emergency care. You may also start suffering from venous ulcers. These open, non-healing wounds can result in serious infection and require urgent medical attention.
Leg pain during or after standing for long periods can range from mildly uncomfortable to severely debilitating. It can impact your ability to perform daily activities or fully enjoy life. Instead of wondering, why do my legs hurt when I stand up?, we suggest contacting a vein expert for help.
Sometimes, lifestyle modifications like losing weight and exercising more can help address your venous symptoms. Vein treatment can also be beneficial. At USA Vein Clinics, we offer a range of minimally invasive vein treatment options that can quickly alleviate symptoms and improve your quality of life. Here’s what you need to know.
Why Do My Legs Hurt When Standing Too Long?
When damaged vein valves are unable to efficiently pump blood back to your heart, leg pain and swelling often follow. Periods of inactivity from prolonged standing can further impact your blood circulation, leg swelling, and symptomatic pain. This is because a standing position requires blood to travel against gravity back toward your heart.
Your leg pain and swelling are likely related to your body’s natural inflammatory process. When disease is present, your white blood cells begin to release chemicals. These chemicals travel into the blood flow to protect your body from foreign substances. They can also cause fluid to leak from your blood vessels into the surrounding tissue. Over time, this can affect your ability to move around and perform daily activities.
Can Standing Too Long Cause Varicose Veins?
Our vein experts are often asked, can standing cause varicose veins? Although standing doesn’t necessarily cause varicose veins, standing for prolonged periods can increase your chances of developing them. It can also make your symptoms worse.
Other contributing risk factors include:
- Genetics: Do you have a close family member with varicose veins? If so, you may be more likely to develop them.
- Aging: Although anyone can develop varicose veins, people over age 50 are at increased risk to do so.
- Inactivity: Not getting enough exercise can impact your blood circulation and lead to venous insufficiency.
- Body Mass Index (BMI): Being overweight or obese can place excess strain on your veins and cause them to malfunction.
- Gender: Women are more likely than men to develop vein disease.
- Pregnancy: It is common to develop vein issues while pregnant due to hormones and increased blood volume. Fortunately, pregnancy-related varicose veins often resolve on their own after childbirth.
- Other health conditions: Underlying issues like high blood pressure and diabetes can lead to damage in your veins.
- Diet: Consuming a diet high in sodium, sugar, saturated fat, and alcohol can place you at risk for varicose veins.
- Smoking: This unhealthy habit can negatively impact your veins and lead to a wide range of potentially dangerous health conditions.
Consider Vein Treatment at USA Vein Clinics
If your job requires lots of standing or sitting, you may be at risk for developing varicose veins and other venous problems. If you’ve already been diagnosed with vein disease, we want you to understand that it is progressive. In other words, your pain and discomfort are likely to get worse over time if you don’t take action.It is also crucial to realize that serious complications can occur if you ignore your symptoms.
We encourage you to consult a vein specialist if you have varicose or spider veins and:
- Wear compression socks daily
- Avoid jobs that require standing or walking
- Aren’t very active and exercise to avoid painful symptoms
- Often cancel social plans involving prolonged activity
- Struggle to manage your weight due to pain while exercising
- Limit daily activities based on your pain level
At USA Vein Clinics, we believe in taking control of your vein health. When lifestyle modifications aren’t enough, we offer non-surgical, office-based vein treatment that can be performed in less than an hour.
Our treatments aim to close off diseased veins and reroute blood flow to healthy ones. Afterward, our patients are able to leave immediately and return to most normal activities.
Our world-class specialists are available to address varicose veins, spider veins, restless legs, venous ulcers, and other vein conditions. To learn more, simply contact us at 888.768.3467 or schedule an appointment online.