Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment for Varicose Veins
Varicose veins aren’t just an aesthetic or a cosmetic problem. These bluish, bulging veins can indicate other health conditions and cause severe pain, discomfort, and other symptoms. Varicose veins are also a potential sign of underling vein disease.
At USA Vein Clinics, we treat the underlying cause of varicose veins so you not only experience symptom relief but also better blood flow and an improvement in the appearance of your legs.
Our goal is to educate people on the signs and symptoms of varicose veins. The more you know about what might be causing your symptoms and what signs to look for, the more empowered you are to take steps that can alleviate varicose vein symptoms.
Below, we discuss the signs and symptoms, causes and treatment options for varicose veins.
Signs and Symptoms of Varicose Veins
Signs of varicose veins in the legs can vary. Some people only notice visible signs — bluish, purplish veins which can appear raised above the skin.
But for many individuals, varicose veins can cause painful symptoms that can negatively impact one’s quality of life.
In early stages, symptoms can present more mild with slight achiness and tingling. However, when the condition worsens, varicose veins can start causing chronic leg pain and swelling, making it difficult to perform routine daily activities and leading to CVI (Chronic Venous Insufficiency) and DVT.
Ultimately, you might experience any of the following symptoms of varicose veins in the legs:
- Swelling: Some individuals observe that their shoes feel tighter, while others report pain or discomfort in swollen areas.
- Cramping: You may suffer from cramps at night that impact sleep, or you notice daytime cramping in your calves, thighs, or buttocks.
- Heaviness: People with varicose veins sometimes feel like they are carrying weights around their ankles.
- Numbness: Another potential varicose vein symptom is numbness in the legs and feet. This may occur when blood circulation slows.
- Itching and burning: You might notice skin changes near varicose veins, such as itching, redness, or crusting.
- Pain relief when legs are elevated: If you have leg pain alleviated by propping your feet and legs up, this may be an early-stage varicose vein symptom.
- Restless legs: Some individuals with varicose veins also have restless leg syndrome, which is where you have an unpleasant urge to move your legs, usually while sitting or lying in bed.
Whether you suffer from early-stage varicose veins symptoms or painful varicose veins, schedule an appointment with a vein specialist to explore your treatment options. It’s important to get treatment to address the cause of varicose veins so you can start feeling better.
What Causes Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are caused by vein valves and walls that have become weak or damaged.
This damage doesn’t happen overnight. It occurs over time when the blood pressure in your veins increases for various reasons. For example, when you stand or sit for long periods, the blood in your leg veins can start to pool, stretching the veins and causing damage.
Other factors that can increase blood pressure, such as being overweight, pregnancy, or smoking can also weaken vein walls and valves.
Varicose Veins and Chronic Venous Insufficiency
Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) is a cause of varicose veins. CVI, also known as vein disease, is a health condition characterized by high blood pressure that damages veins. It is a progressive condition that can cause painful symptoms, impact your quality of life, and increase your risk for dangerous health conditions like blood clots and venous ulcers.
People can have CVI and not have varicose veins, but often, CVI and varicose veins go hand in hand.
CVI can also cause swelling of the legs, ulcers, and other symptoms that are similar to the signs of varicose veins. The symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency include:
- Leg swelling
- Pain in the legs that subsides when you put your legs up
- Tingling sensation in the legs
- Cramping or a feeling of heaviness in the legs
- Visible varicose veins
- Skin changes, such as redness, irritation, cracking, and crusty spots
- Thick or hard areas on the legs or ankles
If you have symptoms of varicose veins in the legs, you might also have CVI.
At USA Vein Clinics, our doctors treat varicose veins and CVI. If you’re experiencing signs of varicose veins or chronic venous insufficiency, schedule an appointment at a vein clinic near you. Our specialists can diagnose and treat you in our office.
Who Is Most Likely to Get Varicose Veins?
It’s estimated that 40 million adults have varicose veins. It’s more common in women than men and older adults are more likely to be affected.
However, it is possible to develop varicose veins as early as your 20s. For example, if you work in an office where you have to sit for hours at a time, or if you are on your feet a lot, it’s not abnormal for varicose veins to appear before middle age due to the extra pressure on the walls and valves of your veins.
Varicose Vein Risk Factors
While venous insufficiency is the underlying cause of varicose veins, there are a number of related risk factors that can lead to vein issues.
- Standing or sitting for prolonged periods
- Being obese or overweight
- Family history
- Being over 40
Healthy lifestyle changes can reduce your overall risk of developing varicose veins. Staying active can improve blood circulation and help you maintain a healthy weight. If you have to sit or stand for long periods of time at work, try taking frequent breaks and massaging your feet, ankles, and legs.
However, lifestyle modifications aren’t enough to treat the underlying condition. Treatment for vein disease can relieve painful and unsightly symptoms. Our clinics provide minimally invasive treatments in our office, making it easy to get the treatment you need.
Book an Appointment to See a Vein Specialist Near You
Varicose veins are treatable, and you don’t have to continue living with uncomfortable symptoms.
At USA Vein Clinics, we perform minimally invasive treatments to alleviate your varicose vein symptoms and reduce your risks of developing additional venous issues.
For personalized treatment recommendations, schedule an appointment with one of our empathetic specialists today, or call us at 888.768.3467. We offer expert consultations at over 100 locations nationwide, along with virtual doctor visits.
Varicose Vein Symptoms FAQs
WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON SYMPTOMS OF VARICOSE VEINS IN THE LEGS?
You will notice swelling of the legs and ankles. Your shoes may feel tight on your feet, and you may experience cramps in the legs. Your legs might feel heavy or numb, making it difficult to get around. Sometimes, you can experience itching and burning around the veins.
HOW CAN YOU GET RELIEF FROM VARICOSE VEINS SYMPTOMS?
You may find temporary relief from swelling, pain, and itching by elevating your legs. A vein specialist can provide treatment options for long-term relief from these symptoms.
DO VARICOSE VEINS ALWAYS CAUSE PAIN?
You may not have any pain with varicose veins in the early stages. However, they tend to worsen over time, with pain and discomfort developing later on as vein disease progresses.
WHAT VARICOSE VEIN TREATMENTS ARE AVAILABLE FOR VARICOSE VEINS SYMPTOMS?
A vein specialist may recommend one of several treatments, including:
- Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT)
- Ultrasound-Guided Sclerotherapy
- Varithena Vein Treatment
- Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)
DOES INSURANCE COVER VEIN TREATMENT?
Most major health insurance plans cover varicose vein treatments, including Medicare and Medicaid. You can verify your insurance coverage using our online scheduling tool or call us at 888.768.3467. We also offer flexible payment options.
WHY CHOOSE USA VEIN CLINICS FOR VEIN TREATMENT?
Our vein specialists are experienced vein specialists who focus on minimally invasive vein treatments. Additionally, we have more than 160 clinic locations around the country to provide convenient access to treatment.