Varicose Veins are the larger, “rope-like” veins which are often a one-quarter inch or larger in diameter.
Approximately half of the population has some form of venous disease, and varicose veins affect about one out of two people age 50 and older, and 15-25% of all adults.
Varicose Veins Occurs when veins are not properly returning blood from the lower leg to the heart. All veins have valves that open to allow the flow of blood to the heart and close to prevent backflow (Otherwise known as “reflux”) of blood to the foot. When the valve fails to function properly, blood leaks through and flows down the leg in the wrong direction. The blood overfills and distends the superficial veins under the skin, resulting in the bulging seen in varicose veins. When vericose veins become severe, it is referred to as chronic venous insufficiency. Symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency include aching pain, easy leg fatigue, and leg heaviness, all of which worse as the day progresses. Left untreated, chronic venous insufficiency can cause ulcerations which can be very difficult to treat.
Risk Factors of Varicose Veins
- Prolonged Standing
- Increasing Age
- Prior Superficial or deep vein clots
- Female Gender
- Multiple Pregnencies
Less Physical Activity, higher blood pressure, and obesity have also been linked
with the presence of varicose veins in the females.