Could my achy legs be caused by varicose veins? In addition to many other conditions that can cause leg pain, yes, achy legs can be due to varicose veins. When the weather is warmer, our blood vessels dilate and the problem is exacerbated. Keep reading to learn the causes and how you can find relief.
Chronic Venous Insufficiency
Chronic venous insufficiency is common in both men and women, can be passed down from your parents or grandparents, and is a progressive disease.
It simply means that the valves in your blood vessels are not functioning properly. As soon as blood passes through those valves, they are supposed to close. With vein disease, these malfunctioning valves do not close properly, and our blood flows backwards instead of forward toward the heart and against gravity.
This results in blood pooling in our legs and ankles. As time passes, this buildup causes irritation and inflammation, leading to achy legs. Varicose veins and spider veins develop, and some can clearly be seen and others are invisible on the skin.
Risk Factors For Venous Insufficiency
Being pregnant, gaining weight, and getting older all contribute to varicose veins. A job which forces you to stand or sit for long periods of time can also be a contributing factor. Lastly, women are more likely to develop varicose veins than men.
Symptoms of Varicose Veins
You may think that the unattractive bulging blue veins that we notice on people’s calves and legs is the main culprit, however sometimes people have severe pain and there is no visible varicose or even spider vein.
Common symptoms of pain from varicose veins include:
- Heavy achy legs
- Muscle cramps
- Throbbing and burning in legs
- Swelling of calves and around ankles
Many people have these symptoms but don’t see any varicose veins. This is because the condition is in its early stages. Reach out to a vein specialist like Advanced Vascular Associates in Morristown, NJ if you are having any of these feelings in your legs. The sooner you seek treatment, the easier it will be to correct.
In The Meantime
Wearing compression stockings can help with your pain. Elevate your legs above your heart for at least 15 minutes when sitting.
When your legs hurt at night, rinse them in cold water.
Exercise whenever possible and stretch your calf muscles.
Change position every 30 minutes if you must stand for periods of time, and bend your knees.
Keep your high heels in the closet, and drink lots of water.