Varicose veins are enlarged and twisted veins that are visible through the skin. Normally, veins are hidden under the skin, and only some veins are very slightly visible in some parts of the body. Varicose veins are different, because they have darkened in color and appear engorged on the skin’s surface.
Symptoms of Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are typically blue or purple in color and appear as twisted and bulging veins on different parts of the body. It is also common to experience skin discoloration around the varicose veins. While they can develop anywhere, they are most common on the legs. As varicose veins go untreated, patients can develop other symptoms. These include aching or throbbing pain, and muscle cramps in the legs. The pain symptoms generally get worse after long periods of sitting or standing. It is also common to experience itching around the veins.
What Causes Varicose Veins?
Veins have a valve system in them that helps blood pass through on its way to the heart for recirculation. The veins that become varicose are weak or damaged veins that no longer adequately pass blood. When the valve system stops working, the blood that travels through the vein cannot exit properly. This forces the blood to pool inside the vein, causing the vein to stretch and twist, as it cannot take on the added pressure of pooled blood. Over time, this causes the veins to enlarge and appear blue or purple.
Varicose veins are caused by standing or sitting for extended periods of time. The veins in your legs have to work against gravity to pump the blood through them so it can get to the heart. When you sit or stand for long periods of time, the veins are put under a lot of strain to do their job of pushing the blood in and out. In this process, the veins’ valve system runs the risk of failing, eventually causing them to become varicose.
Can You Get Varicose Veins From an Office Job?
Office jobs require sitting for an extended period of time in the same position. This is an ideal environment for varicose veins to develop. While an office job may seem harmless at the surface, it can have cascading effects on health, including the development of varicose veins.
When you sit in an office chair for several hours a day, the veins in your legs (particularly the bottom parts of the legs) are working against gravity to pump blood the entire time. In this environment, it’s common for veins to get strained because of the continuous pressure – and become varicose as a result.
Varicose Veins Prevention
You can do several things to prevent varicose veins from developing, or slow the progression of them as you work in your office job. Here are some tips you can try today to reduce your risk:
Movement prevents continuous pressure on veins. Exercise keeps the blood pumping, increases flexibility, strengthens the body, and helps reduce the chance of developing varicose veins.
Keeping your legs in a downward position for several hours adds pressure on your leg veins. Elevate your legs every so often to relieve pressure.
Being overweight can increase pressure on your veins. Keeping your weight in check can help reduce this risk.
Avoid High Heels
Wearing heels puts added strain on your legs and veins. While wearing heels every now and then won’t hurt, regularly wearing them can increase your risk of varicose veins.
Expert Vein Treatment in Houston
If you have varicose veins and want to do something about them, you are in luck. A variety of advanced treatments are available.
Our team at The Vein Institute at Houston Heart & Vascular Associates offers a comprehensive approach to vascular health care and vein treatment.
Call (281) 312-0208 today to make an appointment. You can also request an appointment online.