Understanding Leg Vein Pain Problems

Patient Resources


Many leg problems can leave you with a reduced quality of life, that is, without the right treatment plan. Whether you are suffering from tired or achy legs or just have become self-conscious because of how your veins make your legs appear, the experts at Vascular Care Specialists, wants you to know that there are treatment options available.

From self-care to surgery, choosing to get treatment can help alleviate your symptoms and, of course, make you feel better about your appearance. However, to fully understand your treatment and causes, you must first understand how and why they occur.

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How Do Leg Veins Work?

Your veins are a vast network that manages the blood flow throughout the entire body. You have small veins that sit just below the skin’s surface and drain into the body’s reticular system. Blood then flows to the larger veins that are deeper, below the skin. The more prominent veins are responsible for taking blood straight to the heart, while the large and small saphenous veins are the ones that operate in the legs.

Veins and arteries in your body are responsible for taking blood throughout your body. While arteries bring oxygenated blood to the heart and rest of the body, your veins carry blood to your limbs and organs. Blood then goes back into the veins, and the process starts all over again.

Because they both provide separate functions, vein problems and artery problems are individual, and treatment options must be unique.

Blood is Then Returned to the Heart

Blood must flow upward throughout your body to make it back to the heart – working against gravity. Your calf and leg muscles help push that blood upward, while valves (small flaps located inside the vein) open up and allow blood to pass through. In optimal health, valves close as blood passes through to keep it from flowing back down.

What Happens When You Develop Vein Problems?

Vein problems usually occur due to venous insufficiency. This means that your veins are not adequately carrying the blood back up to the heart, and your valves are not closing as they should – which allows the blood to flow back down and to the legs.

Common Issues About Problem Leg Veins

Problematic leg veins can be a complicated process, so to determine which treatment is best, you must first identify the type of symptoms and complications you are experiencing.

Iliofemoral Venous Overflow Obstruction

When the vein becomes blocked or narrowed and prevents blood from circulating back to the heart, Iliofemoral venous overflow, obstruction occurs, often in the lower abdomen.
Some common known symptoms include finding that your legs are painful, swollen, or throbbing throughout the day. In individuals with Iliofemoral venous overflow obstruction, skin discoloration, and a higher risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) (a blood clot in the leg) might occur.

Spider and Varicose Veins

Your legs are full of tiny blood vessels that sit just below the surface of the skin. When damage occurs, a web-like appearance that is blue, purple, or red will remain. In some cases, clusters of spider veins can appear like bruises. And though your spider veins would rarely turn into a severe condition, their visible side effects can make many feel self-conscious about their legs. So how does this varicose vein damage occur?

When blood flows in the wrong direction, blood begins to pool, and the vein then swells. This is typically found in the legs, and if you have varicose veins, discoloration is not the only sign. You may also suffer from fatigue, aching of the leg, itching, etc. The leg veins will twist, bulge, and are visible on the outside of the leg.

Males and females are both prone to spider and varicose veins. But, certain risk factors may make one person more susceptible to them than another, including:

  • Family history of problematic veins
  • Hormonal changes (such as pregnancy)
  • Standing or sitting for prolonged periods
  • Injury to the leg or vein
  • Lack of physical activity

Treating Problem Veins

Because each situation is unique, one of our vascular experts will assess your problem veins to determine the right treatment course. Some options may include sclerotherapy or endovenous ablation. And with new technologies and treatments continually being researched and brought into practice, your vein expert is always available to educate you on the best options.

For many, self-care can also help alleviate symptoms and possibly prevent further problem veins from developing.
After Treatment
Treatment for problem veins will have you feeling better and looking better too! However, to ensure the veins do not become a reoccurring issue, you must keep up with your follow-up appointments. And be sure always to follow any self-care instructions provided to you.

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